Carl Nuzman (THS 1948)

2014 Hall of Fame Inductee

Certified Professional Hydrologist and Engineer

Mr. Nuzman is a licensed professional engineer in 19 states with extensive experience in the areas of groundwater modeling, water well and well field design and construction, water well treatment and rehabilitation, and soil and groundwater remediation. He is known throughout the United States for his work in resolving water problems and still consults companies with water issues. Recognized in the K-State College of Engineering Hall of Fame. As a THS student he participated in Track and Vocational Electricity.

Amy Swenson (Staff, History, THS 1914)

2015 Distinguished Staff

Her June, 1914 THS yearbook described Amy Swenson as being “smart,” occupation as being “quiet, ambition “we musn’t tell,” and favorite expression “well, dear me.” Miss Swenson obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Washburn College and later a Master’s in history from the University of Wisconsin. She began teaching at Linwood, Kansas, followed by stays at Peabody and Manhattan. Next, for two years, she taught at the old Lincoln Jr. High in Topeka for two years. Miss Swenson came to Topeka High in 1926, on the faculty as a history and government teacher until retirement in 1959; she passed away in November 1985. One of her students at Manhattan H.S. was Fred Seaton, future Secretary of the Interior under President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Linda Dickinson Spalding (1961)

2015 Hall of Fame Inductee

Novelist and literary editor Linda Spalding has resided in Canada since 1982 and prior to that in Hawaii and Mexico. She taught English and writing at the University of Hawaii, York University (Canada), University of Guelph (Canada) and Brown University. With her husband, Michael Ondaatje, the couple edits the Canadian literary magazine Brick, a bi-annual publication. Ms. Spalding has written several novels and works of non-fiction including A Dark Place in the Jungle and The Purchase, for which she received Canada’s top literary prize, the Governor-General’s Literary Award. Among her activities at Topeka High, Linda Dickinson participated in Girls’ Pep, A. Representative Council and was a proctor.

Col. Richard Snyder (1941)

2015 Hall of Fame Inductee

Richard Snyder served as manager of the undefeated/untied Trojan football squad of 1940 and as a proctor. In the music department he was the orchestra concertmaster and a drum major in the band. Like many members of his class, within a couple of years he entered the military, the Army Corps of engineers in Patton’s Third Army. After graduating from the Washburn Law School in 1949, Snyder received a direct commission in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Appointed a trial judge in 1967, Col. Snyder tried cases across the globe, in Southeast Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. After serving as chief judge for Hawaii and Southeast Asia, col. Snyder retired in 1976. Back in Topeka, for a short period he was Acting General Counsel of the Kansas Corporation Commission before taking a position with the Georgia Court of Appeals. Col. Snyder passed away in June of 2015.

Fred L. Slaughter (1960)

2015 Hall of Fame Inductee

Literally and figuratively, Fred Slaughter was a “big man” on the Topeka High campus, activities including track, A.F.S. Council, Sr. Boys’ Council, and attendant at the All-School Party. At 6’5”, of course he was center for the Trojan basketball squad. Slaughter received his B.S. in Business Administration at U.C.L.A. in 1964 but is best remembered as being on Coach John Wooden’s first NCAA basketball championship team and the ‘63-’64 squad which went 30-0! Next, he earned his Juris Doctor degree at Columbia University Law School (1969) and for several years served as an administrator at the U.C.L.A. Law School. During the ‘70s through to 1997 Slaughter was an attorney and agent for several NBA players. The first and for a time only African-American NBA agents, the New York Times called him the “dean of black sports agents.” He also represented NBA referees.

Charles B. Axton II (1950)

2015 Hall of Fame Inductee

After coming to Topeka High mid-way through his junior year, Charles Axton did quite well: lead role his senior year in Seven Keys to Baldpate, news editor for the fall World, and performing his own composition at the orchestra’s spring concert. Next followed Washburn and then a stint in the Army, affiliated with the Army Field Band. He postponed his musical career to come home and manage KTOP radio station (as DF “Charlie Christian”). In 1969 Axton and his family moved to Germany where he became associated with the Nuremberg Opera House. While living in Europe, he introduced the American musical (e.g., West Side Story, Camelot, Anything Goes, etc.) to German audiences. Axton also guest conducted many symphony orchestras including the prestigious Berlin Symphony. Retired, he and his wife (Barbara Cross Axton 1951) live in Florida.

J.W. Jones (THS Physics)

J.W. Jones (THS Physics)

2016 Distinguished Staff

THS Physics.

J.W. Jones was and is a Topeka High legend, period. No student of his ever forgot his unique personality and mannerisms. A Nebraska native, he graduated from Peru State Teachers College, NB, later earning his Masters’ degree from Northwestern University. Jones was an instructor in Nebraska and South Dakota and Superintendent of Schools for Viborg, SD, before coming to Topeka High where he taught from 1935 to 1970. In his first years at Troy he oversaw biology as well as physics classes and for a time headed the THS Science Dept., also sponsoring JETS, the Junior Engineering Society. Many of J.W.’s students went on to science or engineering careers including the late Dr. James Gordon (1952), a nuclear physicist at Los Alamos. Known to all only by his initials, “J.W.”, a mystery has been recently solved: they stand for “John William.”

Ruth Hunt

2016 Distinguished Staff

THS Journalism.

“I’m a self-made man,” Journalism teacher and Kansas City, MO. native Ruth Hunt (1889-1964) often declared to her students. After graduating from KU in 1910, she taught at Northwest Missouri State and then for five years at Abilene High school. Miss Hunt came to Topeka High in 1918 as an English teacher, but soon thereafter was drafted as a journalism instructor. Soon she headed both the school paper, The World, and its annual, The Sunflower. Upon retirement in 1950, that year’s Sunflower was dedicated in her honor. Thereafter, for 11 years, Miss Hunt was manager of publications for Topeka’s Harry Turner and Associates, overseeing 15 to 20 publications. Many of her students went on with journalism careers, particularly with Topeka, Kansas City and Omaha papers. At least one of “her boys,” Paul Williams, later won a Pulitzer Prize for the Omaha Sun.

Brig. Gen. Norman Ramsey (June, 1900)

2016 Hall of Fame Inductee

In a career that spans three ward, Brig. Gen. Norman F. Ramsey (1882-1963) dropped out of Topeka High to participate in the Spanish-American War and later the Philippine Insurrection, seeing combat in the latter, Pvt. Ramsey kept a diary but also wrote back to the THS World about his experiences overseas (courtesy of the family, the THSHS has a copy of his diary). Upon discharge, he returned to Topeka High, graduated, and subsequently obtained an appointment to West Point where he was president of his class, 1905. Assigned to the Ordinance Corps, Ramsey was briefly in France in World War I. When World War II broke out he headed the Army Ordinance Arsenal at Rock Island, IL. In 1926 he earned the Soldier’s Medal for heroism when he risked his life to save others at a New Jersey ordinance depot on fire. For his service, Gen. Ramsey received numerous awards including French Legion d’Honneure and made a Commander of the British Empire. He and his wife Minna Bauer, also a THS graduate (June, 1901), had one surviving son, Norman, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1989.

Stewart H. Bailey (1985)

2016 Hall of Fame Inductee

After graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism, Stewart Bailey did what any young lad would do finding himself in New York City and interested in show biz; he became an NBC page. Years earlier, Bailey had an active career at Topeka High: A.F.S., Computer Club, Frisbee Club, Tennis, Thespians, with parts in the plays Bus Stop and The Music Man and a senior year topped with selection to National Honor Society and King of Courts. If at Topeka High he was on stage, in New York he became rooted back stage with numerous assignments such as production assistant at Saturday Night Live, executive producer of NBC’s New Year’s Eve from Times Square, and producer of an NBC special of The Voice in LA. All of this he topped as co-executive producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart earning Bailey four Emmys and three Peabody Awards. Currently he is executive producer of Last Call with Carson Daly on NBC.