Honoring York Dukes of Distinction…


Susan Groenwald
Susan Groenwald

Tom Marcucci

Tom Marcucci

YDAP salutes Susan Groenwald, Tom Marcucci

By Dee Longfellow

For The Elmhurst Independent

Now in its 3rd year, the York Distinguished Alumni Program (YDAP) has selected another eight honorees who will be inducted at a special event in their honor in November. Following an arduous vetting procedure, the award is given to York Community High School alumni who graduated at least ten years prior and have distinguished themselves through significant and/or extraordinary accomplishments, service and/or an outstanding contribution to society.


These eight “Dukes of Distinction” will be honored on Thursday, November 5, beginning with a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by a program at 7 p.m. in the York Community High School Commons. The event is free and open to the public; no RSVP or tickets are required. The following day, November 6, the honorees will be speaking to and mingling among York High School students in both large and small group settings.

This week, YDAP salutes Susan Groenwald, a graduate of the Class of 1967.

After graduating from York in 1967, Groenwald pursued a career in nursing. She graduated from West Suburban Hospital School of Nursing, completed bachelor and master’s degrees in nursing at Rush University in Chicago, and a PhD in higher education leadership at Capella University.

She was a pioneer in developing the specialty of oncology nursing and was elected to the inaugural Board of the Oncology Nursing Society. She authored five editions of a comprehensive oncology textbook that received national awards in 1988 and 1997, and co-authored three other cancer textbooks. She directed the oncology nursing graduate program at Rush University.

Dr. Groenwald took a hiatus from nursing to enter the business sector, growing and developing a commercial barter company from 1981 to 1999. She was 1999 Woman Business Owner of the Year for the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and received the Blue Chip Enterprise Award from the US Chamber of Commerce. She was inducted into the Barter Hall of Fame in 1999, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Reciprocal Trade Association in 2003 for her years of service as a board member and association president.

In 2006, Dr. Groenwald became president of Chamberlain College of Nursing, growing Chamberlain to the largest nursing college in the country with over 24,000 students at baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degree levels, and over 21,000 graduates. Dr. Groenwald is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the American Nursing Education Academy.

YDAP also salutes Tom Marcucci, a graduate of the Class of 1970.

Tom Marcucci served as Mayor of Elmhurst from 1993 until 2009. During his four terms of office, Mayor Marcucci transformed Elmhurst into the thriving city it is today. Revitalization of the Central Business District, commercial/retail developments and the passage of two citywide bond referenda helped put Elmhurst on the map. In 2003, Chicago Magazine ranked it the #1 suburb.

He was a catalyst for intergovernmental cooperation between the city, school district, park district and hospital, encouraging shared resources and services to benefit all. He also served in a variety of county, regional and state governmental leadership roles that resulted in significant quality services for Elmhurst. Past President of the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference, Past Treasurer of the Suburban O’Hare Conference, past member of the Chicago Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and Illinois Municipal League, he also served as District 1 representative to the County Storm Water Conference, on the DuPage Water Commission and the PACE Suburban Bus Board.

A board member for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois, Metropolitan Family Services of DuPage, Immaculate Conception Grade School and the York Randy Mikal Scholarship Fund, Mr. Marcucci was Honorary Chairman of the Elmhurst Children’s Assistance Foundation (ECAF) golf outing from 1994-2009. He received the Elmhurst College President’s Award in 2010. He is currently Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Gonnella Baking Company of Schaumburg, where he has worked since 1974. A lifetime Elmhurst resident, he and his wife, Mimi, are the parents of five daughters and many grandchildren.