The Lane Tech Alumni Association Hall of Fame was created to increase awareness and broaden recognition of the accomplishments of Lane Tech graduates. Inductees have made exceptional contributions to the greater good and have inspired us all to live out our motto:
Wherever you go, whatever you do, remember the honor of Lane.
Each inductee has achieved a level of excellence in their specific field that brings distinction and honor to themselves, and in turn to their alma mater. Induction into the Alumni Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed upon an alumnus or alumna by the Lane Tech Alumni Association.
2022-23 Hall of Fame Inductees
Class of 1941
Creating prosthetics for wounded WWII veterans at Hines VA Hospital started John Chambers on a truly unique career path culminating with an Academy Award in 1969 for his groundbreaking work as the makeup artist for the “Planet of the Apes” franchise. He also created makeup for “The Munsters”, Mr. Spock’s famous ears, and many other films and television shows. He played a key role in the CIA-led rescue mission of six diplomat-refugees during the Iran Hostage Crisis and was portrayed in the film “Argo” by actor John Goodman. His collaboration with the CIA continued after the mission, and his work is included in the American Spy Museum.
George J. Efstathiou, FAIA RIBA
Class of 1969
As a Partner in the world-renowned architecture & engineering firm of Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Efstathiou was the design team leader on projects in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, South America, Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. He was the Chief Architect of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and several other towers in the Middle East. He was named as one of the most influential architects and Architect of the Year in the Middle East. He was honored with Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects and is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Major General Ronald L. Johnson
Class of 1972
Ronald Johnson was an early, natural leader as Vice President of his class, JROTC Brigade Commander and recipient of the prestigious Bronze Cross Legion of Valor award. After graduating from West Point he embarked on a stellar, 32-year military career, including executing the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund Program. He also led the Army Corp of Engineers in the reconstruction efforts for the gulf-coast after Hurricane Katrina. After retirement, Johnson was recruited to re-engineer officiating performance standards at the NBA. Today he is Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Faculty Leadership Fellow at Georgia Tech.
Coach Jack Leese
Class of 1949
Sports executive, official, coach and philanthropist, Leese is a football and wrestling icon in Illinois. As coach, he holds the winningest record in history at East Leyden High School, including a state title in 1977. His influence stretches far and wide, having coached hundreds of athletes including Mike Shanahan, former Denver Broncos Head Coach. He is an inductee in the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame, plus the Halls of Fame for Illinois Coaches & Officials, Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials, Illinois Football Coaches, and National Wrestling. A loyal alumnus of Lane Tech and Northwestern, Leese helped start the Lane Tech ‘49ers group.
2021-22 Hall of Fame Inductees
Class of 1980
Tracy Baim was the co-publisher of the Chicago Reader who guided the weekly newspaper to non-profit status in 2022 and is the co-founder of Windy City Times. Baim received the 2013 Chicago Headline Club Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2014, she was inducted into the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists Hall of Fame. She is also in the Association for Women Journalists-Chicago Chapter Hall of Fame and the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame. She is a film producer and the author/co-author of 13 books.
Class of 1975
Cousin has graced Forbes “100 Most Powerful Women” list, TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” list, and the list of the “500 Most Powerful People on the Planet” by Foreign Policy magazine. As one of the first female students at Lane, this trailblazer’s career has focused on global agriculture and food insecurity. Cousin served as Executive Director of the UN World Food Program from 2012-2017. Prior to that, she was U.S. Ambassador to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture.
David F. James
Class of 1941
David James was an original Tuskegee Airmen, flying combat missions over Europe during WWII. He was the first African American attorney hired by the ABA and served as Illinois Deputy Director for the War on Poverty which led to the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. James was the first African American homeowner in Winnetka and worked tirelessly to improve race relations through various organizations including TWIG summer camp for youth from the city and north shore, which he founded and remains active today.
Jack T. Nelson
Class of 1915
One of the things that makes Lane unique is our school song, Go Lane Go! Surprisingly, many Laneites are unaware that it is an original composition written by Jack T. Nelson, Class of 1915. Nelson was the assistant conductor of the orchestra and manager of the Glee Club, as well as one of the first editors of the school newspaper. His song debuted on December 15,1914 and was quickly adopted by the student body. Go Jack Go!
Dr. Kurt Sacksteder
Class of 1971
As Deputy Chief Technologist at NASA Glenn Research Center, Sacksteder has dedicated his 40-year career to aerospace innovations that predict the effects of extreme environments on aerospace materials. Microgravity combustion systems, equipment for planetary surface mining, and sustainable energy storage systems called Thermal Wadis are just a few of the breakthrough projects Sacksteder has coordinated. The results of his work enable NASA to explore the Moon and Mars more efficiently and for longer periods of time.
Class of 1947
Winiarski is a Napa Valley resident, former winery owner/winemaker, grape grower, and philanthropist. He and wife, Barbara, co-founded Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in 1970 and their first commercial release, the 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon, edged out French top Bordeaux wines and took first place for red wines at the Judgment of Paris tasting in 1976. A bottle of his winning wine is part of the Smithsonian’s permanent collection.
This inaugural list represents the alumni installed on the Lane Tech Wall of Fame between 1990 and 2008:
James Ascot, 1969
Franz Benteler, 1943
William J. Cormack, 1951
Anna Davlantes, 1988
Admiral Robert F. Dunn, 1946
John Gianopulos, 1949
Evon Greanias, 1940
John Herrera, 1974
Bernard Joseph, 1940
Robert Juengling, 1958
General Donald Kutyna, 1951
Chuck Logan, 1960
Aloysius Mazewski, 1934
Harrell McDemmond, 1938
Admiral Richard W. Mies, 1962
Edgar Muenzer, 1945
Frederick Douglass “Fritz” Pollard, 1912
Marty Robinson, 1950
Mitchell L. Saranow, 1953
John Schwan, 1961
Ted Schwartz, 1971
Howard K. Soehrmann, 1941
John C. Stetson, 1938
Phil Cavaretta 1930-1934
Carl Giammarese 1962-1965
Francesco LoVecchio (Frankie Laine) 1926-1930
Johnny Weissmuller 1918
Carl Barnickol: PE Faculty, Coach, Athletic Director who established intramural sports and the Letterman’s Club
William Bogan: First Principal of Lane Tech, Superintendent of Chicago Public Schools
Mina Del Castillo: Architecture Faculty, first woman certified to teach technical subjects in Chicago
Maurice Golden: Music Faculty, Band Director
William Lewis ‘53: Chemistry Faculty, Cross Country and Track & Field Coach including the 1974 State Championship team
Percy Moore: PE Faculty, Coach, known as Mr. Baseball, he guided 85 players into the minor leagues and 10 players into the MLB, including Phil Cavaretta
All LTAA members are welcome to nominate a classmate, fellow alumnus, or even themselves. The LTAA Hall of Fame Committee and the Board of Directors will determine the finalists. Inductees will have demonstrated exceptional contributions in their fields and exemplify our Champion spirit.
Inductees will be named each year on March 15th, the birthdate of Albert Grannis Lane.