The GOLD Award

The GOLD Award recognizes an outstanding Graduate of the Last Decade who has shown leadership in a career or occupation and in volunteer service. It is awarded to a reunion celebrant at the Reunion Awards Dinner each June. 

To nominate an alumna/us for the GOLD Award, click the following Nomination form and select “GOLD Award” in the drop-down menu.

Supplemental materials that can not be uploaded may be mailed to Office of Alumnae/i Relations, Dominican University, 7900 W. Division Street, River Forest, IL 60305. You can also fax supplemental materials to (708) 366-4197.

2017 GOLD Award recipient


Michael E. Meranda ’07, MBA ’10

Michael E. Meranda ’07, MBA ’10 has enjoyed success as an entrepreneur and continues to be an active member of the Dominican community returning to campus to speak to students about business and helping organize and support the annual St. Joseph’s Day celebration.

Michael is the owner/president and Master Gelatiere of Sapori Antichi International Import, Inc. (Gelato D’Oro®.) Sapori Antichi is an international food imports company founded by Michael and his wife Mary to create authentic foods directly influenced by the Italian culture.

Currently, Michael and his wife have a gelateria & Italian café in Addison, along with a catering and food truck division. In the fall of 2017, they expect to open their next location in the heart of Downtown Chicago. They plan to create an authentic Italian bar experience for their customers.

In September of 2017, Michael will represent the United States in Italy as he will compete in the Grande Finale of the Gelato World Tour. This past September, he won the Illinois Challenge of the Gelato World Tour with his flavor Breakfast at Nonna’s House, which has allowed him to move forward to the Grande Finale.

Michael is very proud of his contribution to the long-standing St. Joseph’s Day Table Celebration on campus. While a student and president of the Dominican University Italian Organization, Michael helped organize the day’s events including a Mass in Italian followed by a large table celebration, which consisted of foods donated from the local community. Today, he continues to serve as a chef consultant and planner along with members of the Amici di San Giuseppe, directed by the Italian Discipline.

Previous recipients of the GOLD Award include:

1993 - John V. Paris II ’87 
1995 - Kevin Austin ’90, MBA ’92 
1996 - Joan Sedivy Sylvester ’86, MBA ’92, Kevin O’Mara ’91 
1997 - Laura Nozicka ’92 
1998 - Erick Baumann ’93 
1999 - Ramiro J. Atristain ’89 
2000 - Keith Izban, M.D., ’90 
2001 - Marilyn Anderson-Rhames ’96 
2002 - Ignacio Gamboa, Jr. ’92 
2004 - Aracely Barragan Lawrence ’94 
2005 - Evelyn Benitez ’00 
2006 - Manny Flores ’96 
2007 - Steven E. Lize ’97, Brother Edmund Siderewicz, FSC, MAEA ’97 
2008 - Gina Marotta ’98 
2010 - Xochitl Espinosa '00 
2012 - Abby Zupancic ’07 
2014 - Jessica Cochran ’05
2016 - Tracy Samantha Schmidt ’06
2017 - Michael E. Meranda ’07, MBA ’10

Please contact Alysha Biehl at or (708) 524-6296, with any questions regarding award nominations.