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2008 Great Alumni
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Thomas R. Donnelly Class of 1959

Thomas Donnelly attended Rollins College where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in 1963.  He pursued a distinguished career with the United States Agency for International Development for 30 years and retired from USAID in 1995.  In 2008, Mr. Donnelly was the recipient of the Rollins College Distinguished Alumnus Award.


During his career with USAID, Mr. Donnelly designed and implemented the Central American Peace Scholarship program which brought 10,000 Central Americans to the United States each year for academic and technical studies.  He also designed a university project to improve Latin American higher education through linkages to American Universities.  In Ecuador, he was responsible for designing and implementing the country’s first vocational education system; developing a series of university bookstores on campuses; and pioneering the Ecuadorian Youth Volunteer Service.  In Costa Rica, he helped to bring 1500 socio-economically disadvantaged Central Americans to the United States for 2 years to live with American families and study at community colleges.  In Mexico, Mr. Donnelly developed programs to improve maternal and child health and to assist small business development.  In addition to Central America, he also provided technical assistance to major USAID projects in Asia, Africa, and South America.


Following his retirement, Mr. Donnelly continues to dedicate his efforts to community service activities.  His main focus in recent years has been volunteering with Florida Hospital’s SHARES Program where he has also served as the director for the past six years.  SHARES is an international outreach program of Florida Hospital.  The organization sends surgeons, anesthesiologists, and family medicine physicians to Mexico regularly to perform cleft lip and/or palate for children and medical care and cancer screening to rural communities.

William H. Fisher Class of 1970
William Fisher is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Western Ontario, and Research Professor and Co-founder of the Center for HIV Intervention and Prevention at the University of Connecticut.  Dr. Fisher received his Bachelor’s Degree from Tel Aviv University and his Masters and PhD from Purdue University.


Dr. Fisher serves on the editorial boards of seven academic journals and has published over 150 papers in the area of sexual and reproductive health and the prediction, understanding, and promotion of health behavior change.  He has held a National Health Scientist award from Health Canada, and his research has been supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health for the past two decades.


Dr. Fisher’s research involves creating and testing models of the psychological determinants of human sexual and reproductive health behavior.  For two decades, Dr. William Fisher, together with his brother, Dr. Jeffrey Fisher (Mt. Lebanon High School Class of 1967), has collaborated on research concerning HIV risk and HIV preventive behavior, interventions to promote safer sex, and adherence to antiretroviral therapy among HIV+ persons, as well as work on contraceptive utilization and male and female sexual function.


Dr. Fisher has devoted his career to reducing the incidence of HIV infection throughout the world and has acted as consultant to public health organizations in Africa, Asia, Europe, Canada, and the United States.  Dr. Fisher is the 2007 recipient of the Hellmuth Award for Achievement in Research from the University of Western Ontario.



Richard T. Minnotte Class of 1972
Richard Minnotte is the founder of the nationally renowned Mt. Lebanon Percussion Program and a recipient of “This Town Would Be Different Without” Award by Mt. Lebanon Magazine.  In his professional career, Mr. Minnotte is the Senior Manager for Operations at the Federal Aviation Administration’s Control Tower, located at the Pittsburgh International Airport, where he has been employed for the past 26 years.


Richard Minnotte received his Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Music Education from Duquesne University.  Even while working full time as a professional Air Traffic Controller, Rick has managed to create one of the most innovative and comprehensive percussion programs in the country.  The Percussion Ensemble has performed at numerous prestigious events including three appearances at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Annual Conference, a 2006 performance in Salt Lake City for the Music Educator’s National Convention, and a 2007 concert at the National Percussion Festival in Indianapolis.  Mr. Minnotte has just recently been informed that the Mt. Lebanon Percussion Ensemble has been selected to again perform at the national Percussion Festival in March of 2009.  The Mt. Lebanon High School percussion program is recognized as one of the best high school programs in the nation. 


Mr. Minnotte was hired by the Mt. Lebanon School District in 1973 as the Assistant Director of the Blue Devils Marching Band.  In 1978, after graduating from Duquesne University, he joined the Mt. Lebanon School District full time as an Elementary School Band Director.  He retired from this position in 1982 to become an Air Traffic Controller.  After a brief absence to attend Air Traffic Control School, he returned to Mt. Lebanon as Director of Percussion and began building the Mt. Lebanon Percussion program.  The 2008/2009 school year marks Mr. Minnotte’s 35th year of instructing the Blue Devils Marching Band and the 25th Anniversary of the Mt. Lebanon Percussion Program.  Mr. Minnotte gives back to the community every year by taking the Percussion Ensemble “on tour” during the holiday season, scheduling performances at local churches, nursing homes, and for the past 12 years, at the KDKA-TV/Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund Telethon.  The ensemble has also performed at Carnegie Museum, Heinz Hall and the State Capitol.


In the words of former student Jeremy Smith, “His dedication to the students of Mt. Lebanon is unparalleled….I owe so much of who I am to Rick.  My character, work ethic, career, and general success are all due largely to that fact the he took an interest in me and ….I am only one of his students.  The impact he has had on his students and the Mt. Lebanon community is far reaching.  There are countless examples of him helping students find jobs, visiting them, mentoring them.  He is truly a remarkable man.”


Donald Moore Class of 1958
Don Moore attended the University of Pittsburgh and Robert Morris College where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration.  He worked as a CPA for D. G. Sisterson and Company and Arthur Young and Company before starting his own CPA practice.

Don Moore has an outstanding record in service to others. He has been the volunteer treasurer and member of the Board of Directors of the Mt. Lebanon Blue Devil Club since 1984.  He is a member of the Scholarship Committee that yearly selects a student athlete to be awarded the Blue Devil Club Scholarship.  Don has over 7000 hours of volunteer time for the South Hills Chorale, including being a singing member for 23 years; financial advisor and Executive Board member for 18 years; and principal fundraiser organizer in 2007.  Additionally, he has served as the volunteer treasurer and member of the Board of Directors for the Mt. Lebanon Baseball Association for over 20 years.  He volunteered as treasurer of the Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church.  Don served as volunteer chairman of the audit committee of the William D. McIlroy Masonic Lodge No. 269 for 10 years where he has been a member for 47 years. 

As evidence of his service to his community, Don was the recipient of “This Town Would Be Different Without” Award in the year 2000, given by Mt. Lebanon Magazine.  He also was the recipient of the Blue Devil Youth Appreciation Award, which is given to an individual who shows dedication to Mt. Lebanon’s athletics by donating time and demonstrating commitment.  Don has not missed a high school football game – home or away- in 42 years, and helps sell programs and 50/50 tickets at all home games.  He makes a point of visiting clients who area in nursing or retirement homes during the holidays.  Don is actively involved with his 1958 Mt. Lebanon graduating class and assists with planning of reunions, including his 50th reunion to be held this October.  As eloquently stated by Art Walker, former Mt. Lebanon Athletic Director and football coach, “He supports all of the players on every team.  He also supports the coaches and parents.  Every community should be so lucky to have a Don Moore.  He is the cornerstone of the Blue Devil Club.”


Wayne Nicholas Class of 1959
For nearly 20 years Wayne Nicholas worked as managing editor of The Bolivar Commercial, a small newspaper in the Mississippi Delta.  During that time he won approximately 100 national and state awards for excellence in journalism.  Before his retirement in 2005, the Mississippi Press Association chose him as the top editorial writer in the state. 


In the 1960s, Wayne served as a combat correspondent for the 4th Infantry Division in Dak To, Vietnam and eventually became editor of the division’s newspaper in Tokyo, Japan.  He was at Dak To, Vietnam during a battle in which 376 American soldiers were killed and 1,441 wounded.  He was awarded the Bronze Star medal for “outstanding meritorious service…against a hostile force” for his coverage of the Battle of Dak To.  In the 1980s, before coming to Mississippi, he worked as a reporter for The Charlotte Observer.  While there, he started a street ministry in nearby Gastonia, North Carolina and eventually established a street shelter for the homeless.


Mr. Nicholas has won national and state awards or honors including the Mississippi Press Association’s J. Oliver Emmerick Award in 2003, which is given to the top editorial writer in Mississippi; the University of Florida Brechner Award from the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information for his editorials on freedom of the press; the George Washington Honor Medal for an editorial on prayer from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge in 1994.  In addition to his journalism achievements, fifty years after graduating from Mt. Lebanon High School, Wayne graduated from the Lay Ministers Training Institute of the Southern District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.



John P. Surma Class of 1972
John Surma is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of United States Steel Corporation.   He began his career by joining Price Waterhouse LLP in 1976 and in 1981, served in the Manchester, England office of the Price Waterhouse United Kingdom firm.  In 1987, he was admitted to the partnership.  In 1983, he participated in the President’s Executive Exchange Program in Washington, D.C., where he served as Executive Staff Assistant to the Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.  In 1997, Mr. Surma joined Marathon Oil Company as Senior Vice President, Finance & Accounting.  He was appointed President, Speedway SuperAmerica LLC in 1998, and Senior Vice President, Supply & Transportation for Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC (MAP) in 2000.  He was named President of MAP in 2001.


Effective with the separation from USX Corporation, Mr. Surma became Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer of United States Steel Corporation on January 1, 2002.  He was named President in March 2003, and President and Chief Operating Officer in June 2003.  He was elected President and Chief Executive Officer in 2004 and Chairman of the Board of directors and Chief Executive Officer in February 2006.


Mr. Surma is a member of the Board of Directors of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation.  He serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Iron and Steel Institute and held the title of Chairman from 2006-2007.  He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the American Iron and Steel Institute and previously served as chairman and vice chairman of the organization.  Mr. Surma is also a member of the National Association of Manufacturers’ Board of Directors and also serves as a member of the National Petroleum Council.

Additionally, he is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Allegheny County Parks Foundation, and he is a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development; the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business Board of Visitors; and the Pennsylvania State University’s Board of Trustees and its Smeal College of Business Board of Visitors.


While a student at Mt. Lebanon High School, John Surma was one of the founding members of the inaugural Mt. Lebanon High School Varsity Ice Hockey Team which captured the first high school ice hockey varsity championship in Western Pennsylvania in 1972.  After graduating from Mt. Lebanon High School, Mr. Surma received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Penn State University.  In 2005, Mr. Surma was also inducted into the Penn State University Ice Hockey Teams Hall of Fame.



Lorraine S. Wagner Class of 1955
Lorraine Sweeney Wagner has provided the greater Pittsburgh area with a lifetime of service and contributions since her graduation from Mt. Lebanon High School in 1955.  She served the broader community as dedicated Registered Nurse for many years at Mercy Hospital.  Lorraine left the hospital environment in 1976, but continued to utilize her nursing skills in various medical management positions in the Pittsburgh area.  In addition to serving the public in her career, Lorraine has volunteered in numerous ways to improve the lives of others.  In 1989 Lorraine and her husband Ken founded the Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh, a faith based ecumenical organization that serves persons of all faiths.  Emmaus provides permanent homes, respite and advocacy for persons with intellectual disabilities (mental retardation).  Lorraine still serves as Emmaus’ Executive Director and inspires everyone she meets with her dedication and spirit.


In 2000 the Lorraine and Ken Wagner Family was named Family of the Year by both the Knights of Columbus and ARC Allegheny in recognition for dedication and service to persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities.  The Emmaus Community received a citation from the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a Proclamation from the Pittsburgh City Council that Tuesday, October 18, 2005 be proclaimed as “The Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh Day” in recognition of the outstanding level of commitment to each resident in Emmaus’ care.  Lorraine is a recipient of the LaRoche College Thanksgiving Tuesday Award in recognition for service to the community.


In April 2008, Lorraine was recognized for promoting full inclusion of persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities in the Catholic Church and received the Recognition Award from the National Apostolate for Inclusion Ministry.

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