Saint Ignatius High School

Alumni Awards

The best way to illustrate a Saint Ignatius education is to look towards our alumni. Each year, we honor a group of alumni with various awards to recognize their success since graduation and honor their continued commitment to the mission of our school.
  • Eric Pfaff '81

    2020 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
    Nearly 40 years ago Eric Pfaff ’81 graduated from Saint Ignatius as a stand-out baseball and football player. He is now a husband, a father to three sons and president of Allied Enterprises in Westlake – but he still recalls the “influencers” who were so important to him during high school: teammates and friends who led by example and teachers, administrators and coaches who inspired and directed him.

  • Matt Roggenburk '86

    2020 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
    Sports taught Matt Roggenburk '86 some big lessons. Matt began learning these lessons early, from his father Garry Roggenburk '58, who played baseball and basketball at University of Dayton and pitched for the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox. The family moved to Florida when Matt was 10 so his father could be General Manager for the Red Sox minor league team and also Spring Training coordinator for the Boston Red Sox. A Saint Ignatius basketball fan since childhood, Matt was thrilled when his family moved back to Cleveland and he enrolled as a sophomore.

  • Chris Della Vella '96

    2020 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
    There’s no doubt - Chris Della Vella ’96 was in the thick of it during a legendary era of Saint Ignatius football glory days. He played on three State Championship teams and was a powerhouse linebacker on the 1995 USA Today National Championship team in his senior season. Chris led the team in tackles from his middle linebacker position and earned First Team All Scholastic, First Team All-District and First Team All Ohio. He was named AP Division Co-Defensive Player of the Year and was a team captain leading one the Wildcats’ best defenses ever.

  • Steven Kemmerling '97

    2020 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
    Steve Kemmerling ’97 can’t imagine his life without swimming. Growing up in Parma Heights, he followed in the waves of two older sisters and started swimming competitively at age five for Berea Midpark Swim Club. He trained as a middle schooler with Team Viking where many of the older swimmers went to Saint Ignatius. That, and the fact that a former coach of his was currently coaching at the school, influenced a decision that would form his life and future.

  • James D. Lentz '77

    The 2019 Founders’ Award Winner
    While raising a family and building a career, Jim’s involvement with Saint Ignatius was typical – attend an occasional football game, show up for Reunion Weekend, and make a yearly donation. That all changed with a phone call in 2006 from classmate Mike Ginley ’77, who invited Jim to attend an Alumni Executive Council (AEC) meeting.

  • Frederick R. Nance '71

    2019 Distinguished Alumnus
    In 1967 Fred entered Saint Ignatius as a freshman – and the journey got harder. The social pressures and isolation were enormous. “I was a stranger in a strange land, one of about 20 African Americans among 1,100 students. I left behind everything I knew. There weren’t a lot of social touchpoints, so sports became the great equalizer.” He walked on the football team as a sophomore, and by senior year was a varsity starter and played in two championship games.

  • Brian G. Skotko, M.D. '97

    2019 Distinguished Alumnus
    Brian entered Duke University and had an “aha moment” discovering that there were doctors who focused solely on patients with Down syndrome. “My dream job was to one day run a clinic for people with Down syndrome and do research. Many years of training later, I now have that dream job.” Educated at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Kennedy School, Brian is currently a medical geneticist and the Emma Campbell Endowed Chair on Down Syndrome at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

  • Thomas S. Gill '01

    The 2019 Young Alumnus Award Recipient
    Feeling drawn home to Cleveland, Tom recalls, “I wanted to be in a place that mattered to me. I love Cleveland, so it wasn’t a sacrifice, and my family is here.” After a role as Executive Fellow with the Cleveland Leadership Center, in 2010 he joined the staff of Urban Community School, serving primarily low-income children from Cleveland's west side and founded by the Ursuline Sisters. Hired initially as Development Director, Tom took on various roles before becoming President of UCS in 2017.