Inductees Selected for 2018 MRH Alumni Hall of Fame
Homecoming 2018 will be the setting for the inductions of new members to the Maplewood Richmond Heights Hall of Fame, four distinguished individuals who continue to display citizenship, stewardship, leadership, and scholarship.
Ralph McNeal becomes the youngest member of the MRH Alumni Hall of Fame, having graduated in 1998. He has enjoyed an extraordinary twenty-year career in information technology, which began when an MRH teacher pulled some strings and got McNeal an internship doing computer programming for Carr Lane Manufacturing. After five years there, he hopped to Monsanto and then launched his own consulting company, Aycot. Software written by Aycot employees generated millions of dollars in revenue for the Panasonic company. McNeal also was a star at BJC Emerging Solutions and Meridian Enterprises.
Today, McNeal leads several teams at Centurylink's In the Cloud division. Last year alone, his job took him to places such as Seattle and Madrid. And it all started with a helping hand from a caring teacher right here at MRH.
Reginald Finney received his MRH diploma in 1970, and he hasn't wasted a single day giving back to our communities. He has lived in Richmond Heights for 58 years and currently serves on the city council. He has founded and served on numerous community betterment organizations, including a committee which restored this very ceremony -- the MRH Alumni Hall of Fame -- three years ago.
Finney's high school career was marked by a keen intern in business, information technology, and a passion for football and baseball. He went on to receive a math degree from Washington University and worked his way up to a master's in theology from Metropolitan Christian Bible Institute. While working as a systems programmer for Southwestern Bell, he designed a technique which saved the company millions, nationwide. He also developed systems for Mercantile Bank, Bakers Footwear and Jet Aviation, where he works today.
Finney is a deacon in the Church of God and demonstrates his devotion to the welfare of children by serving as a youth minister.
Robert Parker Mills, MRH '63, has been a practicing trial lawyer in the State of California for 40 years. But as a high schooler, he could have set his career path in any direction. He was a journalist, gifted public speaker, thespian and superior athlete.
Mills received his law degree from the University of Missouri and is currently licensed to practice in California, Missouri, and Washington D.C. His reputation is that of a crusader. His practice field has ranged from product liability to medical defense. He has provided a defense to a wide and diverse clientele ranging from the construction managers of the Los Angeles Metro Rail Line, to E-Coli meat suppliers, to defense of trademark infringement actions brought by the “New Kids on the Block” singing group. Mr. Mills has been a guest lecturer, as well as appearing on the Sally Jessie Raphael show and NBC’s “Trial Watch”.
But Mills is perhaps best known for his book about the first so-called “fear of AIDS” case tried in America. It tells the true story from his perspective as the lawyer who actually represented the estate of actor Rock Hudson. One review of the book said "It is hoped the reader, acting as the 13th juror, will see the gross injustice done to the late actor by his friends, the court, the jury, and the press, all of which were blinded from the truth by this newly discovered disease called AIDS."
Robert Parker Mills lives and practices law in Manhattan Beach, CA.
Dick Ulrich is a 1961 MRH graduate who served as class president in his freshman, junior and senior years. He was active in Honor Society, the school paper, and student council as well as a four-sport athlete. After graduating from Grinnell College and the University of Missouri Law School, he continued to serve his community as a board member of the St. Louis Charitable Foundation, the West County YMCA, the Normandy Literacy Program, and a campaign which resulted in a new track being built at MRH.
Ulrich went on to become an attorney who actually represented the district's board of directors for seventeen years. He also represented the Special School District of St. Louis County during a class action lawsuit designed to abolish SSD.
A longtime friend who submitted Ulrich's name for consideration wrote in her nominating letter, "Dick Ulrich is the embodiment of the type of person MRH strives to develop in its educational system. He is a person of honor, integrity, scholarship, empathy, and genuine goodness and kindness."
Each Alumni Hall of Fame inductee will be honored on the evening of Oct. 12, on the MRH High School athletic field. The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m.
For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.