Alumni in the Arts

Many of our graduates have become working artists, sculptors and musicians, as well as designers, filmmakers and educators. The following is a sample of some who have engaged their craft and excelled in their respective fields.


Chris albers '86

Former head monologue writer at Late Night with Conan O’Brien

Wrote for Late Night with David Letterman, Late Show with David Letterman, The Jon Stewart Show and Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher

Past President of the Writers Guild of America, East (2005-2007)

Nominated for 15 Emmy Awards, won an Emmy in 2007 for his work on Conan

Michael beugg '81

Producer and line producer with more than 30 feature credits, including Jason Reitman’s Golden Globe-nominated Thank You for Smoking, the Oscar-nominated Little Miss Sunshine and He’s Just Not That Into You (directed by SLUH alumnus Ken Kwapis '75)

Executive producer of Oscar-nominated Up in the Air, starring George Clooney and based on the 2001 novel by Walter Kim, and La La Land, winner of seven Golden Globes (the most ever for a movie)

Jim Byrnes '66

Musician who has appeared with the likes of Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Taj Mahal and Robert Cray

Produced several award-winning albums

Acting roles on television’s Wiseguy and Highlander series, and his national variety show The Jim Byrnes Show

Bill christman '65

Designer and producer of signs, murals, billboards, exhibits, sculptures, assemblages and theatrical scenery

Proprietor of Beatnik Bob’s, and the Director of the Museum of Mirth, Mystery, & Mayhem at St. Louis’ City Museum

Owner of Christman Studios and the Impresario of Thursday Nite Music at Joe’s Café in the Skinker/DeBaliviere Neighborhood

Rollo Dilworth '87

Associate Professor of Choral Music Education at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music

Past director of the music education program and director of the choral program at North Park University in Chicago

Oft-published composer of choral music, with emphasis in the areas of spiritual and gospel-inspired works

david giuntoli '98

Lead role of Detective Nick Burkhardt in the NBC supernatural drama Grimm, which premiered in 2011

Co-starred in the 2016 Michael Bay film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Sean gunn '92

Actor known for his role as Kirk Gleason on the television show Gilmore Girls (2000–2007)

Several television show guest appearances, and supporting role in Oscar-nominated blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy

George Hickenlooper '82

Directed Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991), the internationally acclaimed documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now (1979)

His films have been Official Selections at the Cannes, Toronto, Sundance, New York, Rotterdam, London, San Sebastian, Locarno, Munich, Tokyo, Sydney, St. Louis, and Moscow Film Festivals

Recipient of the Un Certain Regard Grand Prixat Cannes, an Emmy Award for best documentary feature, an Independent Spirit Award nomination, and a Golden Globe Award nomination

Geoffrey hitch '69

Associate Teaching Professor of Acting & Business Communications at The Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University

Also taught for the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama in London, The Juilliard Theatre Center, and Cognizant Academy in Amsterdam and London, among other notable schools

Freelance communications consultant and professional theater director (has directed over 160 professional productions)

ken kwapis '75

Award-winning director whose credits include feature films A Walk In The Woods, Big Miracle, He's Just Not That Into You, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and He Said She Said

For television, Kwapis helped launch HBO's The Larry Sanders Show, FOX's The Bernie Mac Show, and NBC's The Office; also directed episodes of Malcolm In The Middle and Freaks and Geeks

timothy sexton '78

Co-wrote the screenplay for the critically-acclaimed drama Children of Men, starring Clive Owen and Michael Caine

Credits earned nomination for an Academy Award for writing in the category of Best Adapted Screenplay, Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries

“My time at SLUH was truly transformative—and the most academically challenging time of my life. My art instructors gave me not only knowledge and skills in the arts, but more importantly the confidence to pursue my dreams, follow my passion and do what I love.”

- Doug Auer '95

Co-Founder, Third Degree Glass Factory, which creates amazing experiences with glass and offers classes, hosts events, creates custom commissions and sells its work in its gallery.

Doug began blowing glass in 1996 as a student at the University of Kansas. The next year he transferred to SIU-Carbondale to study glassblowing while pursuing a degree in Industrial Design.

He was hired by Washington University to teach glass blowing in 2000. In the fall of 2001 he teamed with McKelvey to co-found and establish Third Degree Glass Factory. He soon transitioned out of his teaching position to build the studio and focus on TDGF’s day-to-day operations.