Conley, an Irish American, was born south of Chicago in Chicago Heights, Illinois, the daughter of Melba (née Manthey) and Raymond Conley. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Conley was employed with the traveling theater group the Chicago Uptown Circuit Players and Playwrights Company.

She earned a bit part in the movie The Birds, which was followed by similar small roles in movies like Valley of the Dolls and Lady Sings the Blues. Darlene also appeared in the first episode of the fifth season of The Mary Tyler Moore Show as a prison warden.

Anthony J. DeLuca is a member of the Illinois House of Representatives who has represented the 80th district since his appointment in March 2009 to succeed George Scully, who was appointed to the Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County.

The Southland based district includes all or parts of Homewood, Flossmoor, Chicago Heights, Park Forest,South Chicago Heights, University Park, Frankfort, Manhattan and Symerton, Illinois.

Before being appointed to that position, he served as mayor of Chicago Heights, Illinois, since 2003. 

Mickey Spagnola '71 , a former sportswriter for the now-defunct Dallas Times Herald, serves as the feature writer for, tracking the daily activities of the Dallas Cowboys. Mickey writes articles and blogs for the site but also hosts "Talkin' Cowboys", one of two daily radio shows broadcast exclusively on However, during the offseason, "Talkin' Cowboys" usually airs only once a week.

Spagnola used to make several daily appearances (one on each weekday show), known as "The Ranch Report", on Dallas radio station KTCK 1310 AM, "The Ticket". This report provided listeners with general information on the Cowboys' daily activities. He now reports news and provides insight on a similar show known as "The Valley Ranch Report" for Dallas radio station KRLD-FM 105.3 "The Fan".

Spagnola hails from Chicago Heights,  and was from the class of 1971, and is a graduate of the University of Missouri.

Ricky Rydell Dillard (born February 25, 1965) is an American gospel musician. He started his music career, in 1991, with the release of, Promise, by Muscle Shoals Records. His second album, A Holy Ghost Take-Over, was released in 1993 by Malaco Records. The next album, Hallelujah, was released by them in 1995. Crystal Spring Records released, 1996's Work It Out, 2000's No Limit, and Unplugged in 2004. With EMI Gospel, he released, 7th Episode, that came out in 2007. He released, Keep Living, with Light Records in 2011. His next release, Amazing, came out in 2014 with Entertainment One Music.

All of his albums charted on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart. His No Limit album charted on the Christian Albumschart, and the album Unplugged charted on the Independent Albums chart along with the releases Keep Living, andAmazing that also charted on The Billboard 200. He was nominated at the Grammy Awards twice, the first time in theBest Contemporary R&B Gospel Album category at the 34th Annual Grammy Awards for Promise, and the second time would come at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards in the category Best Gospel Album for Amazing.

Rydell was born on February 25, 1965, in Chicago, Illinois, as Ricky Rydell Dillard. His mother and grandmother imparted to him a love of gospel music, and he was raised in the church singing in the choir at five years old, and eventually got the opportunity to direct the youth choir at St. Bethel Baptist Church. He graduated in 1983 from Bloom Township High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois.

Terry Boers is the co–host of a weekday afternoon sports talk radio show in Chicago.
David S. Broder was a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, author, and television commentator. He was a White House correspondent and a political columnist for the Washington Post.
Jim Bouton is a former Major League Baseball pitcher (1962–70, 78), playing most of his career for the New York Yankees. He is also an author (Ball Four).

Luke Butkus, NFL assistant coach, graduate of Bloom Trail.
Jerry Colangelo is a sports mogul; former owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, and Arizona Rattlers. He is currently the national director of USA Basketball, and is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Eddie Condon, jazz musician and bandleader.
Ricky Dillard, gospel singer.
Mike Downey has been a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.
Tom Erikson is a NCAA All-American wrestler and mixed martial artist.
Wally Flager was a shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds.
Cory Hardrict, actor, graduate of Bloom Trail.
Debbie Halvorson is a former US Congresswoman, who represented Illinois's 11th congressional district.
Lynn Hamilton is an actress, best known for her work on television (Sanford and Son, The Waltons, Roots: The Next Generations).
Leroy Jackson was a running back for Western Illinois and the Washington Redskins. He was a three-time winner of the Illinois state championship in the 100 meter dash from 1956-58.
Jan Johnson is a former pole vaulter who won the bronze medal at the 1972 Olympics.
Carol Mann is a former LPGA golfer.
Jeff Slade , NBA player for the Chicago Zephyrs
Derrick Walker, Bloom class of 1985, was the Chicago Sun-Times Athlete of the Year, played football for the University of Michigan, was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 1989 and later played for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Bryant Young is a former defensive lineman (1994–2007) for the San Francisco 49ers. He is a member of the NFL 1990s All–Decade Team.

For more than half a century, Broder reported on every presidential campaign, beginning with the 1956 Eisenhower–Stevenson race. Known as the "dean" of the Washington, D.C., press corps, Broder made over 400 appearances on NBC's Meet the Press.

Upon Broder's death in March 2011, President Barack Obama called him the "most respected and incisive political commentator of his generation."


                                                                                          WILLIE MAE

                                                                                          (Mother of Larry McCoy '71 and Robert McCoy '76)





by Roger Ebert

The Golden Path leads past the offices of Camp Henry Horner and a rental agency, down an antiseptic corridor done in granite and janitor pink, and leads finally to a glass door announcing Irene F. Hughes, ESP. By Appointment Only.

The woman who opened the door looked as if perhaps she should be renting things or planning activity time at Camp Henry Horner. But Babe Ruth didn't look like a ball player, and so I followed Mrs. Hughes, slim, with tinted hair, attractive, in her late 30s, past a reception desk and into her office.

Chicago's own resident psychic looks otherwise like a Chicago Heights housewife, which she is. "People expect, oh, I don't know what," she said, "but the fact is I'm perfectly normal except for my ESP abilities. For that matter, everyone possesses ESP ability, so there you are." Mrs. Hughes first became aware of her psychic gifts at the age of 4, when the fairies took her up into the attic, but it was not until 1959 that she set up shop in a professional sort of way, and she has been in her Loop office with adjoining classroom only since 1963.

Housing developer Elzie Higginbottom, Jr. was born on November 24, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois to Elzie Higginbottom, Sr. and Katherine Skaggs Higginbottom. His parents instilled entrepreneurial and service values within him. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1965 with his B.A. degree in Agricultural Economics and was an accomplished athlete in men’s track and field. In 1963, he was named NCAA outdoor All-American, placing fifth in the 440-yard dash in national competition. He also won Big Ten indoor titles in the 440. Higginbottom was a three-time Big Ten champion, anchoring the mile relay to a conference title in 1962. He also held the University of Wisconsin records in the indoor and outdoor 440-yard dash for more than 20 years. Higginbottom was later honored by the university with the “distinguished alumni award.” All of his success as a track athlete taught him how to focus and discipline himself, which proved invaluable in his real estate endeavors.

Elzie Higginbottom 

Dr. Terri L. Winfree is the 14th President of Prairie State College (PSC) and began her presidency on May 19, 2013.

Dr. Winfree is uniquely suited to serving as president of PSC since she began her career at the college first as a student, then as a part-time employee, and then moved through a succession of positions at the college, culminating as president. This long association with both PSC and the community it serves means she brings to the post a wealth of experience and extensive knowledge of the area.

Dr. Winfree’s presidency also is unique because she celebrates a number of firsts: she is the first woman president of the college, the first PSC graduate to be named

president, and the first person in her immediate family to attend college.

Dr. Winfree has demonstrated strong communication and leadership skills during her career at PSC, which started in 1998 as a part-time employee teaching non-credit computer classes and serving as the coordinator of career training programs. Next, she was named manager of the Matteson Area Center from 1998 to 2000; she served as associate dean, continuing professional education from 2000-2004; and then was named dean continuing professional education from 2004 to 2007. She was named vice president of community and economic development in
2007, and served in that capacity until she was selected as president in 2013. Dr. Winfree also has been an adjunct faculty member at Governors State University and St. Francis University. 

She was also a member of the first graduating class of Bloom Trail High School. Dr. Winfree’s story is similar to many PSC students – she started her career at PSC as a part time, adult student, and as a first generation college student.


Lon Helton  '68

Lon's country radio career began in 1971. He spent 12 years as both personality and programmer at KLAK/Denver, WMAQ/ Chicago, and KHJ/Los Angeles. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Country Music Association, and has served as President and Chairman. 

Lon was named the CMA's National Broadcast Personality of the Year in 2002, 2004 and 2006. Lon was inducted into the Country Radio DJ Hall of Fame in 2006. Lon has been recognized as country radio's best-known star interviewer.



Paris Barclay, television producer and director, Sons of Anarchy
Jim Bouton, pitcher for New York Yankees, Seattle Pilots, Houston Astros, and Atlanta Braves; author of Ball Four

Don Brumm, defensive lineman with NFL's St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles
Luke Butkus, lineman for University of Illinois, coach for NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars
Eddie Condon, jazz musician
Jon Debus, Major League Baseball coach
Colin Egglesfield, actor
Rube Ehrhardt, pitcher for Cincinnati Reds
Wally Flager, shortstop for Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies
Phil Guy, blues guitarist
Debbie Halvorson, United States Congresswoman
Rodney Harrison, safety for San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots, two-time Super Bowl champion; NFL television analyst
Craig Hodges, shooting guard for five NBA teams, two-time NBA champion with Chicago Bulls
John Holecek, linebacker for NFL's Buffalo Bills
Irene Hughes, psychic, television personality
Leroy Jackson, 3-time 100 yard dash state champion 1956-58, Washington Redskins running back
Jan Johnson, pole vaulter, 3-time NCAA champion, bronze medalist at 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich
Dennis Kelly, offensive tackle with Philadelphia Eagles
Todd Krygier, left wing for Hartford Whalers, Washington Capitals, and Anaheim Ducks
Christy Mack, actress and model
Carol Mann, Hall of Fame golfer on LPGA tour[citation needed]
Ernie McMillan, 15-year offensive lineman for NFL's St. Louis Cardinals
Johnny Mince, clarinetist, played with Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and other big bands
John Mosca, decorated US Army soldier; restaurateur of Mosca's in Louisiana[11]
Johnny Pate, jazz musician and music producer
Ted Pawelek, catcher for Chicago Cubs
Mark Pfeil, pro golfer
Bret Prinz, pitcher for Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels, and Chicago White Sox
Mike Prior, defensive back for Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Indianapolis Colts, and Green Bay Packers, Super Bowl champion (Super Bowl XXXI)
Shonda Rhimes, television creator, writer and producer, Scandal, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice
Bret Saberhagen, pitcher for Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, Colorado Rockies, and Boston Red Sox; 1985 World Series champion and Cy Young Awardwinner
Olayinka Sanni, basketball player for WNBA's Phoenix Mercury
John F. Stossel, consumer reporter with Fox News, investigative journalist
Albert Tocco, organized crime figure
Ted Uhlaender, outfielder for Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians, and Cincinnati Reds
Tyler Ulis, basketball player for Kentucky
Derrick Walker, tight end for San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, and Kansas City Chiefs
Lloyd Walton, point guard for Marquette and the Milwaukee Bucks
Tom Wieghaus, catcher for Houston Astros and Montreal Expos
Julian Wright, small forward for Kansas, two NBA teams and several European teams
Bryant Young, 4-time All-Pro defensive tackle for San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowl champion (Super Bowl XXIX)
Walter Young, wide receiver for Pittsburgh Steelers
Bart Zeller, catcher for St. Louis Cardinals, minor-league manager and coach


In 2002 he renegotiated McNabb’s Eagles contract which became the largest contract in NFL history at $115,000,000 over 12 years, including a record $20.5 million signing bonus. That year, Smith and the football department negotiated over $130.06 million in free agent and rookie contracts including $43.4125 million in total signing bonus dollars.

Broder won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1973 and was the recipient of numerous awards and academic honors before and after

David L. Broder



Cavallo, through his company, Midwest Energy Performance Analytics, Inc., provides testing, planning and technical support services to clients seeking to reduce energy use in residential, commercial and institutional buildings, the release said. He also worked at Argonne National Laboratory and has created workshops for the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Energy

Each Hall of Fame member will be honored with a bronze plaque to be displayed in the Dr. James D. Steckel Learning Center at Bloom

Wagner, Jr. is a recognized authority in the real estate appraisal field. In addition to owning his own company since 1970, Wagner has taught courses in appraising and has lectured at institutions that include the University of Colorado, Southern Methodist University and Northern Illinois University

Apratiis the chief of staff for Chicago Heights Mayor David Gonzalez and has been an award-winning television personality and producer, TV and radio program host, and media consultant, the release said. She won three Chicago Emmy Awards, including one for "Anchor of Hope," her autobiographical documentary on breast cancer awareness, which also earned her a National Television Award (TELLY)

Higginbottom, Jr. is president of East Lake Management and Development Corp., a firm he founded that has developed residential, commercial and institutional properties throughout the Midwest, the release said. Higginbottom was an outstanding University of Wisconsin athlete, setting records in the 440-yard dash and winning Big Ten Conference track titles and being named an NCAA All-American in 1963.

Fletcher Smith III is founder and owner of Blueprint Management Group, LLC, a sports management, marketing and consulting group that represents and manages the careers of professional athletes. To date, Smith has negotiated more than $700 million in athlete contracts

Reynolds, retired as professor emeritus in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is known for his work studying interstellar matter in the Milky Way Galaxy, according to the release. Reynolds devoted much of his career to designing and building spectrometers for galactic astronomy, which resulted in the discovery of a hidden Milky Way feature, ionized hydrogen, it said. This finding of the gas, now often called the Reynolds layer, earned Reynolds an award from the American Astronomical Society (AAS),

Di Tommaso is a retired professor from the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Wayne State University in Detroit who earned recognition as a scholar and author during his 37-year teaching career


This year's inductees are Lisa Marie Aprati (Class of 1987), Jerry D. Blakemore (1972), James D. Cavallo (1968), Ricky Dillard (1984), Andrea di Tommaso (1956), Elzie Higginbottom, Jr. (1960), Ronald J. Reynolds (1961), Fletcher N. Smith III (1985) and Alvin L. Wagner, Jr. (1957)




CLASS OF  '52​



Terry Boers  ' 68

Boers '68 and Bernstein is an afternoon drive-time sports talk show on Chicago's WSCR hosted by former Chicago Sun-Times columnist Terry Boers and Dan Bernstein. The program airs weekday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m CST. The pairing debuted in 1999 and originally aired from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., then aired from 10a-2p and 2p-6p until moving to its current 1p-6p time slot in 2009, making it the longest-running sports talk program in Chicago.

Mike Downey (born August 9, 1951 in Chicago Heights, Illinois, and raised in the nearby village of Steger, Illinois) is a retired American newspaper columnist.

From 2003 to 2008, Downey wrote the "In the Wake of the News" column for the Chicago Tribune originated by Ring Lardner in 1913, replacing Skip Bayless in that position at the Tribune. He has also been a columnist in news, entertainment and sports for the Los Angeles Times, Detroit Free Press, Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. In retirement, he has written book reviews for the Times and columns for

Downey began a career in journalism at age 15 for a newspaper chain in the south suburbs of Chicago and graduated at 16 from Bloom Township High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois. He did not attend college. He has been a police reporter, entertainment writer, editor, critic and columnist and has covered national political conventions, murder trials and twelve Olympic Games. Among his assignments have been an America's Cup yacht race in Australia, tennis at Wimbledon, British Open golf in Scotland, the Tour de France bicycle race, Stanley Cup hockey finals in Montreal and World Cup soccer in Italy, as well as Pan-American Games competitions in Argentina and Cuba.

He also has been a columnist for The Sporting News and Sport Magazine and for 15 years wrote a humor column for Inside Sports magazine known as "The Good Doctor." He was a featured sports correspondent for KABC radio in Los Angeles and for WJR radio in Detroit and has often been a panelist on ESPN television's weekly talk show, The Sports Reporters. He is a voter for the Baseball Hall of Fame.


Deborah L. "Debbie" Halvorson is the former U.S. Representative for Illinois's 11th congressional district, serving from 2009 until 2011. Previously, she served in the Illinois Senate from 1997 through 2009. She is a member of the Democratic Party

Jennifer Ann Lien was born on August 24, 1974 in Chicago Heights, Illinois, USA, the youngest of three children. Encouraged by an English teacher along with a drama teacher, she joined the Illinois Theatre Center by the age of 13. There, she had roles in productions including "The Tempest" and "Othello". Jennifer first appeared in front of the cameras for an industrial film. She moved to New York by the age of 16 and got the part of "Hannah Moore" in the soap opera Another World (1964). Lien also landed roles in Phenom (1993) where she played "Roanne", American History X (1998), SLC Punk! (1998), Accidents Don't Happen (2001) and Star Trek: Voyager (1995), but she also did a lot of voice work, which includes The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride (1998), Men in Black: The Series(1997) and Battle Force: Andromeda (2003). In July 1996, Jennifer made a personal appearance at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, Illinois, where her mother, "Delores Lien", teaches classes. She enjoys reading, painting and playing the trombone. Jennifer is married to Phil Hwang and gave birth to a son named Jonah in 2002.

Debbie Halvorson grew up in Steger, Illinois and graduated from Bloom High School. She and her husband Jim Bush live in Crete and have four children and four grandchildren. She worked 13 years as a cosmetics saleswoman for Mary Kay before entering public service. She has degrees from Robert Morris College, Prairie State College and Governors State University (Bachelor of Arts and Master's in Communication). She became a sales representative, Crete Township Clerk, and an educator at the Governors State University.

Lynn Hamilton (born April 25, 1930) is an American actress who made her film debut in John Cassavetes' Shadows(1959).

She is best known for her recurring role as Donna Harris, a role she played on the sitcom Sanford and Son, from 1972 to 1977 as the Fred Sanford's girlfriend and fiancee. Donna was a nurse and sometimes took care of Fred.

In addition to Hamilton's work on Sanford and Son, she also had a recurring role as "Verdie" on The Waltons, and made numerous appearances in such television sitcoms, soap operas and miniseries as " Good Times," 227,Dangerous Women, Generations, Port Charles, The Golden Girls, and Roots: The Next Generations. Hamilton also had a recurring role as Judge Fulton on the The Practice.

Born in Chicago, Cory Hardrict attended Bloom Trail High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois. He began his career on television during the late 1990s, with appearances in weekly prime-time programs including Smart Guy, Felicity, Once and Again and ER. He made his film debut in 1999 romantic comedy Never Been Kissed, starring Drew Barrymore followed by a role in the drama Crazy/Beautiful (2001). Hardrict has also appeared in Creature Unknown (2004), Return of the Living Dead: Rave from the Grave (2005), Miles from Home (2006), and Driftwood (2006).  Cory has been working with Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino and American Sniper.  

Robert Paul Hanrahan (February 25, 1934 – January 7, 2011) is a former U.S. Representative from Illinois.

Born in Chicago Heights, Illinois, Hanrahan was educated in the public schools. He attended Thornton Community College (now South Suburban College) in Harvey, Illinois from 1952 to 1954. He earned a B.S. at Bowling Green State University in 1956, and a M.Ed. from there in 1959. He was a teacher, administrator, and guidance counselor from 1957 to 1967.

Darlene Conley (July 18, 1934 – January 14, 2007) was an American actress.

Conley's career spanned fifty years, but she was best known for her performances in daytime television, and in particular, for her portrayal of larger-than-life fashion industrialist Sally Spectra on The Bold and the Beautiful. Conley played the role from 1988 until her death nineteen years later. Darlene's character Sally is the only soap opera character to be displayed at Madame Tussaud's wax figures galleries in Amsterdam and Las Vegas.