Sociology major Tom Chiola ’74 served for 15 years as a Chicago circuit court judge, becoming the first openly gay candidate elected to public office in Illinois.

Now retired, he pursues his passion for theatre. A member of the Pride Films and Plays Organization in Chicago, he developed and produced Under a Rainbow Flag. The musical, which chronicles the lives of gay soldiers during and after World War II, received two Joseph Jefferson Awards for Best Musical Production of the Year and Best New Work.

The Jeff award is Chicago’s equivalent to the Tony, which is given for excellence in Broadway productions.