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Five graduates named Distinguished Alumni

Five graduates named Distinguished Alumni
Five graduates named Distinguished Alumni

STILLWATER, Minn. -- April 26, 2024 -- For their impressive accomplishments following graduation from Stillwater Area High School, five individuals have been announced as Distinguished Alumni. They join more than 100 others that have been honored with the distinction since the award was first given in 1987.

2024 Distinguished Alumni:
Greg Anderson - Class of 2000
John Kraemer - Class of 1961
Carol Ley, M.D., M.P.H. - Class of 1976
Roger A. Peterson - Class of 1954
Bishop Joseph Williams - Class of 1992

Greg Anderson
Since graduating from Stillwater Area High School, inductee Greg Anderson '00 went on to become an internationally renowned concert pianist, recognized as a world leader on the advancement of classical music. Anderson's creative approach has attracted new audiences to the genre with live tours across four continents and 24 countries, and has developed his multi-faceted career as a pianist, composer, and filmmaker. After attending Stillwater, Anderson received his Doctorate and Master of Musical Arts degrees from Yale University as well as a master's and bachelor's from The Juilliard School. 

John Kraemer 
Instrumental in the creation of the Stillwater Veterans Memorial and Minnesota Medal of Honor Memorial is inductee John Kraemer '61. A member of the Air National Guard during the Vietnam era, Kraemer has devoted his retirement to honoring his fellow veterans. He first submitted a list of former Stillwater students killed combat for the 1998 Distinguished Alumni nominations, who were honored collectively, before building the Stillwater Veterans Memorial on the site of the former high school in 2004. Kraemer was also a driving force behind the Minnesota Medal of Honor Memorial at the State Capitol, with a mission to develop character education for students.

Carol Ley, M.D., M.P.H.
As a national leader and specialist in Occupational and Preventative Medicine, inductee Carol Ley '76 has held positions of Vice President and Corporate Medical Director at international innovator 3M. Passionate about enhancing patient safety and healthcare quality, Ley chaired the National Patient Safety Foundation for many years and has made significant contributions to scientific publications, showcasing her dedication to advancing healthcare standards.

Roger A. Peterson
A founding partner of Peterson, Hudson & Co. accounting firm, inductee Roger A. Peterson '54 served the Stillwater community as a City Council member for 16 years. In addition to being an accountant for more than 50 years, Peterson served in the U.S. Army for two years and has been an advocate for preservation and environmental improvements. Following the Great Flood of 1965, Peterson helped create a flood plan along with city planners to protect downtown Stillwater, and has continued to be a life-long volunteer in the community.

Bishop Joseph Williams
Following his graduation from Stillwater Area High School, Bishop Joseph Williams '92 graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota - Morris, earned a philosophy degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville, earned a Masters of Divinity from The Saint Paul Seminary, and was ordained a priest at the age of 28. Appointed as an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis by Pope Francis in 2021, Bishop Williams is known for his outreach to the Latino and Spanish-speaking communities. He has worked to change negative cultural perceptions of undocumented immigrants, helping create a more inclusive church that reflects the diversity of its members.

Recognizing individuals that have placed a high priority on education and service to others, the Distinguished Alumni Award honors those that become role models for this and future generations. To be eligible, alumni must have graduated 10 years prior or more.

Since the award's inception by former Stillwater Area High School principal Dr. Jon Swenson in 1987, a committee selects honorees through a nomination process. Chosen Distinguished Alumni are honored annually at a reception prior to graduation and at the commencement ceremony. 

Celebration of this year's Distinguished Alumni begins with a banquet on Friday, May 31 at 5:30 p.m. at the Lake Elmo Inn Event Center. Get your tickets.

Find more on our 2024 inductees' impressive accomplishments and about past Distinguished Alumni on the alumni webpage.

For more information on Stillwater Area Public Schools, follow the district on Facebook and Instagram @stillwater834

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