World Class Alumni
Alumni from University City High School have made their mark globally in fields as diverse as entertainment, medicine, education and business. They are leaders breaking ground and charting new paths in their fields of endeavor. We encourage you to visit our Hall of Fame page to find out more about our phenomenal graduates. Do you know anyone listed below?
Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green: Physicist, Class of 1999
Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green graduated with honors from University City High School in 1999 ranking 17th in a class of 224. On full academic scholarship for four years, Dr. Green graduated with honors from Alabama A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and a minor in Mathematics in 2003. Dr. Green began her career in the Physics Doctoral Program at The University of Alabama at Birmingham with the vision of using lasers to treat cancer in a manner that is more localized and less devastating than chemotherapy and radiation. As of May 12, 2012, Hadiyah-Nicole Green is the second African American woman and the fourth African American to receive a Ph.D. in Physics in the history of The University of Alabama at Birmingham. She gained extensive molecular, cellular and animal research experience in the Head and Neck Cancer Research Program at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and in the Department of Pathology. While conducting her doctoral research, Green developed a method to insert nanoparticles into cancer cells but not healthy cells, allowing them to be destroyed by lasers. She then tested this treatment in animal models. After serving two years at Tuskegee University, Dr. Green established The Ora Lee Smith Cancer Research Foundation and joined the Morehouse School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology to pursue her dream to help people with her cancer treatments. Dr. Green has won numerous awards, received international media attention for her groundbreaking work and continues to break ground in cancer research through her foundation.
Vaughan “Bing” Devine, Class of 1933
Bing Devine graduated from Washington University in 1938. His career in professional sports, which began in 1939 with the St. Louis Cardinals, spanned more than six decades. After serving in the U. S. Navy from 1943-46, he went on to work with a number of sports teams including the Rochester (New York) Red Wings in 1949-55, the New York Mets in 1965-67, the St. Louis baseball Cardinals in 1958-64 and in 1968-78, the San Francisco Giants and the Montreal Expos. He was also the President of the St. Louis football Cardinal’s from 1981-86. He served as vice president of the St. Louis Sports Commission, as a member of the U.S. Olympic Festival in St. Louis, and as a special assignment scout for the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros. Devine also served on special assignment as a scout with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Through the years, he earned many honors and awards including the St. Louis Ambassadors Sportsman of the Year award in 1996. In addition to being in the University City High School Hall of Fame, he was also inducted into the Washington University Athletic Hall of Fame, the St. Louis Major League Scouts Hall of Fame, the St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame, Rochester Red Wings Baseball Hall of Fame and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.
Cornell “Nelly” Haynes, Jr., Class of 1993
Cornell “Nelly” Haynes, Jr., was born in Austin, Texas, but he lets everyone in the world know that St. Louis is his home. Following high school graduation, Haynes broke into the hip-hop and rap industry with his group, the St. Lunatics. Through his multi-Grammy winning song “Country Grammar” and 5+ platinum “Nellyville” albums, Haynes expresses his enthusiasm for St. Louis and encourages students to reach for their full potential. Beyond the Grammys, Haynes has received a variety of music and television awards including being named one of Rank’s Top 25 Sexiest Men for 2003; he was the opening act for the 45th Grammy Awards and appeared in the movie, “Snipes.” His “4 Sho 4 Kids” foundation improves the quality of life for children with disabilities. In 2003, he launched "Jes US 4 Jackie”, a nationwide awareness/recruitment campaign for bone marrow donations. Haynes helps underprivileged inner-city children through benefits and literacy efforts that encourage youth to stay in school and increase scholastic test scores. He and the St. Lunatics are frequent visitors to local schools and the St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Marlon West, Class of 1981
Marlon West’s artistic and creative talents have greatly influenced his “rapid rise” from freelance animator in Chicago to the Head of the Special Effects Animation Department for Walt Disney Feature Animation in Los Angeles. This 1985 Columbia College-Chicago graduate with honors, who majored in Filmmaking and Creative Writing, has contributed his animation experience and talents to 10 very well known and loved Disney animated motion pictures, including “The Lion King,” “Pocahontas,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Mulan,” “Hercules,” “Tarzan,” “Fantasia 2000,” “The Emperor’s New Groove,” “Atlantis: The Lost Empire,” and “Home on the Range.” West made several major contributions to these films, such as designing and animating the effects for Grandmother Willow in “Pocahontas” and the climatic sequence in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” where molten lead is poured from the parapets of the Notre Dame Cathedral. West says his “best overall experience” was serving as Head of Effects for the film “Atlantis: The Lost Empire,” which was released in June 2001. Before joining Disney, West freelanced on commercials as well as music videos for Paula Abdul and the Beastie Boys. He also worked on several educational films for Encyclopedia Brittanica and at Chicago ad agencies in the early years of his career.
Thomas “Tennessee” Lanier Williams, Class of 1929
The late author, Tennessee Williams, was born Thomas Lanier Williams and is listed in the 1929 Dial yearbook simply as Tom Williams. Following graduation from University City High School, he went on to study at the University of Missouri and Washington University, eventually graduating from the University of Iowa where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1938.
Tennessee Williams later launched one of the most successful literary careers of this century. Often referred to as one of America’s greatest playwrights, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, (“A Streetcar Named Desire” in 1948 and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” in 1955), authored more than 30 full-length plays, novels, short stories and poems that have had a great impact on American literature. Many of his works have become Broadway shows and motion pictures.