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Elgin High School to hold Alumni Hall of Fame inductions

September 20, 2016


Nearly 40 District U46 graduates will be honored Thursday night during a dedication of Elgin High School’s Alumni Hall of Fame.


The celebration intends to recognize the efforts graduates who rank among the nation’s top scientists, actors and journalists, some of which will be posthumously inducted while others will attend the event, which coincides with homecoming week.


“This Wall of Fame reflects the strong legacy of EHS and shows how far we’ve come,” said EHS Principal Jerry Cook, also an EHS alum in a news release. “Our esteemed alumni inspire today’s students and it’s extremely exciting to be able to share this program with our students, staff, graduates, and especially the families of our inductees who have shared their loved one’s journey.”


In 1980, former Elgin High School teacher Richard Felicetti first began urging the U46 community to recognize the efforts of graduates from the school, which was founded in 1869.


It wasn’t until later when former principal Dave Smiley met five members of the Class of 1960 that the effort got underway, the release said. Together, the volunteers started archiving historical artifacts, including newspaper clippings, sports programs and yearbooks.


Cook, a Class of 1991 graduate, has led the effort to complete the Hall of Fame by adding plaques to the wall, to account for the 38 graduates who will be inducted in 2016, the release said.


A number of Elgin High School alumni will be honored on Thursday.


Class of   


1883 - Max Adler


Benefactor of Adler Planetarium, Vice-President of Sears & Roebuck, Concert violinist


5/12/1866 – 11/4/1952


1901 - Jennie Christine “Jane” Peterson


Internationally Renowned Painter and Artist


1876 - 8/14/1965


1907 - Helen Miller Malloch


Founder of the National Federation of Press Women


11/8/1888 - 6/1963


1908 - Edna D. Geister


National Recreation Director of the YWCA


1917 - Mildred A. Engelbrecht


Bacteriologist, University of Alabama


1918 - Gail M. Dack, Ph.D, MD


Bacteriologist (Univ. of Chicago), internationally known authority on food borne diseases


1920 - John M. Qualen


Character Actor in over 100 films and Television Actor


1921 - Frank O'Beirne


Vice Admiral U.S. Navy, Director of Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff


1922 - Trygve Rovelstad


Renowned Sculptor & Medalist


1923 - James M. Roche


CEO of General Motors Corporation

1927 - Paul F. Flory


Polymer Chemist and Recipient of the 1974 Nobel Prize in Chemistry


1934 - John R. Tobin


Dean Emeritus of Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine


1935 - Alfred Y. Kirkland, SR., JD


 U.S. Federal Judge


1945 - Charles “Chick” L. Peterson


World Class Water Color Artist


1946 - Ray A. Barnhart


Federal Highway Administrator & Texas politician


1946 - James P. Kramer


United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Research Entomologist


1946 - John P. Kramer, Ph.D


Entomologist & University Professor, N.C.State Cornell


1946 - John R. Mink, Ph.D


Founding faculty member of the Dental School at University of Kentucky


1946 - Charles E. Swanson


President of Encyclopedia Britannica


1948 - Marshall I. Goldman, Ph.D


Wellesley & Harvard University Professor (Economics), Author & Researcher


1949 - Dietrich “Jack” C. Bauer


Microbiology Scientist, Indiana University


1949 - John “Jack” S. Shales & Marlene “Kane” Shales


 Philanthropist and Civic Leader


1951 - Douglas B. Nash


NASA Geologist, California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory,


Division of Space Sciences, Pasadena California


1951 - John W. Teets


CEO Greyhound, Dial & Armour


1953 - Wesley K. Foell, Ph.D


Environmental Scientist/Scholar, University of Wisconsin


1955 - Samuel A. Werner, Ph.D


Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, University of Missouri


1960 - Sara Melissa Hart


Miss Elgin - 1962 & Second City Alumni & Leading Character in the traveling production of “Cabaret” & a Tony Award nominated actress


1962 - Tom W. Shales


Television Critic for the Washington Post & 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism

1963 - Brian Oldfield


Olympic Shot Putter and World Record Holder


1965 - Richard M. Hoover


Tony Award Winning Production Designer


1969 - Daniel M. Brewbaker


Renowned Composer


1969 - Richard “Rick” W. Sund


NBA Executive


1971 - Deborah A. Lathen, JD


Bureau Chief at the FCC


1972 - Harold “Hal” Getzelman


NASA’s Capsule Communicator Chief Engineer

1973 - Jay Geldmacher


Executive Vice President of Emerson Electric


1974 - Joseph Incandela


Ph.D, American Particle Physicist


1976 - George A. Lesieutre, Ph.D


Professor of Aerospace Engineering, Pennsylvania State University


1978 - Nina Burleigh


Journalist and Best Selling Author


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