Bob Friend, who graduated from Westside in 1949, pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1951-1965 after playing just one year of minor league baseball. He threw his final season with the New York Yankees and New York Mets. Nicknamed “Warrior,” while playing football for the Red Devils, he was the first pitcher to have a leading ERA (2.83) while pitching for a last place team. Friend led the National League in starts each season from 1956 through 1958, innings in 1956 and 1957, and tied with Warren Spahn for the National League lead with 22 wins in 1958. An All-Star for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Friend holds their greatest number of pitching records, including the most strikeouts, most games started and most innings pitched. He also was one of only two NY Mets pitchers to defeat Sandy Koufax. He shares the National League record with two All-Star Game victories (1956 and 1960), and lost the 1958 All-Star Game as a reliever. Friend also pitched in games two and six in the dramatic 1960 Yankee-Pirate World Series.
A Purdue graduate, Friend served as a player representative for both Pittsburgh and the National League. After retiring, he worked as controller of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania from 1967 to 1975. He concluded his career working at an insurance brokerage, for which he was named vice president. Friend lives in Pittsburgh, and has been a three-time delegate to the Republican National Convention.
Tom Kelly, who graduated from Westside in 1967, is best known for the music he wrote with Bill Steinberg that generated hits for well-known pop music artists, including Pat Benatar, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, The Bangles, REO Speedwagon, Whitney Houston, and Phil Collins. The recordings include five number-one singles on Billboard’s Top 1000, including “Like a Virgin” and “True Colors.” Kelly also received 16 American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) awards for top 50 songs. He was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2011. Kelly first launched his music career by playing weekend gigs with Purdue students and Westside graduates Nick Kildahl and Doug Livingston. He then played bass guitar and sang in several bands in the late 1960s and early 1970s. After moving to Los Angeles, he played in Dan Fogelberg’s backup band. He and other band members recorded two albums in 1976 and 1977 under the band name Fool’s Gold. He also accompanied Toto on their 1979 World Tour as a backup singer and rhythm guitarist, and sang background vocals on the Toto albums Toto IV and The Seventh One. In 1981, Kelly wrote his first hit song, “Fire and Ice,” with Pat Benatar for her Precious Time album. He then collaborated with Steinberg on several other hit songs. They also released their own album, Taking a Cold Look, in 1983 under the band name i-Ten.
Hit songs and the artists who recorded them include:
Kelly says that while he was not a standout student, he did appreciate the education he received at Westside. “I must say that the average Westside student was a cut above the average bear,” Kelly says. “It was a small group, but a very intelligent and clever bunch; a friendly and safe bunch of kids to be around. I was proud to be from Westside.”
An internationally renowned scientist, Philip S. Low graduated from Westside in 1965 and came to Purdue University in 1976. He serves as the Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Purdue Center for Drug Discovery—Biochemistry. Low’s research, which focuses on treating cancer and inflammatory diseases, has generated more than 50 patents and five drugs currently being used in human clinical trials. Most of the research takes place at Endocyte, Inc., which he founded at the Purdue Research Park in 1995. Other companies founded by Low include PathoChip Inc., On Target Laboratories, Inc. and HuLow LLC. Low has received both of Purdue’s awards for outstanding research, an NIH Merit Award, and several national and international research awards. He also has organized several international/ national conferences and chaired two Gordon Conferences. Low has published more than 380 articles, and serves on five editorial boards and several external advisory boards for major institutions. He also has presented more than 570 lectures on his scientific discoveries to audiences around the world. Low credits his Westside education for building the foundation for his current success. “Although I found my courses at WLHS to be quite difficult, I enjoyed them all and greatly appreciated the outstanding teachers that engendered in me a love for learning and exploring,” Low says. “I found Mr. Guy’s chemistry classes especially inspiring, and I am probably a chemist today because of his teaching.”
Low says Westside wasn’t all work and no play, however. “I had a great time participating in dance band, orchestra, marching band, and basketball,” Low says. “Because most of my close friends were involved in the above musical organizations, we would often meet after school for jam sessions. We actually became somewhat acceptable in playing Dixieland music and even made a couple of recordings of our performances.” Low says sometimes, extracurricular activities competed for his time. “When I was a senior, I remember practicing for the sectional tournament (I was the starting forward) at the same time that the orchestra was preparing for an important concert,” Low says. “Howie Howenstein marched into basketball practice and yanked me out by my shirt proclaiming that my first allegiance was to the orchestra and not basketball. Coach Berberian simply stood their speechless and submitted to Howie’s demands.” Low, who received a basketball scholarship from Brigham Young University, says the dedication afforded by his coaches and teachers paved the way for his future. “I struggled with my courses in high school (my GPA was only slightly above a B average), but what I learned at WLHS prepared me very well for the subsequent academic challenges I was soon to face,” Low says. “In fact, the further I went in my schooling, the easier I found it to be.”
Tom Moore is an award-winning director whose original Broadway production of Grease ran for 3,388 performances. He also has received Emmy nominations for directing the hit TV drama series LA Law and ER, and the comedy series Mad About You. After graduating from Westside in 1961, Moore attended Purdue University where he earned a BA in Theatre in 1965. He then went on to earn a master’s fine arts from the Yale Drama School, after which he launched his directing career with Loot at Brandeis University and Oh, What a Lovely War! at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He also directed the nostalgic World War II musical Over Here! which earned him a Tony Award nomination in 1974. Other critically acclaimed stage productions directed by Moore include 1978 Broadway revival of Once in a Lifetime; and the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama ‘night, Mother, for which he received another Tony Award nomination for Best Direction of a Play.
Additional credits include The Octette Bridge Club and Moon Over Buffalo. Moore also has directed several film and television productions in addition to those for which he received Emmy nominations. They include Thirtysomething, Cybill, Suddenly Susan, Picket Fences, Northern Exposure, Ally McBeal, Dharma & Greg, Gilmore Girls, Felicity, and Huff. Feature films include Return to Boggy Creek and an adaptation of ‘night, Mother, which was featured at the 37th Berlin International Film Festival. He also recently finished a documentary, “The Flight Fantastic” which will play the Byron Bay Film Festival in Byron Bay, Australia in March. Moore Recently joined the Yale School of Drama Advisory Board. He also was presented with the Presidents Award from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Moore says he fondly remembers his high school days when he got involved with theater and starred in The Man Who Came to Dinner. “When I toured the new high school a while back, I found it impressive and satisfying that the old high school had been totally absorbed into the center of the new one,” Moore says. “The old had ceased to exist in the service of something greater. What could be better? The old theatre was in part now a wrestling room. It’s sort of ironic, as I had dropped out of wrestling to pursue the theatre, which was painful at the time, but in retrospect, a good choice!”
Janet Tobias, who graduated from Westside in 1976, is an Emmy award-winning director/ producer with 20 years’ experience working for ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, Discovery, and MSNBC. Tobias launched her career as Diane Sawyer’s associate producer for the TV news magazine, 60 Minutes. There she developed a variety of domestic and international stories, from a portrait of the Japanese organized crime syndicate Yakuza, to the abuse of boys in a Guatemalan orphanage. In 1989, Tobias helped Sawyer launch Prime Time Live at ABC News. There she produced/directed stories ranging from investigations of alcohol abuse by pilots, to the sex trade in Thailand, to a feature on the Kuwaiti royal family after the first Gulf War.
In 1992, Tobias diverted her news production career to write a screenplay called The Volunteer. It features a former member of the IRA who decided that the price of violence was too high. In 1993, she returned to the networks and moved into management at Dateline NBC. She also continued to produce/direct stories ranging from examinations of environmental damage by the oil industry in Ecuador, to a historical review of Soviet misinformation campaigns, to the murder of street kids in Rio De Janiero. In 1995, she took a position as executive producer at New York Times Television where she supervised the production of a foreign news show that reported on a variety of issues, including rape as a war crime in Rwanda. That particular award-winning piece appeared on Nightline. Tobias then returned to ABC News where she developed and directed criminal justice stories for Nightline, 20/20, World News Tonight, and Good Morning America. In 1998, Tobias served as an executive with PBS, where she developed and produced programming and joint projects with ABC and Discovery. A four hour Frontline/Nightline series on the California juvenile justice system won two American Bar Association silver gavels.
In 2001, she launched Life 360, an Emmy-award-winning weekly PBS series that combined documentary pieces with dramatic and comic monologues. In 2002, Tobias joined Sawyer Media Systems, a creator of Internet video technology. She also continued to produce documentaries on a variety of social issues through Sierra/Tango Productions. One of the company’s more recent productions is the movie No Place On Earth, which features five families that lived underground for 511 days to escape the Holocaust. In 2004, Tobias became a founding partner of Ikana Health + Media, a healthcare company that uses technology, social media, and storytelling to improve people’s health. She serves on the boards of Healthright International, Healthbuilders/Rwanda Works, and the East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership. She also is an adjunct assistant professor of medicine in the department of health evidence and policy at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and research professor of global public health in the NYU Global Institute of Public Health (GIPH).