Located against the picturesque city of Long Beach, California, Millikan High School was founded in 1956 and has since moved from stride to stride in terms of nurturing brilliant students.
Today, it is known for its rich history, diverse student body, and excellent facilities. Over the years, the school has gained massive attention due to the academic achievements, artistic talent, and athletic prowess of its students. It has been home to several notable alumni who have made a strong impact in the world of sports, music, entertainment, and much more. Students from this institute often receive major scholarships owning to brilliance.
In this article, we will be looking at some of the most notable alumni of Millikan High. But before we learn more about their illustrious students, let us learn a bit more about the school.
Millikan High School: History and Legacy
Millikan High School is often referred to as “Millikan,” and was named in honor of Dr. Robert A. Millikan, a renowned physicist and Nobel Laureate. Millikan made significant contributions to the field of science and won the Nobel Prize in 1923, due to his work on photoelectric effect and elementary electric charge.
Named after such an accomplished man, it comes as no surprise that the school’s goals align with those of its namesake.
Millikan High ensures the holistic development of students by promoting intellectual curiosity, independent thinking, and the development of strong personal integrity. It uses state-of-the-art facilities and the latest techniques to ensure students gain a better understanding of the world and develop skill sets that align with the requirements of a 21st-century society.
The mission is to raise ethical decision-makers, dedicated professionals, and curious students who go on to become responsible citizens of the world and give back to society. With these values at its core, the school has become quite coveted among parents and guardians who want their kids to be a part of it.
The three most important areas that Millikian focuses on include:
1. Academics: The school has gained a stellar reputation owing to its commitment to academic excellence. It has a well-versed faculty, comprehensive academic programs, and a supportive environment that is conducive to learning.
2. Athletics: Millikan has been home to notable sportspersons. The school has several in-house sports teams, collectively known as “The Rams.”
They have tennis, badminton, baseball, soccer, wrestling, and volleyball teams among several others. Their athletes have competed for various titles at state and national levels. The school’s emphasis on sportsmanship, the guidance of dedicated coaches, and proper facilities on campus ensure that it raises brilliant athletes.
3. Arts: There are a number of high schools out there that ignore arts in favor of academics and athletics. However, Millikian is not one of them. They have vibrant music, visual arts, and theater programs and give students who are artistically inclined a chance to express themselves creatively. The high school focuses on nurturing talent and creativity through various art activities.
Millikan High School: Notable Alumni
The impact Millikian has made on society is best exemplified through its impressive list of alumni who have achieved phenomenal success in their respective fields
1. Susanne Jean Atwood
Also known as Susie Atwood, she is a renowned former swimmer who started her career as a 15-year-old, representing the United States at the Summer Olympics of 1968.
She garnered significant success three years later at the Pan American Games of 1971, receiving three medals – two silvers and a bronze. She went on to win two medals at the 1972 Olympics, held in Germany. In 1977, she became the head coach of the women’s diving and swimming team for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Atwood set the stage for the female swimmers who came behind her and served as a source of massive inspiration. Her contributions to the field were recognized in 1992 when she was inducted as an “Honor Swimmer” in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
2. Ryan Bailey
Ryan Bailey (born: 1975) is a former water polo player and esteemed alumnus of Millikan High. He has made a significant impact in the realm of water polo.
After completing his schooling, Ryan went to UC Irvine and it was during this time that he earned the title of a four-time All-American, an honor bestowed upon top amateur athletes in America.
His exceptional performance also led him to win the prestigious Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Year award in 1998. Ryan’s dedication to the sport extended to the international stage, where he proudly represented the United States in four consecutive Summer Olympics, from 2000 to 2012. The highlight of his career was the silver medal victory at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, a historic moment for USA Water Polo in the Summer Olympics.
Bailey also went on to play water polo for a number of European clubs and played in European championships. In 2019, he was included in the Water Polo Hall of Fame in the United States.
3. Alden Darby
Alden Darby, Jr., a talented defensive back with a promising career, has made quite an impact in the world of Canadian football. He earned recognition as a standout athlete while playing at college level for Arizona State.
His professional journey began when he signed with the San Diego Chargers in the NFL Draft in 2014. He then went on to tie up with the Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans State before transitioning to the Canadian Football League (CFL) in 2017.
Currently, he plays for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and continues to make a tremendous impact on the football team with his dedication, resilience, and skill set.
4. Gene Hoglan
Eugene Victor Hoglan II, born in 1967, is an American drummer. He is known for his innovative drum arrangements and precision at high tempos – skills that have earned him nicknames like “The Atomic Clock” and “Human Drum Machine.”
Over the span of his career, he has contributed to several iconic bands such as Fear Factory, Dark Angel, Death, and Testament to name a few. He has been featured in several magazines such as Modern Drummer and Terrorizer Magazine.
He has also received several nominations in the “best drummer” category at several award shows. All these years into his career, Hoglan still remains a revered figure in the world of drumming and heavy metal music.
5. Wendi McLendon-Covey
Wendi McLendon-Covey is a renowned actress and comedian and a former student of Millikan High. Born in 1969, she is known for her improvisational skills and impeccable comic timing, both of which have contributed tremendously to her career in the entertainment industry.
Although her career began between 2001-2003, it catapulted to new heights in 2011, with her critically acclaimed role in the hit comedy film Bridesmaids alongside prominent actresses such as Melissa McCarthy and Maya Rudolph.
Her most popular role is that of the family matriarch, Beverly Goldberg, on the ABC comedy series The Goldbergs from 2013 to 2023. The performance earned her two nominations for Critics’ Choice Television Awards in the category of Best Actress in a Comedy Series. In addition, she has guest-starred in various shows like Modern Family.
Wendi’s filmography is so vast and well-acclaimed, that it speaks for itself. She is known to be a powerhouse entertainer and is highly celebrated and admired within the film circles, thanks to her professionalism and talent.
6. Spencer Steer
Spencer Gordon Steer (born in 1997) is an upcoming talent in professional baseball, serving as an infielder for the Cincinnati Reds in Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his highly anticipated MLB debut in 2022.
Before debuting on the professional stage, Steer played basketball at a college level for the University of Oregon. Steer’s journey to the big leagues was postponed due to the pandemic but he resumed his path to success in 2021 and he started the season with the Cedar Rapids team before earning a promotion to the Wichita Wind Surge. In 2022, he joined the Cincinnati Reds and was promoted to the major leagues.
He has been touted as a player to watch out for. His knowledge of the game, deft movement, and excellent sportsmanship vouch for the fact that he will achieve several accolades in his career in the years to come.
7. Soben Huon
Soben R. Huon, hailing from Los Angeles, California, is an accomplished American beauty queen who has made her mark in the Miss USA pageant circuit.
She won the coveted Miss Utah USA 2006 title in her very first attempt becoming the first woman of Asian descent to win the title.
After graduating from Millikan High, Huon attended Brigham Young University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She was excellent academically and was recognized with the John B. Tsu Fellowship from the International Leadership Foundation.
Presently, Soben Huon holds the position of Vice President at J.P. Morgan Securities, a wealth management sector.
As a valuable member of The Canell Group, she provides financial planning services as well as investment analysis services to a diverse clientele, including corporate executives, athletes, entertainers, small business owners, and retirees. Her journey has been quite prolific – spanning the realms of beauty pageantry and the financial sector.
8. Tino Nuñez
Nuñez is a soccer player, who excelled as a four-year letter-winner at Millikan High. With him on the team, Millikan went on to win four consecutive Moore League Championships.
During his time at school, he won several accolades such as Freshman of the Year. His senior year was particularly outstanding, with Nuñez securing 25 goals and 18 assists, solidifying his status as a soccer prodigy.
His professional career began when he was drafted by Real Salt Lake in the 2nd round of the 2008 MLS Supplemental Draft. He went on to make his debut with the RSL first team during the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in April 2008.
Despite his promising start, Nuñez faced increased competition and several setbacks during his journey. However, with determination, he bounced back signing with Rochester Rhinos in 2010, where he continued to display his soccer prowess for a season. He has played for several clubs, but most recently he played in the Professional Arena Soccer League for Ontario Fury.
Currently, he is back at Millikan High, serving the girls’ soccer team as the head coach. Under his guidance, the sports team (the Rams) went on to win two consecutive Moore League Titles in 2018-19 and 2019-2020.
We must add here that it is impressive to see how soccer has become a popular career path for high school students. If you are interested in this field, there are several scholarships that are designed to help students achieve their dreams.
As we reflect on the rich history and achievements of Millikan High School, it becomes evident that the institution plays a key role in the success of its students. Its dedication to nurturing the varying talents of its students – be it academic, artistic, or athletic – has produced students who excel in different walks of life.
Not just that, the school focuses on building a strong sense of community, and even students who are not widely recognized quietly pursue excellence and are committed to living a life of integrity.
Millikan continues to nurture its students towards greatness, preparing them to face the challenges of life as they leave the cocoon of high school. Raising children with diligence, understanding, and empathy has ensured that the school leaves a lasting impact on society and on the lives of its students.
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