THS Hall of Fame

This world has two types of people, those who make things happen and those who watch things happen. The former are those who help others instead of just themselves. Topeka High School has had the honor of educating a few of these individuals. These THS graduates are a credit to the spirit and the history of Troy. Topeka High School Hall of Fame began in 1982 to honor those who excelled and achieved significant accomplishments on a local, state or national level. Hall of Fame inductees are carefully selected and inducted each year.

Want to make a nomination?

If you know of someone who should be considered for THS Hall of Fame recognition, please send a nomination letter with two signatures of endorsement and complete current biographical information to:

THS Historical Society
800 SW 10th
Topeka, KS 66612

Photo by Anthony S. Bush

2019 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

T.C. Broadnax, Jr. (THS 1987)

David H. Overmyer

Gary L. Taylor (THS 1971)

2019 DISTINGUISHED STAFF

Donald E. Madl

Michael Homan

PREVIOUS INDUCTEES

Click on any name to read their bio and why they were selected.

Inductees from 2008 to 1998

2008

  • William I. Davis (1939). World War II fighter pilot.
  • Norma J. Norman (1963). Educator and business executive.
  • Mark L. Morris (1952). Veterinarian and animal researcher and nutritionist. (dec.)

2007

  • Robert Ebendorf (1957). Artist; a college educator, Mr. Ebendorf specializes in jewelry whose works are found in many prestigious galleries.
  • Glenn V. Elmore (1934). Engineer - scientist; Mr. Elmore invented a fuel cell which was a vital component in the space program and Apollo lunar missions. (dec.)
  • Lutie Lytle. Attorney; a late 19th century T.H.S. student, Miss Lytle was one of the first black women lawyers in the United States. (dec.)

2006

  • Grace Sawyer Jones (1956). Educator and administrator; President of Three Rivers Community College in Connecticut .
  • Carl Johnson (1960). Electrical engineer; he is CEO of II-VI, Inc., which manufactures x-ray instruments, laser, etc.
  • Stanley Wellborn (1962). Journalist; he was Director of Public Affairs at the Brookings Institute and an editor at the “U.S. News & World Report.”

2005

  • Kordula Polenek (1937). Studio executive; headed 20th Century Fox wardrobe dept.
  • Peg Shavey Griswold (1961). Businesswoman; CEO Medical Transportation Management.
  • Douglass W. Wallace (1965). Historian; a founder of the Topeka High School Historical Society.

2004

  • Dr. Richard E. Davis (1944). Physician, educator, and entrepreneur; he created the KC Masterpiece barbecue sauce.
  • Capt. Thomas F. “Swiftwater” Hahn (1944). Naval officer and archaeologist with National Park Service; he was a principal chief of the Delaware nation. (dec.)
  • David H. Roe (1958). Retired Brig. General U.S. Air Force and corporate executive; Rhodes Scholar and President of Central College, Iowa.

2003

  • The Hon. Charles Curtis. Statesman; Congressman, Senate majority leader, 31st Vice-President of the United States. (dec.)
  • Rebecca Stafford (1954). Educator; research sociologist and college president.
  • Richetta Manager (1971). Operatic singer; performer at U.S. and European festivals and international opera houses.

2002

  • Henry Bubb (1925). Business executive; CEO of Capitol Federal Savings. (dec.)
  • Richard McConnell (1947). Educator, athletic coach, basketball coach at Arizona Secondary schools.
  • Hon. David M. Ebel (1958). Jurist; U.S. Court, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

2001

  • Dr. Ronald L. Wigington (1949). Technologist, engineer; was engaged in computer research for the National Security Agency and later the American Chemical Society.
  • Charles W. Wright, Jr. (1937). Community leader and businessman; served as Topeka mayor, 1965-69, during the time of the disastrous 1966 tornado.
  • Zelma Watson George (1920). Civic leader, singer; in a variety of careers, Mrs. George was an operatic singer, alternate delegate to the U.N., and executive director of the Cleveland Job Corps Center for Women. (dec.)

2000

  • Charles E. Marling (1936). Retail business executive; Community leader. (dec.)
  • Sam A. Crow (1944). Jurist; Senior U.S. District Judge.
  • Walter Hatke (1967). Artist; Professor of Fine Arts, Painting & Drawing at Union College, Schenectady, NY.

1999

  • David Nelson (1962). Pediatrician and immunologist; forefront of medical research in serious diseases affecting children.
  • Martha Packard Perske (1954). Artist; illustrator and freelance artist who has designed numerous publications.
  • George Schrader (1949). Public administrator; he is the former city manager of Dallas, Texas.

1998

  • Elizabeth Fink Farnsworth (1961). Journalist; chief correspondent and principal substitute for PBS’s “The News Hour.”
  • H. Bernard Fink (1927). Businessman and philanthropist; he was president and chairman of the board of C-G-F Grain Company, later CGF Industries, Inc. (dec.)
  • George E. Walrafen (1947). Scientist; Professor of Chemistry at Howard University.

1997

  • John Davis (1934). Optometrist; best recognized as coach for American women’s international track teams. (dec.)
  • James W. Putnam (1932). Attorney; active in Emporia, Kansas community affairs including Camp Alexander, a recreation center for area youth. (dec.)
  • Dr. Douglas W. Wilmore (1956). Surgeon; Professor of Surgery at the Harvard Medical School whose research focused on burn treatment.
  • Barbara King Wilson (1934). Businesswoman; besides her insurance agency, Mrs. Wilson was involved in Manhattan, Kansas civic affairs and a member and chairman of Washburn University Board of Trustees. (dec.)

1996

  • Paul Fink (1948). Educator; served as Topeka High School’s principal, 1973-78. (dec.)
  • Dr. W. Walter Menninger (1949). Psychiatrist and medical executive, he is President and CEO of Menninger’s, the famed clinic and foundation.
  • Carolyn Smith-Meyer (1953). Operatic singer, performed in many of the great operatic houses and festivals in Europe. (dec.)

1995

  • Duane Barney (1946). Senior Engineer with Argonne National Laboratory; author of two books, and four patents and founder and board member of the National Chamber Orchestra. (dec.)
  • James W. Porter (1929). Attorney and civic leader; represented the Topeka School Board and is involved in many local cultural and charitable organizations. (dec.)
  • Larry Reid (1943). Educator; taught and coached at T.H.S. heading the football program, served as T.H.S. assistant principal, retired in 1986 as an Asst. Principal at Topeka West H.S. (dec.)

1994

  • Charles T. Carter (1934). Engineer; President of Sinclair Pipe Line Co. and upon merger with Atlantic Richfield Co. Vice President for Pipeline Transportation. Oversaw work in Alaska, Algeria, and southern United States. (dec.)
  • Denise McCluggage (1943). Journalist and author; editor of Sunday section “This World” of the “San Francisco Chronicle.” Sports writer for Herald Tribune and publisher and editor of “Competition Press” now known as “Auto Week.” (dec.)
  • Dr. Robert H. O’Neil (1938). Physician; served aboard U.S.S. Sabine and in naval hospitals, helped organize Cotton-O’Neil Clinic, PA, serving as Chairman of the Board.

1993

  • Ned N. Fleming (1917). Business executive; he helped organize, with his father, the Fleming Co. which became the nation’s largest wholesale food distributor, ranked #1 by “Fortune” magazine. (dec.)
  • Martha J. Herrick (1949). Educator and actress; the 2nd Head Drama Coach in the school’s history, she taught English and Theatre at T.H.S.
  • Charles W. Ryder (1910). Maj. Gen. U.S. Army; received the Silver Star in WWI and in WWII commanded the 34th Division which took Algiers in Operation Torch; also served in Occupation of Japan. (dec.)
  • Bruce G. Woolpert (1937). Engineer and businessman; rose to become CEO of the Granite Rock Co. which won the Malcolm Baldridge Award.

1992

  • F. Mark Garlinghouse (1932). Attorney and executive; he was Vice President and General Counsel of AT&T, then the nation’s largest utility. (dec.)
  • Miriam Baker Loo (1932). Businesswoman and civic leader; she established Current, Inc., which became a multi-million dollar direct-mail company. (dec.)

1991

  • Aaron Douglas (1917). Artist and educator; hailed “the Father of Black American Art’ and leader of the Harlem Renaissance who later headed the Art Department at Fisk University. (dec.)
  • Dr. William C. Menninger (1917). Psychiatrist and educator; a co-founder of the Menninger Clinic and oversaw mental health programs for the armed forces during WWII. (dec.)
  • Col. Arthur A. Poindexter (1935). Col., U.S. Marine Corps; he was a defender of Wake Island, and was later a military consultant to Pacific rim nations. (dec.)
  • Warren W. Shaw (1926). Attorney and civic leader; served as Staff Judge Advocate of Headquarters Command Allied Expeditionary Forces in WWII and was a community and Washburn leader. (dec.)

1990

  • Dr. Henry S. Blake, Jr. (1929). Physician and surgeon; devised a portable blood refrigerator to ship whole blood that proved valuable during WWII. (dec.)
  • Margaret Irwin Haucke (1923). Business executive; a senior executive with the Santa Fe Railway, at the time highest position attained by a woman in an American railroad. (dec.)
  • Dr. Julia Long Parks (1941). Educator; a Professor of Education at Topeka’s Washburn University and author of numerous articles. (dec.)

1989

  • Dr. Frank W. Hale, Jr. (1944). Educator and author; involved in furthering the education of black and minority students and is a college lecturer and consultant. (dec.)
  • John W. Ripley (1914). Businessman; he managed the family business, Ripley Cleaners, but is best known for editing the local Shawnee County Historical Bulletins and his interest in history. (dec.)
  • Phillip W. Whitcomb (1906). Journalist; Topeka High’s 2nd Rhodes Scholar, reported for numerous American, British, and European papers, and published business journals in Europe. (dec.)

1988

  • Gen. Clarence T. Edwinson (1929). Brig. Gen. U.S. Air Force; “Curly” was a local sports hero and flew 30 combat missions in WWII, a colorful figure on the gridiron and in the air. (dec.)
  • R. Edward Love (1939). Businessman and civic leader; a local realtor and involved in many cultural organizations, including being a founder and first President of the T.H.S. Historical Society. (dec.)
  • Bradbury Thompson (1929). Artist and graphic designer; designed many publications and books including U.S. postage stamps and was responsible for the “Washburn Bible.” (dec.)

1987

  • Pamela Hollie Kluge (1966). Journalist, foundation executive, civil society professor, conservationist, philanthropist; currently a senior fellow, The Prague Institute for Global Urban Development.
  • Kirke Mecham, Jr. (1943). Composer; best known as a composer of operas, including “Tartuffe.”
  • Mike Torrez (1964). Professional athlete; a baseball pitcher who played on both American and National League teams winning two World Series games for the New York Yankees in 1977.

1986

  • Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen (1949). Lt. Gen. U.S. Marine Corps; he served in Korea and Vietnam and at retirement was the ranking Marine advisor. (dec.)
  • Rex Tod Hunter Stout (1903). Novelist; he created the mystery detective Nero Wolfe, and was a co-founder of the Vanguard Press. (dec.)
  • Dr. Ruth Stout Wright (1927). Educator; taught English at Topeka High School, was Dean of Students at Washburn University, and in 1958 served as President of the National Education Assn. (dec.)

1985

  • Maj. Joseph B. Anderson (1961). Business executive; retired as a Major in the U.S. Army with service in Vietnam and now heads a GM Pontiac division.
  • Balfour S. Jeffrey (1924). Attorney and utility executive; he was President and later Chairman of the Board of the Kansas Power and Light Co. (dec.)
  • E. Newton Vickers (1944). Jurist; he served as a judge of the District Court and is a Topeka civic leader. (dec.)

1984

  • Thomas H. Barrett (1948). Business executive; Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in the late 1980s.
  • Samuel C. Jackson (1947). Attorney and civil rights leader; an Assistant Secretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Nixon Administration. (dec.)
  • The Hon. Kay McFarland (1953). Jurist; was appointed the first woman to the Kansas State Supreme Court and in 1995 elevated to Chief Justice.

1983

  • John Slaughter (1951). Scientist and educator; headed the National Science Foundation in early 1980’s and was later Chancellor of the University of Maryland.
  • Dean Smith (1949). University of North Carolina basketball coach; played on KU’s 1952 NCAA championship team and coached UNC to two championships and the 1976 American squad to gold in the Olympics. (dec.)

1982

  • The Hon. Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker (1950). Former U.S. Senator from Kansas.
  • Dr. Karl A. Menninger (1910). Psychiatrist and author; co-founder and later head of the Menninger Clinic and Foundation. (dec.)


Topeka High Distinguished Staff

  • E.B. “Buck” Weaver. Athletic coach and THS principal. (dec.)
  • Robena Pringle. History and social studies instructor. (dec.)
  • Marjorie L. French. Chairman of Mathematics department. (dec.)
  • Maude Bishop. History and social studies instructor. (dec.)
  • John Hoehner. Mechanical drawing and stagecraft instructor. (dec.)
  • Carmie Wolfe. Chairman of T.H.S. English Dept. (dec.)
  • Gertrude Wheeler. English instructor and drama coach. (dec.)
  • James Matt Hill. Social Studies instructor and debate coach. (dec.)
  • Elbert M. Fly, Jr. Vocal music instructor. (dec.)
  • Loren M. Nuzman. Industrial Arts and Woodworking instructor. (dec.)
  • Vance J. Williams. English instructor and Assistant Principal. (dec.)
  • Francis Hutchison. Biology instructor. (dec.)
  • Wilfred ‘Willie’ Nicklin. Head Basketball Coach.
  • Ruth Phillips. Biology instructor. (dec.)

Topeka High Distinguished Trojans

2012

  • Margaret Hazzard Beers ( 1948). Topeka community activist.
  • Paul Ebel (1958). Engineer, Center for International Trade and Security.
  • L. Brent Kington (1953). Metalsmith and educator. (dec.)
  • Minnie Stewart (1919). THS Math Instructor for 40 years. (dec.)

2013

  • Norton Belknap (1943). Chemical Engineer and Business Executive.
  • Robert Dolgoff (1960). Psychiatrist and Medical Volunteer.
  • Judy Stuenkel Soule (1958). Educator and Community Activist.

2014

  • Carl Nuzman (1948). Certified Hydrologist and Engineer.
  • James Barton Phelps (1934). Superior Court Judge of California.
  • Shaol Pozez (1942). Business and Philanthropy. (dec.)

2015

  • Charles B. Axton (1950). Musician and Musical Theatre conductor.
  • Fred L. Slaughter (1960). Basketball, sports attorney and agent.
  • Richard Snyder (1941). International Judge Advocate General.(dec.)
  • Linda Dickinson Spalding (1961). Novelist and literary editor.

2016

  • John Atkinson (1961). Medicine, research of human immune system.
  • Stewart H. Bailey (1985). Television producer.
  • Brig. Gen. Norman Ramsey (June 1900)). Military career that spanned 3 world wars. (dec.)

2014 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES