List of Benet Academy alumni

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Front entrance to Benet Academy on St. Joseph Circle

Benet Academy (often shortened to "Benet") is a co-educational, college-preparatory, Benedictine high school in Lisle, Illinois, United States, overseen by the Diocese of Joliet. Since its founding in 1887, notable alumni have included Olympic athletes, professional American football players, winners of Grammy and Academy Awards, and a former Illinois Attorney General.

An alumni directory compiled in 1937 reveals that older alumni have included members of the clergy, businessmen, physicians, educators, attorneys, musicians, and journalists.[1] For the 2010–11 school year, 1,333 students were enrolled at Benet.[2]

Most students come from Lisle, Downers Grove, and Naperville,[3] but students expected to graduate in 2013 come from 65 different schools and 34 different municipalities in DuPage and surrounding counties.[4]

Admission is competitive and primarily based on the High School Placement Test, a standardized test by Scholastic Testing Service, taken in January of applicants' eighth grade year (around age 13).[5] The Chicago Sun-Times ranked Benet one of the top ten high schools in the Chicago area in 2003,[3] and in 1999 Benet was one of two high schools in DuPage County, and 100 high schools nationwide, featured as an "Outstanding American High School" by U.S. News & World Report.[6]

Formerly known as the all-boys St. Procopius College and Academy, the school began to offer a remedial course, or a course designed to bring underprepared students to competency, to only two students on March 2, 1887. Enrollment grew to 30 high school students by 1947.[7] The academy began to operate independently from the college in 1957.[8] The all-girls Sacred Heart Academy, founded in 1926, operated nearby.[9] Due to dwindling enrollment and funding, St. Procopius Academy and Sacred Heart Academy merged in 1967 to form Benet Academy.[10]


Head shot of a blond woman looking to the right
Diablo Cody, Academy-Award-winning screenwriter and author
Nancy Johnson, Olympic gold medalist in air rifle
Dark-haired man shooting a basketball
Frank Kaminsky, current NBA player, while playing for the University of Wisconsin
James McManus, professional poker player

Former students with a — in the "Graduated" column did not graduate from Benet Academy.

Name Graduated Known for Citation(s)
Barron, RobertRobert Barron 1978 Priest of the Roman Catholic Church, author, scholar, and professor of theology at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles [11]
Baumgartner, SteveSteve Baumgartner 1969 Former professional American football player who played defensive end for the New Orleans Saints and the Houston Oilers [12]
Bickler, DaveDave Bickler 1971 Grammy winning rock singer and former lead singer of the group Survivor, who also sang the rock star role in Bud Light's award-winning ad campaign Real Men of Genius [11][13]
Biskupic, JoanJoan Biskupic 1974 USA Today journalist who covers the US Supreme Court and wrote biographies of Sandra Day O'Connor and Antonin Scalia [14]
Biskupic, Steven M.Steven M. Biskupic 1979 Former US Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin [15]
Cody, DiabloDiablo Cody 1996 Author of Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper and Oscar-winning screenwriter of Juno [16]
Drover, TimTim Drover 1988 Senior Editor of The Oprah Winfrey Show and five-time Daytime Emmy Award-winner [15]
Conrad, Robert J.Robert J. Conrad 1976 Chief Judge of the US District Court for the Western District of North Carolina [15]
DeCarlo, MarkMark DeCarlo 1980 Actor in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and Sex Sells: The Making of Touché also hosted the game show Studs [14][17][18]
Esposito, CameronCameron Esposito 2000 Stand-up comic, and actor known for Take My Wife on Seeso [19]
Fay, MeagenMeagen Fay 1975 Actress and former Second City comedian who has appeared in various television programs, including The Drew Carey Show [20]
Geraghty, MaritaMarita Geraghty 1980 Television and film actress; appearances include CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Seinfeld, and The Luck of the Irish, Groundhog Day, Don Juan DeMarco and Heidi Chronicles [21][22]
Johnson, NancyNancy Johnson 1992 Won the gold medal in the women's 10 metre air rifle at the 2000 Summer Olympics [15][23]
Kaminsky, FrankFrank Kaminsky 2011 Current center for the Charlotte Hornets and consensus national player of the year in NCAA Division I men's basketball in 2014–15 [24][25]
Lee, MikeMike Lee 2005 Professional boxer [26][27]
LeFevour, DanDan LeFevour 2005 Quarterback for Central Michigan University; he later played for his hometown Chicago Bears; now plays for the Hamilton Tiger Cats in Canada [28][29]
Lynch, JohnJohn Lynch 1960 President and CEO of the Broadcast Company of the Americas and a former linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers [15][30]
McCareins, JustinJustin McCareins Studied at Benet as a freshman only during the 1993–1994 school year and later played as a wide receiver for the Tennessee Titans and New York Jets; graduated from Naperville North High School [12][31]
McManus, JamesJames McManus 1969 Professional poker player and author of Positively Fifth Street [14][32]
Moser, PorterPorter Moser 1986 Head coach of men's basketball at Loyola University Chicago; former head coach at Illinois State University and University of Arkansas at Little Rock [33]
Murphy, BenBen Murphy 1960 Actor best known for his work on the television series Alias Smith & Jones [11]
Proft, DanDan Proft 1990 Political commentator and candidate in the 2010 Illinois gubernatorial election [34]
Ryan, JimJim Ryan 1964 Former Illinois Attorney General and candidate in the 2010 Illinois gubernatorial election [11]
Salpeter, GretaGreta Salpeter 2006 Lead singer and pianist for the band The Hush Sound [35]
Schaus, MollyMolly Schaus Studied at Benet as a freshman only during the 2002–2003 school year and later went on to compete in the US women's ice hockey team in the 2010 Winter Olympics; graduated from Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts [36][37]


  1. ^ Mizera, Peter F. (1969). Czech Benedictines in America: 1877–1961. Lisle, Illinois: Center for Slav Culture, St. Procopius College. pp. 175–76. OCLC 3379383. 
  2. ^ "School Information". Benet Academy. 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Grossman, Kate N.; Rossi, Rosalind (March 16, 2003). "At the head of the class: Top high schools' grads prepped for best colleges". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 16. 
  4. ^ Peterson, Patricia (2009). "Benet Connections". Benet Connections. Benet Academy (Fall 2009). 
  5. ^ Lenz, Linda (October 28, 1986). "Benet gets into the ACT, touts scores". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 40. 
  6. ^ Amy Boerema (March 20, 2004). "Retiring principal puts students first". Daily Herald. Arlington Heights, Illinois. p. 1. 
  7. ^ Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Illinois (1947). Illinois: a descriptive and historical guide. American guide series. Chicago, IL: AC McClurg. p. 544. ISBN 1-60354-012-1. 
  8. ^ Illinois Benedictine College Communication Office (June 1975). "Chronological Development of St. Procopius College/Illinois Benedictine College" (PDF). Illinois Benedictine College Development Office. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 7, 2010. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  9. ^ Čada, Joseph (1964). Czech-American Catholics, 1850–1920. Chicago: Benedictine Abbey Press, under the auspices of the Center for Slav Culture, St. Procopius College, Lisle, Illinois. p. 64. OCLC 1882096. 
  10. ^ Pyke, Marni (May 17, 2001). "An artful center Benet will honor supporter at hall dedication". Daily Herald. p. 1. 
  11. ^ a b c d "More Notable Alumni...". The Alumni Herald. Benet Academy (9): 11–14. November 2007. 
  12. ^ a b Engel, Brad (April 24, 2010). "Q&A with LeFevour's coach at Benet". The Heat Index. Sun-Times Media Group. Archived from the original on August 26, 2010. Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  13. ^ Howard, Theresa (January 11, 2004). "Anheuser-Busch's silly 'Mr.' ads hit a high note with viewers". USA Today. Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  14. ^ a b c "Former students fondly remember tough Mr. White". Daily Herald. September 22, 2008. p. 1. 
  15. ^ a b c d e "Benet (St. Procopius) Academy Notable Alumni". The Alumni Herald. Benet Academy (8): 7–21. November 2006. 
  16. ^ Kmitch, Justin (February 24, 2008). "Living the life dreams are made of Lemont native makes it big with her first screenplay". Daily Herald. p. 1. 
  17. ^ Allis, Tim; Micheli, Robin (April 13, 1992). "TV's Sultan of Smirk". People. New York City. 37 (14). Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  18. ^ Liebert, Jonathan (2005-02-25), Sex Sells: The Making of 'Touché', Priscilla Barnes, Mark DeCarlo, Jay Michael Ferguson, retrieved 2017-10-30 
  19. ^ "Candidates for graduation from Benet Academy". Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Illinois). May 26, 2000. p. 7.
  20. ^ "Meagen Fay's Face Familiar to TV Viewers". Herald-News. Joliet, Illinois. June 21, 1998. 
  21. ^ Broz, Joan (June 4, 2001). "Celebrities to help Benet debut new Arts Center". Daily Herald. p. 1. 
  22. ^ "Marita Geraghty". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-12-14. 
  23. ^ Allen, John (January 2001). "After the Gold Rush (A Heart of Gold)". OutdoorIllinois. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Public Services. 9 (8). ISSN 1072-7175. OCLC 29189971. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  24. ^ Clark, Mike. "Frank Kaminsky put Purdue on ice". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 17, 2015. 
  25. ^ Jensen, Brett. "Rookie Frank Kaminsky fits Hornets' future plans". Fox Sports Carolinas. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Benet graduate Lee is ready to rumble in Golden Gloves". Daily Herald. April 16, 2009. p. 6. 
  27. ^ Sandrolini, Mike. "Wheaton's Mike Lee a Force to be Reckoned With in Light-heavyweight Ranks". Wheaton Patch. Archived from the original on September 2, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Dan LeFevour profile". July 11, 2006. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  29. ^ "DuPage County in 60 seconds". Daily Herald. January 24, 2011. p. 3. 
  30. ^ Laing, Rachel (February 21, 2006). "Radio Executive John Lynch Keeps Focus Strictly on San Diego". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Justin McCareins". Illinois High School Football Weekly. February 9, 2005. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  32. ^ McManus, James (2003). "Urge Overkill". Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion's World Series of Poker. Macmillan. pp. 104–05. ISBN 978-0-374-23648-9. The championship event started less than two hours ago, but we're already down to the last seven players: myself and the six football cheerleaders from Benet Academy, my alma mater in Lisle, Illinois. 
  33. ^ Powers, Scott (April 3, 2011). "Sources: Porter Moser to Loyola". ESPN Chicago. Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  34. ^ Beckman, Hank (July 17, 2009). "Proft brings campaign to his hometown". Naperville Sun. 
  35. ^ "The Short List – June 2006". Chicago Magazine. June 2006. Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  36. ^ Jenco, Melissa (April 4, 2010). "Naperville welcomes home another Olympian". Daily Herald. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  37. ^ "Girls Showcase Team". Amateur Hockey Association Illinois. USA Hockey. 2010. Archived from the original on March 22, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
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