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2014 Wall of Fame Inductees
2013 Wall of Fame Inductees
"As a student at WHS I was determined to excel in academics and athletics in order to receive a scholarship to further my education. Without that scholarship I would not have been able to achieve all that I have in my lifetime. I also made some lifetime friendships." -Dr. Frank L. Lesko
Lee Albert Miglin
Class of 1941
Business/Real Estate Developer/Entrepreneur
Lee Albert Miglin was born of immigrant parents in Westville, Illinois on July 12, 1924. From these humble beginnings, Mr. Miglin would strive for excellence and reach the pinnacle of his chosen career. His accomplishments and achievements give proof to the success of the American Dream.
Mr. Miglin graduated from Westville High School in 1941 where he received several honors in statewide competitions. After graduation, he attended the Gallagher School of Business before enlisting and serving in the United States Air Corps from 1943 to 1945. Upon completion of his enlistment in 1945, he entered the University of Illinois and graduated in 1951 with a Bachelorof Science degree in Journalism. While at the U of I, Mr. Miglin was a member and president of several honor societies which included Phi Kappa Tau, Alpha Delta Sigma, and Chi Gamma Iota.
After graduation from the U of I, Mr. Miglin participated in several different business ventures before decciding on entering the field of real estate development. He began his career with Arthur Rubloff & Company in Chicago where he quickly established himself and rose to the position of vice president and later was elected to the board of directors.
In 1982, Mr. Miglin formed his own campany, Miglin-Beitler, Inc., with his partner, Paul Beitler. From this company, Mr. Miglin would become one of the giants in real estae development in Chicago and was instrumental in changing the skyline of that great city. He developed several distinguished high-rise office buildings in Chicago which include 200 West Madison, 181 West Madison, Oakbrook Terrace Tower and the President's Plaza near O'Hare airport, the largest office complex outside of Chicago.
Mr. Miglin was always at the forefront of his industry, leading the way to new and innovative concepts to meet the expanding demands of the Chicago real estate market. He was the first real estate developer to introduce public sculpture to private developments in Chicago. Additionally, he introduced a new concept now known as the business park, where office and warehouse spaces are combined.
Mr. Miglin served his community both locally and state-wide through his diverse contributions both charitably and culturally. He was a generous supporter of the University of Chicago Hospital and the Museum of Science and Industry. He genuinely cared about people and strived to consistently make them feel important.
Lee Miglin was the son of George and Anna Miglin of Westville, IL. and was a caring brother to George Miglin, Eleanor Sokolofski, Mary Lou Maul, Mildred LaMacchia, Gladys Petersak, and Carl Miglin. he was the loving husband of Marilyn Miglin, and devoted father to son Duke Miglin and daughter Marlena Miglin Egan.
Mr. Miglin knew what mattered most in life - the kindness, respect, and dignity in how you treat others. The legacy of his dedication, altruism, and hard work shall serve as an example to us all.
Dr. Jeffery Donald Cooke
Class of 1979 Scientist/Astrophysicist
Dr. Jeff Cooke is a 1979 graduate of Westville High School and an internationally recognized scientist and astrophysicist. After high school and attending the University of Illinois, he moved to California to start a business. His passion for astronomy, however, motivated him to return to college to pursue a career in astrophysical research. He graduated from San Diego State University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Astronomy. He then went on to earn his Master of Science and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, San Diego in 2001 and 2005, respectively.
Dr. Cooke's research focuses on the formation and evolution of galaxies and the detection and study of distant supernovae. He has used the world's largest telescopes, including the Hubble Space Telescope, for his observations. Noted for developing innovative techniques and analysis methods, Dr. Cooke's work has helped our understanding of the complicated process of galaxy formation in the distant Universe and the role environment plays in their evolution into galaxies like our Milky Way.
Dr. Cooke pioneered a new technique to detect supernovae much farther than has been previously possible. Using this technique, he has discovered the most distant supernovae known - events that occurred over 12 billion years ago - and has made discoveries of a rare, extrememly powerful, new type of supernova. His approach is the first able to detect the deaths of very first stars to have formed after the Big Bang. Dr. Cooke's work has helped scientists better understand the early Universe and the framework that eventually formed the diverse set of galaxies. stars, and planets around us today.
Dr. Cooke is among the elite of his profession. His academic success and continued scientific research are a true inspiration to the students of Westville High School.
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