2003 Recipients

Elfrieda Soeffker Patton

Class Year: 1948
Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2003

After graduating from North Central with a major in psychology, Patton took a job with the FBI where she worked for 20 years. Even though her post-FBI activities include attending FBI conventions, she still finds community service immensely satisfying. She prepares meals for Meals on Wheels, volunteers at a shelter for mentally challenged women and children, and volunteers at the Altenheim Nursing Home. She remains involved with the American Association of University Women, serves as deaconess at Parma South Presbyterian Church in Parma Heights, Ohio, and serves on the boards of Meals on Wheels and Allenheim Nursing Home. She also chairs the Cleveland chapter of the Society of FBI Alumni. 

Robert Schroeder

Class Year: 1958
Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2003

Robert Schroeder is a committed public servant and has been a dedicated teacher of government and geography in the Naperville schools for some 30 years. Since 1988, he has been county commissioner in District 5 of the DuPage County Board. He currently serves as a member of the finance, public transit, storm water and economic development committees of the Board. For over 15 years, he has coordinated Christian education classes at Community United Methodist Church for Little Friends, an organization that serves children and adults with developmental, emotional and behavioral disabilities. Since 1990, he has been a volunteer with Public Action to Deliver Shelter, which addresses the needs of the homeless in DuPage County. In 1986, Robert and his wife, Nancy, established the Heyer-Schroeder Scholarship at North Central for students from Wisconsin.

Myron Wentz

Class Year: 1963
Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2003

In 2003, Myron Wentz '63 (H)’11, Ph.D, was honored for his life work in researching the effects of the environment on human cells and for founding three successful enterprises: USANA Health Sciences in Salt Lake City; Gull Laboratories, also in Salt Lake City; and Sanoviv Medical Institute in Rosarito Beach, Mexico.

After graduating from North Central, Wentz pursued a Ph.D. in microbiology, with a specialty in immunology, from the University of Utah. "I've been recognized many times in the sciences and in business — it comes with age," he said from Taiwan, upon accepting the Outstanding Alumni Award in 2003. “I value this award immensely and I'm deeply touched."

Wentz has made a significant impact on the North Central College campus, pledging $10 million to the Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center (which opened in 2008). In 2017, he made another substantial and extraordinary gift to the name the College’s newest academic facility, the Dr. Myron Wentz Science Center. The dedication: October 20, 2017.

“I thought it was important for this science center to bear the name of a scientist,” said Wentz. “I’m a testament to the fact that North Central College students can go on to become successful scientists and entrepreneurs.”

Wentz has been honored with the 2007 Albert Einstein Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Life Sciences and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Children’s Hunger Fund for his philanthropic and humanitarian efforts. He has also worked with the Children’s Hunger Fund to create five medical centers in Africa and Asia for impoverished and orphaned children. He is also a New York Times best-selling author.

Obrad Kesic

Class Year: 1988
Alumni Recognition Award Winner 2003

Obrad Kesic is a senior partner with TSM Global Consultants LLC, a Washington, D.C. firm providing business consulting services and government affairs representation to American companies interested in doing business with Russia, Eastern Europe and the Balkans. TSM also offers the same services to international companies interested in doing business with the United States. Kesic has enjoyed a successful and wide-ranging career in international relations. In 1999, he traveled to Yugoslavia with Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition to assist in negotiations for the release of three U.S. prisoners of war held by the Yugoslav Army. The group was successful and Kesic received the Rainbow Coalition/Operation Push Peace Award for his assistance in this successful mission. Kesic has authored more than three dozen essays, articles and research papers. Kesic has served as commentator and analyst for American and international media including CNN, 60 Minutes, BBC, NPR and The Lehrer News Hour.