ROCKFORD, Ill. — Boylan Catholic High School will honor nine individuals who embody the spirit and mission of the school at the 11th annual Alumni Recognition Awards taking place this Thursday, October 3 at 6:00 p.m. in the school’s Bachrodt Center.

The following awards will be conferred to celebrate the outstanding personal and professional achievements of members of the Boylan community:

  • The Veritas, the school’s highest honor, recognizes alumni who exemplify Boylan’s mission of service in their community. It will be conferred on Mike Tulley T’60. Mike worked at Liebovich Steel and Aluminum for almost forty years and was the first non-Liebovich to become president of the company. In addition to his admired professional career, Mike has served on numerous non-profit boards throughout the Rockford community, including the Northern Illinois Hospice Foundation, Rockford Area Crime Stoppers, Rockford ProAm, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Merit Commission, and YMCA of the Rock River Valley. Mike also currently serves on the Board of Consultors at Boylan.

  • Honorary Alumnus status, which is given to a non-graduate who demonstrates the same qualities as the Veritas recipient, will be conferred on Bill Thumm, Boylan’s former dean of students. Bill was a dedicated educator, administrator, and coach at Boylan for more than forty-five years.

  • The Outstanding Teacher Award, which is given each year to a current or past faculty member who has displayed exemplary dedication to their students, will be given to Louise Basile, chair of Boylan’s history department, a role she has had since 1999. Louise started teaching at Boylan in 1985 and has consistently been beloved by her students for her masterful teaching style, her ability to tie history to the present day, and her ability to use her lessons to prepare students for life after high school. Louise also serves as Boylan’s technology instruction coordinator and has been instrumental in Boylan’s cutting edge use of technology in the classroom.

  • The Alumni Excellence Award, given to alumni who make a difference in their community, church or business:

    • Paul Gaziano ’67, graduated cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law and is currently the federal defender branch chief of the Northern District of Illinois. He is also one of the founding members of the Rockford “100 Men Who Give a Damn,” a group whose mission is to support the future Rockford Family Justice Center. 

    • Dr. Bruce Trapp ’68, is the chairman of the department of neurosciences at Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute. Dr. Trapp’s career focus has been on Multiple Sclerosis, where he has made landmark discoveries into the potential cause of MS at the cellular level. He has published more than 230 peer-reviewed articles and contributed to several books. 

    • Karla Manarchy Clark ’77, is the author of six books - three novels, a book of short stories, and two children’s picture books. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

    • Melissa DeBruler Pratt ’87, is the co-owner of Beef-a-Roo restaurants in the Rockford area as well as the owner of Fleet Feet Rockford.

    • Virgil Abloh ’98, is one of the world’s leading fashion designers and creatives. He currently serves as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s men’s wear collection. He is the founder/CEO of Off-White, a Milan-based fashion label. Virgil was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2018. This summer, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago housed Virgil’s exhibition “Figures of Speech.”

  • The Young Alumnus Award, given to alumni who have graduated within the last fifteen years, will be conferred on Dr. Douglas Bartels ’07. After graduating from Boylan, Doug walked on to the Northwestern University football team. He would go on to earn a scholarship and start in twenty-four straight games. He graduated from Rush Medical College and is currently an orthopedic surgery resident at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

“The Boylan graduates honored during this year’s Alumni Recognition Awards are models for what we hope all our students will strive to be - saints, scholars, and champions - both in their professions and in the community around them,” said Boylan President Amy Ott. “We are incredibly proud to call them Titans.”

The Alumni Recognition Awards will be begin with a cocktail reception at 6:00 p.m. followed by the awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m. The event is open to all.




Boylan Catholic is a comprehensive, co-educational diocesan high school situated on 60 acres in the northwest section of Rockford, IL. The North Central Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges (AdvancED) and the Illinois State Office of Education accredit Boylan.

Boylan mission statement graphic


(815) 877-0531
4000 Saint Francis Drive
Rockford, Illinois 61103-1661

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