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Five Plum grads to be inducted as distinguished alumni

Michael DiVittorio
| Thursday, April 12, 2018, 5:27 p.m.
Clubhouse at Oakmont Country Club.
Justin Merriman | Tribune Review
Clubhouse at Oakmont Country Club.
Gary Getz
Gary Getz
Deborah Lange
Deborah Lange
Matthew Kelly
Matthew Kelly
Keith Kondrich
Keith Kondrich
Linda Belfus
Linda Belfus

Five inductees into the Plum High School Distinguished Alumni Class of 2018 will be honored at a banquet at Oakmont Country Club.

Tickets are still available for the event April 29 at 1233 Hulton Road.

Honorees will tour the high school the next day and talk with students, followed by an unveiling ceremony at the Wall of Honor in the lobby.

The visit coincides with the National Honor Society induction of its new class and officers.

This marks the 10th year for the distinguished alumni program started by retired Plum teacher Bob Ford, who pushed to honor successful graduates.

“It gets harder and harder each year to choose our honors because there are so many amazing candidates and stories brought to our attention,” Alumni committee member and 2015 inductee Renee DeMichiei Farrow said. “We're just truly excited about this class and having it at Oakmont. It's a great historic building to showcase our honorees.”

Last year's class included College of William and Mary music instructor James Nesbit, Inside Edition correspondent Steven Fabian Lisowski and Franklin Regional Middle School math teacher Christopher Cooley who founded the nonprofit Serving Other Souls.

This year's inductees include:

• 1975 graduate Deborah Lange, Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering K-12 STEM outreach manager and Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research. She became the 53rd recipient and first woman to receive the William Metcalf Award from the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania. The award recognizes engineers who make outstanding contributions to the region.

• Gary Getz, a 1972 Plum graduate, is the chief executive officer of Strategos, a leading global innovation and strategy consultant firm. He's also the author of the marketing strategy book “Customer Equity” with Robert Blattberg and Jacquelyn Thomas. He has become an internationally-regarded watch collector and serves as jury member for the annual Grand Priz d'Horlogerie de Geneve, the Oscars of the watch industry.

• 1979 graduate Keith G. Kondrich has a 30-plus-year career in social services administration and Christian ministry. He served as director of Gannon University's Center for Social Concerns, vice president of volunteer services for the United Way in Erie and Allegheny counties and executive director of Beginning with Books, to name a few posts.

He was ordained a permanent deacon for the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 2011 and provides pastoral and sacramental ministry to local parishes.

• Dr. Matthew Kelly, a 1987 graduate, is an orthopedic surgeon in Central Pennsylvania. Kelly serves on the teaching staff of the UPMC Pinnacle Orthopedic Residency Program in Harrisburg and is a clinical assistant professor at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. He also served in the Army for eight years as an orthopedic surgeon, including deployments to Iraq and Macedonia. Other medical mission trips include Kenya, Honduras and Tanzania.

• 1967 graduate Linda Belfus is a retired senior vice president of Elsevior, a leading provider of digital information solutions for science and health care professionals. She has a distinguished 45-year career in medical publishing and earned the 2017 Penn State Liberal Arts Outstanding Alumni Award for her work in mentoring students and endowing a scholarship for high-achieving students.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2367, or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.

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