MICDS Celebrates Four Distinguished Alumni

MICDS is proud to announce the four individuals being awarded the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award: Carol Bodenheimer Loeb ’59, Dr. Jay Mason ’64, Linda Wells ’76, and Joe Buck ’87. These alumni have distinguished themselves in their chosen fields and continue to make a positive impact on our world. From educational philanthropy and innovation in cardiology to trailblazing journalism and award-winning sports broadcasting, each one of these former students personifies the mission of MICDS. They are “responsible men and women who can meet the challenges of this world with confidence and embrace all its people with compassion.” They think critically and have resolved to stand for what is good and right, and they live lives of purpose and service.

Honoring alumni/ae is a long-standing tradition at our School. The Saint Louis Country Day School Distinguished Alumnus Award was given to honor an alumnus for “continuing contribution to mankind who distinguishes himself in his field of endeavor and brings honor to our Alma Mater.” This award was first given out in 1983. The Mary Institute Laurel Award was presented to the alumna who, “by her exemplary accomplishments, has clearly manifested the ideals instilled in her at Mary Institute.” This award was first given out in 1990.

In September of 2015, MICDS honored its first group of MICDS Distinguished Alumni. The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest and most prestigious award a school can bestow upon its alumni and represents a demonstrated record of distinguished service and extraordinary achievement in a particular field or endeavor that brings distinction and honor to MICDS. Click here for lists of all our alumni/ae who have been recognized, and for the Distinguished Alumni nomination form.

Carol Bodenheimer Loeb ’59

As a math teacher for over 60 years, Carol Bodenheimer Loeb, Mary Institute Class of 1959, is an innovative philanthropist dedicated to enhancing educational opportunities in the St. Louis community. Inspired by her math teacher and mentor at Mary Institute, Mary K. Voorhees, Carol embarked on a lifelong journey of learning and teaching mathematics and creating possibilities for others to pursue their passions.

After graduating from Mount Holyoke College in 1963, Carol taught math at various public and private schools, including John Burroughs School and MICDS, her alma mater. Beyond the classroom, she tutored and mentored students, taught SAT and ACT prep courses, and even judged robotics competitions. In the 70s, Carol led a “math anxiety” course for parents at Holton Arms School in Washington, D.C., encouraging more girls to pursue STEM careers. In 1994, she endowed a faculty award at MICDS for math and continues to teach an ACT preparation course there.

At the heart of Carol’s classroom and community work is philanthropy. In 1995, Carol established the Loeb Prize at the St. Louis Science Center, a teaching award benefiting hundreds of educators across the city and county. She has been a trustee for nearly two decades and an active volunteer, most notably as an accredited world judge for FIRST, a national non-profit robotics program for K-12 students. Her love for the field of robotics fueled the establishment of the Carol B. & Jerome T. Loeb Robotics Lab at MICDS.

Driven by her gratitude for the medical community, Carol has a deep passion for supporting education in the medical sciences. She endowed four professorships and created a Fellows Program at Washington University School of Medicine. The innovative and highly competitive Fellows Program transformed the ability of faculty to develop new teaching methods, training programs, curricula, and evaluation tools that can be shared broadly across the medical community. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including Washington University’s prestigious Brookings Award and the School of Medicine’s Second Century Award.

Carol’s love for the Saint Louis Zoo motivated her to establish the Bear Care Exhibit and name the Land of Leaves Exhibit at Canopy Trails, a first-of-its-kind primate habitat. In addition, she is dedicated to the conservation efforts and educational mission of the Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Park. In the arts community, Carol has supported The Muny and is the Presenting Sponsor of the St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards. This education-based program enables professional development for high school performing arts students to elevate their craft.

Carol Loeb is a recipient of the 2024 MICDS Distinguished Alumni Award for extraordinary service and achievement, in addition to her late husband Jerry, who was honored posthumously in 2004. Other notable awards include being named a Woman of Achievement in 2015 and, in 2010, the International Leadership Network’s Dare to Lead Award.

Carol’s commitment to education and educators includes a dedication to having close, personal relationships with the beneficiaries of her support. Whether through the sciences or arts, Carol is an example of educational and character excellence. Her generosity aims to support the education of the “whole person,” leaving a legacy of opportunity for the greater good.

Dr. Jay Mason ’64

A distinguished figure in the field of cardiology, Dr. Jay Mason, Saint Louis Country Day School Class of 1964, is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He further trained in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Stanford University before assuming the role of Professor of Medicine and Chief of Cardiology at the University of Utah in 1983. Later, Dr. Mason served as Chairman of Medicine at the University of Kentucky and Chandler Hospital in Lexington.

Dr. Mason’s career spans decades of research and clinical innovation. Currently, he serves as a consultant on cardiac safety to organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and pharmaceutical and regulatory companies worldwide. His active projects include overseeing a 200-bed Phase 1 clinical pharmacology unit dedicated to testing the cardiac safety of drugs, and developing a left ventricular assist device for end-stage heart failure, which has advanced to clinical testing in seven patients.

Linda Wells ’76

With over 35 years of experience in beauty and fashion, Linda Wells, Mary Institute Class of 1976, is a trailblazer in journalism and brand innovation. As a graduate of MI and, later, Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, she has left an indelible mark on the industry.

Since 2023, Wells has been the visionary and columnist behind Look, the beauty and wellness section of the digital-first news platform Air Mail. As the founding editor-in-chief of Allure magazine, she led the magazine for an impressive 25 years, shaping its influence and direction.

Wells also held the position of Chief Creative Officer at Revlon, overseeing the creative landscape of the company’s brands and spearheading the launch of Flesh, a groundbreaking makeup brand. Her expertise earned her the title of “the most authoritative and crucial voice on beauty” by New York Magazine.

Wells also made significant contributions as a reporter at The New York Times, served as the beauty and food editor for the New York Times Magazine, and held editorial and writing roles at Vogue. She has appeared on numerous media platforms, including Today, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, CNN, Morning Joe, and The Wall Street Journal, cementing her status as a leading authority in the field.

Joe Buck ’87

In March 2022, ESPN signed play-by-play commentator Joe Buck, Saint Louis Country Day Class of 1987, along with Troy Aikman, to a multi-year deal, making him the new play-by-play announcer of Monday Night Football.

Buck and Aikman are the NFL’s longest broadcasting tandem in history, beginning their partnership in 2002 as a three-man booth with analyst Cris Collinsworth, before becoming a duo in 2005. Over their 22 seasons together, they have called more than 300 regular-season games, more than 40 playoff matchups, 18 NFC Championships and Super Bowls XXXIX, XLII, XLV, XLVIII, LI and LIV. Both have been nominated for Sports Emmy Awards multiple times, with Buck winning a record-tying eight times for play-by-play. In December 2022, Buck was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

During the season, Aikman and Buck work alongside Lisa Salters, Monday Night Football’s longest-tenured sideline reporter. In May 2023, at the 44th Annual Sports Emmy Awards, Monday Night Football won a Sports Emmy for ‘Outstanding Live Sports Series’ for the MNF’s 2023 season – the trio’s first year together.

At a mere 25 years old, Buck became a household voice for NFL fans. He made his NFL debut during the 1994-95 season, calling a full slate of games for FOX Sports, a role he has continued each subsequent year. As he enters his 29th consecutive season calling NFL games, Buck will become the eighth play-by-play voice of Monday Night Football. He has also continued a family legacy, as he and his dad, Jack, are the only father-son duo to both call network Super Bowls and be recognized with the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award. Jack Buck also had significant history with Monday Night Football, calling play-by-play on the national radio broadcast from 1978-1984 and 1987-1995.

Outside of the NFL, Joe Buck’s career accomplishments are vast and impressive, calling 24 World Series, 22 MLB All-Star games, five of golf’s U.S. Opens, and having hosted his own studio shows. Buck has been named the National Sports Media Association’s National Sportscaster of the Year four times, including three years in a row (2002-04, 2006).

Buck was a local radio and television announcer for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1991 to 2007. His broadcasting career began in 1989, while he was an undergraduate at Indiana University. That year he called play-by-play for the Louisville Redbirds of the American Association, a minor-league affiliate of the Cardinals, and was a reporter for ESPN’s coverage of the Triple-A All-Star Game. Buck also hosted a talk show for HBO Sports, “Joe Buck Live,” in 2009, and hosted “Undeniable with Joe Buck” on DirecTV’s Audience Network.

Joe is the son of late broadcasting legend Jack Buck, whose career spanned parts of six decades. Jack and Joe are the only father and son to each call the Super Bowl on network television.

Active in many national and local charities, he hosts The Joe Buck Classic golf tournament, which benefits St. Louis Children’s Hospital and helps fund its imaging center. Since it began in 2000, the annual event has raised more than $5 million. Buck also works closely with the Parkinson’s Foundation, Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club and City of Hope.

Buck is married to fellow ESPN reporter, Michelle Beisner-Buck. He has four kids; Natalie, Trudy, Wyatt and Blake.