South Houston High School
New SHHS Hall to Honor 55 Esteemed Grads
|Thursday, March 3rd, 2011
MARCH 3 CEREMONY WILL ENSHRINE NOTABLES
IN A VARIETY OF FIELDS, HONOR FALLEN SOLDIERS
A former assistant attorney general of the United States, a renowned physicist, a Himalayan adventurer, an opera singer and a major-league catcher are among a group of 55 esteemed South Houston High School alumni who will be inducted into the school's new Hall of Honor in a campus ceremony set for tonight (March 3).
The Hall of Honor will feature a display of inductee plaques on a 30-foot wall adjacent to the Reinartz Center just beyond the front entrance to the school. Nearly $3,000 -- much of it provided by alumni donations -- has been invested in the project.
South Houston opened its doors in 1957 and graduated its first class in 1959.
"This Hall of Honor will be a constant reminder of the impact that our alumni have had upon the community, the nation, and the world," said Dr. Steve Fullen, South Houston's principal.
"Our job is to prepare our students to move on to bigger and better things. With the dedication of the Hall of Honor, our students will have visible examples of just what 'bigger and better' means."
A reception is set for 6:30 p.m. at the school with dedication ceremonies beginning at 7.
Most of the initial honorees graduated during the school's first two decades. Six of the 55 plaques will honor servicemen who gave their lives in combat operations - four in Vietnam and one each in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The inductees were selected by the school's baccalaureate committee, a group of faculty members who are also charged with selecting an honored alumnus and an honored former faculty member each spring for the school's baccalaureate ceremony.
The committee spent nearly a year consulting with alumni groups, checking records and screening candidates before settling on an inaugural Hall of Honor class of 55.
Committee bylaws call for the selection of from one to five additional honorees each year. The committee will meet in late spring to consider new inductees.
All 47 surviving members of the first group of inductees - as well as family members of seven deceased honorees - have been invited to attend the Hall of Honor dedication ceremony on March 3 in the Reinartz Center. Pasadena ISD officials, members of the Pasadena ISD Education Foundation and other school and community officials are expected to attend.
The ceremony will conclude with the formal unveiling of the plaque display.
"Our students will now feel a connection with the past," Dr. Fullen said, "and they will see how they have the same opportunity to shape the world. At the same time, it is my hope that those chosen to be members of the Hall of Honor will feel connected to our current students and experience a desire to renew their involvement with South Houston High School."
The inaugural class includes individuals highly accomplished in such fields as medicine, education, religion, entertainment and the law.
The list includes Richard Willard (Class of 1965), who served as assistant attorney general of the U.S. under President Ronald Reagan. It includes the late Dr. Nathan Isgur (1964), a Presidential Scholar as a South Houston senior who went on to become one of the world's foremost theoretical physicists.
Isgur's brother Marvin (1970), a U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge in Houston, will also be inducted.
Five inductees have previously been honored by the Pasadena ISD for their career achievements.
James R. Smith (1960), a long-time teacher and administrator in the district, was named the district's Distinguished Alumnus in 2008. The late Dr. Paul Zanowiak (1965), a prominent dentist and Himalayan adventurer, was selected as Distinguished Alumnus in 2004.
Local businessman Herman Williams (1964) was selected as the district's Distinguished Citizen in 2007. Emory Gadd (1965), youth minister at Sagemont Church, was honored as Distinguished Citizen in 2005. Local businessman Terry Brotherton (1969) was chosen as Distinguished Citizen in 2009.
Entertainment notables include Mary Bowen (1991), a mezzo soprano with the New York City Opera; Donella Coffey (1970), a Hollywood production assistant with credits that include the hit TV show "Ally McBeal," and Susan Cobb Duff (1971), the mother/manager of acting and singing celebrities Hilary and Haylie Duff.
Athletes include Chris Tremie (1988), a former major-league catcher for four teams, including the Houston Astros; and Wes Hubert (1976), regarded as one of the best offensive linemen ever to play for the Texas Longhorns.
Two reporters for Channel 13 News - Deborah Wrigley (1969) and Cynthia Cisneros (1978) -- will also be inducted.
The South Houston High School Class of 1970 contributed nearly $1,100 to the project with funds collected during its 40th reunion celebration in Galveston last summer.
Event organizers expect most of the inductees to attend the dedication. RSVPs have already been received from as far away as Los Angeles and Key West.
"When South Houston opened its doors over fifty years ago, those first students were proud to be Trojans," Dr. Fullen said.
"They worked diligently to develop rich traditions that live on today. Today's students share those same values, customs, and traditions, and their chests still swell with the same pride as those very first Trojans, with whom they share a common identity."
SOUTH HOUSTON HIGH SCHOOL
HALL OF HONOR INDUCTEES
(Graduation class in parentheses)
Donald Meador (1959): Senior pastor, John Wesley Methodist Church, Houston; Leadership Council, Texas United Methodist Church Conference.
Dr. Ron Rucker (1960): National championship basketball coach and vice-chancellor, San Jacinto College; past chairman, Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.
James R. Smith (1960): Pasadena ISD teacher, principal and administrator; Pasadena ISD Distinguished Alumnus for 2008.
Larry Crow (1962): Former police chief and mayor of the City of La Marque.
Dr. Harriet Durr Romo (1962): Sociology professor and researcher, University of Texas-San Antonio; director, UTSA's Mexico Center; wife of Ricardo Romo, UTSA president.
Genia Long Ripley (1962): Manager, Pasadena ISD Police Department operations.
Timothy Shaunty (1962): Agricultural researcher and economics teacher, Texas A&M and South Houston High School; president, Texas Council on Economic Education.
Norton White (1962): Businessman; South Houston High School Scholarship Executor for the Class of 1962.
R. Joel Swanson (1963): Senior partner, Baker Botts, Houston; listed among Texas Super Lawyers.
Dr. Nathan Isgur (1964): Renowned theoretical physicist; winner of the 2001 Sakurai Prize in physics; member, the Royal Society of Canada; honored posthumously.
Cheryl Williams Bolen (1964): Journalist and author of historical romance novels.
Herman Williams (1964): Real estate investor and businessman; co-owner of Rountree Williams Mens Wear; past chairman, Pasadena Chamber of Commerce; member, Pasadena ISD Education Foundation; Pasadena ISD Distinguished Citizen for 2007.
Bob Allen (1965): College football standout, Texas Tech University; businessman and South Houston High School benefactor.
Emory Gadd (1965): Youth minister and community counselor, Sagemont Church; Pasadena ISD volunteer; Pasadena ISD Distinguished Citizen (2005).
Richard Willard (1965): Assistant attorney general of the U.S. from 1983-88 under President Reagan; Chief of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice; currently a law partner, Steptoe & Johnson, Washington.
Dr. Paul Zanowiak (1965): Dentist, humanitarian and Himalayan adventurer; founder, The Smile Store; established free dental clinics in Third-World areas; Pasadena ISD Distinguished Alumnus (2004); honored posthumously.
Cynthia Bryant (1966): Professor, University of Texas Law School; child and family advocate; task force member, Texas Supreme Court.
Lois Williams (1966): Director of oil and gas lease management, Amoco Corp.
Wayne Adams (1967): Former principal, Pasadena High School; member, Pasadena ISD Education Foundation.
Suzanne Covington (1967): State District Court Judge, Austin.
Dr. Darrell Harris (1967): Minister, affiliated with the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies in Orlando, Fla.; founder of Star Song Communications, a prominent Christian music recording company in Nashville, later acquired by music giant EMI.
Dr. Janie Hickerson Thielemann-Downs (1968): Professor, author, consultant for teaching training, University of Houston-Downtown.
Wayne Lutz (1968): Lt. Colonel, U.S. Air Force (retired); former chief test pilot, Boeing; aerospace faculty, Texas A&M.
Herman Munster III (1968): Scholarship executor for South Houston High School, Class of 1968; chairman, Greater Houston Youth For Christ.
Dr. Marvin Baza (1969): Optometrist; founder and director of the Pasadena Eye Center.
Terry Brotherton (1969): Real estate investor; member, Pasadena ISD Education Foundation; past chairman, Pasadena Chamber of Commerce; Pasadena ISD Distinguished Citizen (2009).
Michael Lindsey (1969): Partner, corporate development, Paul Hastings Law Firm, Los Angeles; Authority on anti-trust and intellectual properties issues.
Dr. Karen Sherman Dorris (1969): Senior pastor, Faith United Methodist Church, Richmond; Director, Texas United Methodist Church Conference.
Deborah Wrigley (1969): Reporter, KTRK-TV, Channel 13, Houston.
Donella Coffey (1970): Production assistant, TV and movie projects, Los Angeles.
Marvin Isgur (1970): Federal Bankruptcy Court Judge, Houston.
Dr. Mary Lund (1970): Author, lecturer and specialist in family counseling and dispute resolution matters, Los Angeles.
Gary Moss (1970): College basketball coach and high-school principal; member, Sam Houston State University Athletics Hall of Honor.
Ken Vanway (1970): Authority on estate and corporate planning; the Vanway Law Firm, Austin.
Susan Cobb Duff (1971): Motion picture producer; mother and manager of singer/actresses Haylie and Hilary Duff.
Dr. Lupita Palos (1971): Assistant professor and researcher, M.D. Anderson Center, Houston.
Dr. Gregory Fuller (1972): Professor of pathology, chief of neuropathology, M.D. Anderson Hospital, Houston.
Susan Spurlock Keiser (1972): Global head of trust and securities, LaSalle Bank Corp., a division of Bank of America; president, LaSalle National Trust of Delaware; board chairman for ABN AMRO Trustees Ltd. for both London and Dublin.
James Carter Hall (1976): Innovator and patent-holder in semiconductor systems; company start-up specialist.
Wes Hubert (1976): College football standout, All-Southwest Conference center, University of Texas; named to the school's All-Decade Football Team.
Cynthia Cisneros (1978): Reporter, KTRK-TV, Channel 13, Houston.
John Davis (1978): Member, Texas House of Representatives, District 129.
John O. Harris (1978): Real estate developer and entrepreneur; owner, John O. Harris Properties, Pasadena.
Dr. Ann Lutz Pearson (1981): Author and editor; English professor, San Jacinto College.
Dana Johnson Philibert (1985): Businesswoman, Philibert Allstate Insurance Agency; former Pasadena City Councilwoman; member, Pasadena ISD Education Foundation; current chairman, Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.
Chris Tremie (1988): Major league baseball player; catcher for the Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros.
Mary Bowen (1991): Internationally known mezzo soprano, New York City Opera and other companies.
Jason Jolliff (1992): Major, U.S. Marines, F-18 fighter pilot; decorated Iraqi theater veteran.
Dr. Justin Regner (1993): Surgeon, professor of surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; innovator in medical devices and procedures.
Edgar D. Page (1961): Specialist, U.S. Army, killed in action, Vietnam, April 28, 1968.
Austin William Haverkamp (1962): Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, killed in action, Vietnam, Sept. 28, 1968.
Douglas Robert French (1965): Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, killed in action, Vietnam, July 21, 1966.
Gerald Edward Blalock (1969): Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, killed in action, Vietnam, May 17, 1968.
Zarian Andre Wood (1999): Petty Officer, U.S. Navy, killed in action, Afghanistan, May 16, 2010.
Armando Soriano (2002): Private First Class, U.S. Army, killed in action, Iraq, Feb. 1, 2004.
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