News Story

April 10, 2017

Celebrate La Roche! to Honor Distinguished Alumni

PITTSBURGH, April 6, 2017 – La Roche College will welcome 16 accomplished graduates into its Distinguished Alumni Circle at the annual Celebrate La Roche! event on Friday, April 21.

Celebrate La Roche! is a special evening showcasing the College’s many contributions to the community, the Pittsburgh area and the world. The event will be held at the Grand Hall of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in McCandless Township, beginning with a cocktail hour at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Paul Martino, news anchor and reporter for KDKA-TV News, will serve as master of ceremonies.

The Distinguished Alumni Circle honors La Roche graduates whose outstanding professional achievements and community service projects exemplify the fundamental values of the College’s mission. After receiving nominations from alumni, parents, friends and other members of the College community in the fall of 2016, a committee comprised of a diverse cross-section of La Roche constituents selected the following alumni as recipients:

Melissa Blythe Altman ’02 of North Huntingdon, Pa.
Lay Missioner in El Salvador
Maryknoll Lay Missioners

Miguel Ntutumu Evuna Andeme ’03 of Equatorial Guinea
Embassy of Equatorial Guinea

William F. Gruber ’83 of Gibsonia, Pa.
Broker’s Settlement Services Inc.

Nicholas J. Haller, MSN ’98 of Allison Park, Pa.
Associate Chief Nurse, Long-Term Care
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System

Rufus Idris ’11 of Pittsburgh, Pa.
Advisor to the Governor on MSME Development and Wealth Creation
Government of the State of Osun, Nigeria

Rijad Konjhodzic ’98, Ph.D. of Croatia
Chief of Operations
Alea Genetic Center

Driton Lajci ’03, M.S. ’05 of Prishtine, Kosovo

Advisor to Speaker of Parliament
Kosovo Parliament

Theresa Orlando ’78, M.S. Ed. of Allison Park, Pa.
Executive Director (Retired)
Miryam Shelter

Patricia C. Phillips ’93 of Pittsburgh, Pa.
Level III Surgical Nurse (Retired)
UPMC Shadyside Hospital

Sokhom S. Pin ’92, Ph.D. of Lunenburg, Mass.
Head of In-Vitro Neuropharmacology
Alkermes Inc.

Troy Rabenstein ’91 of Danville, Calif.
Senior Vice President, Audit Director
Bank of the West

Jean-Claude M. Rwigema ’05, M.D. of Philadelphia, Pa.
Senior Associate Consultant
& Assistant Professor
Department of Radiation Oncology Mayo Clinic

Timothy J. Shapiro ’06, DNAP of Tarentum, Pa.
Nurse Anesthetist
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System

Scott Sieg ’87, Ph.D. of Cleveland, Ohio
Associate Professor of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University

Thomas (Tip) Solomon, M.S. ’85 of Southlake, Texas
Solomon Sourcing Solutions, LLC

Gregory Weimerskirch ’90, MFA of Pittsburgh, Pa.

Motion-Picture Art Director & Production Designer

Cost of admission for Celebrate La Roche! is $175 per person. La Roche alumni receive discounted admission at $140 per person. Register online for the event.

There are corporate sponsorship opportunities at every level for organizations and individuals who are interested in supporting or attending Celebrate La Roche!. For more information contact Associate Vice President and Director of Development Janet Dennis at 412-536-1092 or

About La Roche College: A private liberal arts college in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, La Roche College offers more than 50 undergraduate majors, six graduate degree programs and one doctoral program, with particular strengths in education, business, criminal justice, psychology, and health and medical sciences as well as interior design and graphic design. This residential college provides a vibrant campus community for more than 1,500 men and women enjoying 30-plus student organizations and an exciting NCAA Div. III athletics program. Founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1963, La Roche College embraces its Catholic heritage while welcoming people of all faiths and backgrounds. With a legacy of social justice and a commitment to international exchange, La Roche College educates students to be lifelong learners and achievers in an increasingly diverse and global society.