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The Distinguished Alumni Award

The Western Michigan University Alumni Association awarded the first Distinguished Alumni Award in 1963 to Alfred Pugno, a 1933 alumnus who was named the New York Life Insurance Company's 'Man of the Year' in 1959. Since then, we have honored more than 150 WMU alumni for their prestigious accomplishments within their careers and communities. The Distinguished Alumni Award is the University’s highest honor for alumni who have risen to a level of distinction throughout their professional lives, and is awarded during Homecoming weekend at the Night of Excellence.

Do you know an alumnus or alumna who should be honored? Click below to view the criteria and make your nomination.

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2019 Recipients

Alessandro P. DiNello, B.B.A.’75, Accountancy

Alessandro P. DiNello, B.B.A.’75, Accountancy

Since 2013, Alessandro DiNello has served as president and CEO of Flagstar Bank and Flagstar Bancorp. Prior to his current position, he was president and chief administrative officer, and for several years, he served as executive vice president of retail banking. As CEO, he has played a critical role in strengthening the bank's risk management, compliance and quality control. Under his leadership, Flagstar has produced consistent, diversified earnings.

He began his career as a bank examiner and later joined Security Savings Bank, where he ultimately served as president. In 1994, Security Savings was acquired by First Security Savings Bank, which later became Flagstar. He continued with the combined organization as an executive officer responsible for growing the bank’s funding sources.

During his career at Flagstar, he has served as head of branch banking, retail product strategy, marketing, communications, internet banking and branch expansion. He also oversaw the bank’s technology, operations and commercial units. Additionally, he led the government affairs and community relations initiatives.

Dr. Roger C. Steininger, B.S.’64, Geology

Dr. Roger C. Steininger, B.S.’64, Geology

In 1987, Dr. Roger Steininger formed his own consulting company to focus on exploration in geologic terrains having gold and other precious metals. His distinguished career has noted his association with, and personal discovery of, numerous mineral deposits including the 20+ million-ounce Pipeline gold deposit in Nevada. For the next 20 years, Dr. Steininger used his knowledge of geology and mineral deposits to develop and establish commercial gold deposits. In 2009, Dr. Steininger cofounded NuLegacy Gold Corporation, a leading gold exploration company, and retired in 2018 after discovering the Iceberg gold deposit in Nevada.

After receiving his undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University in 1964, Dr. Steininger attained an M.S. in Geology from Brigham Young University in 1966. He went on to work for several national and international mineral exploration development companies, managing exploration and evaluation programs for gold, base metals, copper, and molybdenum deposits throughout Western North America. He then earned a Ph.D. in Earth Resources from Colorado State University in 1986.