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SVC Foundation and Sauk Alumni Association

Alumni Award Recipients

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Michael T. Friedlein '76, 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award

Sauk Valley Community College, through the Sauk Valley College Foundation-Alumni Association, recognizes Sauk alumnus Michael T. Friedlein ’76, Colonel,
USAF (Ret) as the 2020 Distinguished Alumni.

The Alumni Association nomination committee selected Mr. Friedlein based on peer recommendations and notable accomplishments. Friedlein was chosen as the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award that honors a particular achievement of noteworthy value, a series of such achievements or a career of noteworthy accomplishments that bring honor to the College.

Friedlein graduated from SVCC in 1976 with an Associate of Science degree in Biology. He was a top player on the 1974-1976 basketball teams under Coach
Palumbo as a 40-minute man. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa and a Master of Arts in Industrial Psychology and Management from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.

He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force in 1979 and served with distinction for 27 years. In 1990, he assumed commanded of the 4th Mobile Aerial Port Squadron at Rhein-Main Air Base Germany. Friedlein took that squadron to the Gulf War, Somalia and the former Soviet Union and also led the 621st Aerial Port Squadron at McGuire Air Force Base New Jersey to Bosnia.

In 2000, Friedlein assumed command of the 436th Aerial Port Squadron at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware—the largest in the Department of Defense in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

His staff assignments included a tour with the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a Logistics Emergency Action Officer and a tour on the staff of the Secretary of Defense as an air transportation advisor. Colonel Friedlein’s decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster and the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters. Colonel Friedlein and his wife Janie retired to Nellysford, Virginia where he volunteers as a firefighter, first responder and member of the board of directors for the Wintergreen Fire and Rescue Squad. His father, Tom Friedlein, resides in Sterling.


2019Margo D. Empen '89
Rachel (Marco) Kobus '07
2018Frank Selmi '73
2017Kirk Hooks '85
2016Sharon Kim Gaffey '81, '76
2015Alan Pfeifer '70
2014Robert E. Atherton '86
2013Darin DeHaan '93
2012Kristina (Thompson) Nystrom '89
2011Jon Mandrell '00
2010Carol A. Biester '74
2009Larry A. Cooper '72, '69
2009Janis A. Card '70
2008Kevin E. Hughes '77
2007Penny Duncan '91, '82
2006Edson C. Cox '86
2005Judy L. Randall '91
2004Jeanie L. (Hansen) Burke '84
2003Catherine S. Vos '95
2002Frank E. Martinez '82
2001Ermelinda (Martinez) Lewis '93
Beth (Ward) Fiorini '82, '73
2000Thomas Finney '81
1999Christine (Hindley) Byar '96, '82
1998Pamela K. (Rajnowski) Heller '84
1997Rebecca R. (Pleasnick) West '81
1996Debi (Brottmiller) Hill '69-71
1995Roberto Carmona '86
1994Pennie (Von Bergen) Wessels '69
1993Harry D. Ulferts '71
1992Sharon (Underhile) Thompson '89
1991Loren C. Swartley '67
1990Larry Dowdy '73
1989Donna M. (Helfrich) Hall '70
1988Gail E. Francis '68
1987James M. Boesen '76
1986Ann M. (Bingham) McMillin '81-82