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Jim Krenn ’83, Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

James Krenn ’83: 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

Jim Krenn is honored as a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus for his renowned career as a radio personality and for his commitment to the community through the many charities he supports. 3:13, 8.31 MB

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Jim Krenn '77

Jim Krenn is honored as a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus for his renowned career as a radio personality and for his commitment to the community through the many charities he supports.

Mr. Krenn’s career as a funny man started in 1977, when he was encouraged to participate in an annual talent show at North Catholic High School. His ability to mimic others was well known throughout the school, and his friends thought he’d be a hit on stage. The morning of the show, Mr. Krenn visited the teachers’ lounge, where his sarcastic and funny impressions won praise and approval. That evening, he earned for his performance at the talent show his first standing ovation.

He had officially been bitten by the entertainment bug. While he wanted to pursue a career in entertainment, his parents insisted he pursue an education first. Mr. Krenn enrolled in the Community College of Allegheny County; by day, he attended classes and, at night, performed his comedy routine throughout the Pittsburgh area. His reputation and popularity continued after Mr. Krenn transferred to IUP. While his friends were working on campus or delivering pizzas, Mr. Krenn was earning extra money—and making a name for himself—by performing his comedy routine at clubs, universities, and other venues across the country.

After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing in 1983, Mr. Krenn went on to perform with comic legends Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Howie Mandel, Richard Lewis, Tim Allen, Gilbert Gottfried, and Dennis Miller. At one time, he shared top billing with an up-and-coming comic named Drew Carey.

A comedy performance in late 1987 at a Pittsburgh club led to a job offer to join the morning broadcast at WDVE, Pittsburgh’s number-one radio station. For more than twenty years, generations of Pittsburghers have started their mornings by listening to him and his host of character voices. Not one to sit by quietly, Mr. Krenn continues to perform his stand-up comedy routine to standing-room-only crowds throughout the Pittsburgh area and across the country.

His accolades are many. Billboard magazine has named him to its list of “Major Market Personalities of the Year.” On five separate occasions, Mr. Krenn was voted as one of the “Top Entertainers in the City” by Pittsburgh magazine.

Mr. Krenn’s work isn’t solely focused on comedy; he is committed to his community, as well. Together with his DVE morning show cohosts, Mr. Krenn raised more than $1.2 million for various Pittsburgh charities through the production and release of twenty comedy CDs. He has also lent his talents to numerous events that benefit the Toys for Tots program, the Multiple Sclerosis Service Society, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Through work with Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital, Mr. Krenn and WDVE’s yearly radio-thon raised over $200,000 in the last two years and continues to grow. He is also the cochair of the Epilepsy Foundation’s annual walk held in Pittsburgh. In addition, Mr. Krenn can be seen on television and at several events each year that benefit Animal Friends. His work was honored with the organization’s coveted “Golden Fire Hydrant” award for his fundraising and awareness efforts in animal adoptions.

In 2009, Pittsburgh’s Mayor Luke Ravenstahl declared February 22 as “Jim Krenn Day.” Mr. Krenn was honored to carry the Olympic torch as it passed through Pittsburgh on the way to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Mr. Krenn and his wife, Hedy, live in Pittsburgh with their four dogs and two cats.

Profile published on 5/11/10

2010 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

John Bodnar ’83
John Bodnar is honored as a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus for his extraordinary work as a photojournalist covering the nation’s most important events. His travels have taken him all the way from WIUP FM to Air Force One—and his adventures continue.
Jay Costa ’79
Senator Jay Costa was recognized as a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus for his tireless public service and dedication to the people of Pennsylvania’s 43rd senatorial district.
Jeremy Critchfield '93
Jeremy Critchfield is honored as a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus for his noteworthy career in culinary arts.
Jim Krenn ’83
Jim Krenn is honored as a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus for his renowned career as a radio personality and for his commitment to the community through the many charities he supports.
Almar Latour '94
Almar Latour is recognized as a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus for his extraordinary career in journalism.
Juan Carlos Salcedo ’77
Juan Carlos Salcedo is honored as a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus for his international business success and his commitment to building lasting relationships with his Chinese counterparts.
Charles Winwood ’69
Charles Winwood is cited as a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus for his notable career with the U.S. Customs Service and for his achievements that have been recognized by U.S. presidents, foreign governments, and community organizations.
Gerald Zahorchak M’88
Career in education includes teaching experience in both elementary and secondary education, as well as teaching and leading in North Star, Shanksville–Stonycreek, and finally Greater Johnstown, where he held a series of increasingly responsible roles, ultimately serving as the district’s superintendent.
 
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