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Cranbrook Schools has an international community of alumni, famous and anonymous, who are actively shaping the world—globally or locally, publicly or quietly. We invite you to meet some of our remarkable alumni by exploring the stories below. Check back often to see what new stories we will be sharing.

Alumni Stories
shaping the world one story at a time

2019 Distinguished Alumni

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  • Juan "Chuck" Alejos

    Class of 1979
    Medicine
    Director of Pediatric Heart Transplant/Cardiomyopathy Program at UCLA

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There are children in countries worldwide who are alive today because of the work of pediatric cardiologist Juan “Chuck” Alejos, M.D.
 
As medical director of the Pediatric Heart Transplant/Cardiomyopathy Program at UCLA’s Mattel Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, he provides advanced cardiac care for children of all ages. And he extends that skill to children thousands of miles away, traveling to South America each year to provide cardiac care for infants and young people in need.

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  • Cathy Sybert Olkin

    Class of 1984
    Aerospace
    Planetary scientist, Southwest Research Institute
    "New Horizons" mission to Pluto

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As a planetary scientist, Cathy Sybert Olkin, ’84, has taken the Cranbrook Schools motto of “aim high” to its most awe-inspiring conclusion.

Earlier this year, Olkin was part of NASA’s New Horizons mission that captured images of one of the most distant and primitive objects in our solar system. The snowman shaped mass, dubbed Ultima Thule, is providing a glimpse into the ways in which our planets may have been formed billions of years ago.


Celebrating Reunion 2019

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  • Alice Aspen March

    Class of 1949
    Radio/Television
    Host of national radio show, Attention Matters

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  • Hank Hoffman

    Class of 1959
    Military/Aviation
    USAF fighter pilot, commercial pilot

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  • Elizabeth Whittaker-Walker

    Class of 1999
    Education/Activism
    Founder of Raymond Whittaker Design
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  • Pero Dagbovie

    Class of 1989
    Higher Education
    Associate Dean of History, Michigan State University

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Alumni! Help us share more of your stories with the world.

Nominate your fellow alumni to be recognized here or elsewhere by emailing us at alumni@cranbrook.edu.

Our Alumni

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  • Jay Adelson

    Class of 1988
    Tech/Cybersecurity
    CEO of Simple GEO

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  • Aubrey Agee

    Class of 1992
    Business
    Senior Program Administrator of the Blackstone LaunchPad
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  • Michael Barone

    Class of 1962
    Politics
    Pundit and Political Commentator
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  • Bob Bemer

    Class of 1936
    Technology
    Computer pioneer, co-inventor of ASCII, named COBOL
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  • Charles Bigelow

    Class of 1963
    Design
    Type designer Lucida typeface
    Former professor of typography at Stanford University
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  • Sven Birkerts

    Class of 1969
    Humanities
    Author, Director of the Bennington College Writing Seminars

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  • Selma Blair

    Class of 1990
    Film
    Actor Cruel Intentions, Legally Blonde, and more


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  • Carole Brookins

    Class of 1961
    Law
    Member U.S. Council on Foreign Relations


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  • Shelley Buchanan

    Class of 1954
    Politics
    Former White House Staff member, wife of Pat Buchanan

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  • Robbie Buhl

    Class of 1982
    Sports
    Professional racecar driver
    Driving Skills Instructor

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  • Darnell Carr-Newsum

    Class of 1973
    Marketing
    Vice President, GfK MRI

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  • Abby Cohen

    Class of 2009
    Biomedical Engineering
    Inventor and CEO Sparo Labs


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  • Joel E. Cohen

    Class of 1961
    Mathematics
    Mathematical biologist
    Recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship Genius Award
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  • John Cohen

    Class of 1994
    Film
    Producer Angry Birds, Despicable Me

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  • Clifford Colwell

    Class of 1955
    Medicine
    Inventor of the "e-knee" prosthesis

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  • June Daisley Lockhart

    Class of 1938
    Fine Arts
    Sculptor

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  • Pete Dawkins

    Class of 1955
    Sports
    Heismann Trophy winner, Rhodes Scholar, former Army Brigadier General
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  • Jeffrey Dearth

    Class of 1968
    Journalism
    Former president and publisher of The New Republic magazine

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  • Amy Denio

    Class of 1979
    Music
    Auto-didact Musician
    Grammy Award nominee

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  • Dan Dickerson

    Class of 1976
    Sports
    Play-by-play announcer for the Detroit Tigers

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  • Rob Edwards

    Class of 1981
    Film
    Writer and Producer, Disney's Treasure Planet and Disney's Princess and the Frog
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  • Daniel Ellsberg

    Class of 1948
    Journalism
    Scholar, Anti-War Activist, Government Official

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  • Mary Fisher

    Class of 1966
    Political Activism
    Founder of Family AIDS Network


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  • Renee Elise Goldsberry

    Class of 1989
    Theater
    Tony Award Best Actress for Hamilton (orig. cast)
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  • Bing Gordon

    Class of 1968
    Technology
    CEO Emeritus of Electronic Arts (EA)
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  • Cicely Guenther Winter

    Class of 1966
    Music
    Co-founder of the Institute of Oaxacan Historic Organs
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  • Beth Hagenlocker

    Class of 1982
    Non-profit
    Co-founder, Detroit Creativity Project
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  • Martha Henry

    Class of 1955
    Film & Theater
    Leading actress at Stratford Festival in Canada
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  • Christopher Ilitch

    Class of 1983
    Business
    President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings

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  • Jonny Imerman

    Class of 1994
    Non-profit
    Founder and Chief Mission Officer of Imerman Angels

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  • Ward Just

    Class of 1953
    Journalism
    Pulitzer Prize finalist, National Book Award finalist, multiple O. Henry Award winner
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  • Glenn Kessler

    Class of 1988
    Film & Television
    Screenwriter and Producer


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  • Todd Kessler

    Class of 1990
    Film & Television
    Screenwriter, producer, director

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  • Brad Keywell

    Class of 1987
    Business
    Co-founder of Groupon, co-founder and director of MediaBank
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  • Michael Kinsley

    Class of 1968
    Journalism
    Journalist/Commentator
    Founder of Slate, former editor at the Los Angeles Times
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  • Florence Knoll Bassett

    Class of 1934
    Design
    Style pioneer, Former head of Knoll, National Medal of Arts
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  • Kathryn Kolbert

    Class of 1970
    Law
    Civil Rights Lawyer
    Former president of People for the American Way
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  • Ivan Krstic

    Class of 2004
    Tech/Cybersecurity
    Head of Apple Security Engineering and Architecture

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  • Alexi Lalas

    Class of 1988
    Sports
    Professional soccer player
    Former president of LA Galaxy
    Fox Sports commentator
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  • Barbara Lea

    Class of 1947
    Music
    American Jazz Singer


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  • Brad Leithauser

    Class of 1971
    Humanities
    Poet, Author
    MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship
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  • James Maas

    Class of 1956
    Social Science
    CEO Sleep for Success
    Coined the term "power nap"

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  • Ronald Machen

    Class of 1987
    Law
    U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia

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  • Bruce McCaul

    Class of 1957
    Physics
    President of Oxigraf, Inc.
    Former CEO of Molectron Corp

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  • Thomas McGuane

    Class of 1958
    Humanities
    American author of Ninety-Two in the Shade, The Missouri Breaks and many more
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  • Mimi McLoughlin

    Class of 1962
    Journalism
    Reporter & Editor, Newsweek
    Editor, US News & World Report

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  • Scott McNealy

    Class of 1972
    Technology
    Co-founder and CEO of Sun Microsystems

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  • Cathy Olkin

    Class of 1984
    Aerospace
    Planetary scientist, Southwest Research Institute
    "New Horizons" mission to Pluto
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  • Shelley Padnos

    Class of 1971
    Business/Sustainability
    Executive VP of PADNOS


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  • Bill Prady

    Class of 1977
    Television
    Writer & Producer of The Muppets, Big Bang Theory, Dharma & Greg
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  • Shelly Prillerman Harrell

    Class of 1978
    Psychology
    Graduate level professor at Pepperdine University
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  • Sorayouth Prompoj

    Class of 1969
    Politics
    Diplomat, Thailand's Ambassador to Germany
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  • David Rochkind

    Class of 1998
    Photography
    Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, founder Ground Media
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  • Ann Romney

    Class of 1967
    Philanthropy
    Author, Activist, Former First Lady of Massachusetts

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  • Mitt Romney

    Class of 1965
    Politics
    U.S. Senator for Utah, Former Governor of Masschusetts, 2012 GOP presidential nomineee
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  • Shima Roy

    Class of 1992
    Law
    International Litigation Attorney, named "Top Minority Lawyer Under 40"
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  • Laurie Rubiner

    Class of 1980
    Politics
    Chief of Staff for Richard Blumenthal

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  • Rick Schaden

    Class of 1982
    Business
    Co-founder of Smashburger
    Former CEO of Quiznos

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  • Ari Schwartz

    Class of 1989
    Politics/Technology
    Senior policy advisor for the National Institute for Standards & Technology
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  • Trabian Shorters

    Class of 1985
    Non-profit
    Vice President of Communities for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
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  • Douglas Sills

    Class of 1978
    Theater & Television
    Tony nominee Best Lead Actor in a Musical for The Scarlet Pimpernel
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  • Alan K. Simpson

    Class of 1950
    Politics
    United States Senator 1979-1997


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  • Kris Sirchio

    Class of 1983
    Business
    CEO of North American Breweries

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  • Elissa Slotkin

    Class of 1994
    Politics
    U.S. Representitive for Michigan's 8th District

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  • Paige Smith

    Class of 2004
    Design
    Senior Designer, Lilly Pulitzer

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  • Raymond Sokolov

    Class of 1959
    Journalism
    Cookbook author
    Food editor, New York Times
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  • Pamela Stump

    Class of 1946
    Art
    Sculptor, Civil Rights Advocate

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  • William Talman

    Class of 1932
    Film and Television
    Actor, best known for Perry Mason
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  • Robert Taubman

    Class of 1972
    Business
    CEO of Taubman Centers

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  • Darryl Taylor

    Class of 1977
    Dentistry/Education
    Director of Horizons-Upward Bound
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  • Casey Wellman

    Class of 2006
    Sports
    Professional Hockey player
    Minnesota Wild, Washington Capitals
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  • Tim Westergren

    Class of 1984
    Music/Technology
    Founder of Pandora® internet radio, Music Genome Project®

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  • Edmund White

    Class of 1958
    Journalism
    Award-winning author, Activist



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  • Tod Williams

    Class of 1961
    Architecture
    Award-winning architect, designer of Cranbrook's Williams Natatorium

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  • Bob Woodruff

    Class of 1979
    Journalism/Philanthropy
    Co-anchor and correspondent
    ABC World News Tonight
    Founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation
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  • Taro Yamasaki

    Class of 1964
    Photojournalism
    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for photojournalism


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  • Natalie Zemon Davis

    Class of 1945
    Humanities
    Author/Historian
    President of the American Historical Association
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Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303
(248) 645-3000