Community and business leaders were among the 14 individuals announced today as inductees of the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation’s Hall of Fame, Class of 2016. The biennially-awarded EVSC Hall of Fame honors distinguished individuals who exemplify outstanding achievement in their life’s work and who have made a positive impact on public education in the greater community. It also emphasizes the importance of service to community and inspires EVSC students to seek excellence in their own education and careers.
“We are extremely proud and humbled by these individuals,” said David Smith, EVSC Superintendent. “They epitomize the best of the best, not only in business, but in in our local community and across the United States. They have made it their life’s work to make a difference and we are truly honored for them to represent the EVSC in this manner.”
Honorees were selected following nominations made during September. Chair for this year’s Hall of Fame was Jeff Justice, president of Hafer and EVSC Foundation secretary. Co-chairs included Brian Hancock, senior account executive at ONI Risk Partners and EVSC Foundation president; Gina Moore, administrative assistant at YMCA of Southwestern Indiana and EVSC Foundation board member; and Ben Shoulders, corporate relationship manager at Old National Bank and EVSC Foundation vice president.
The 2016 Hall of Fame inductees will be honored on March 15, 2017, at a celebration dinner sponsored by EVSC Foundation at 6 p.m., at the Tropicana Conference Center. To order a table for the event or for additional information, please call the EVSC Office of Development at 812-435-0229.
The 2016 EVSC Hall of Fame honorees are:
has chaired the Committee to Promote Respect in Schools (CYPRESS) for the last 16 years. Under her leadership, CYPRESS has led efforts to enrich classrooms for both teachers and students. Ms. Abrams has helped CYPRESS implement teacher workshops and provided curriculum materials for teachers to use the lessons of the Holocaust, the Civil Rights movement, and other events in history to promote respect and tolerance. She has also worked with Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Project to provide a collection of Holocaust Oral Histories which are available to the public at Evansville’s Central Library. Currently she is working with CYPRESS to launch HEART, a bullying prevention program for teachers and parents.
J. Edwin Cole
graduated from Central High School and was president of his class. He worked full-time as the high school sports editor of the Sunday Courier and Press while attending Evansville College. Mr. Cole began and ended his career at Central High School where he was named Indiana’s Outstanding Distributive Education teacher in 1963; one of the nation’s top eight high school journalism teachers by the Wall Street Journal and Indiana’s Outstanding Adult Education Administrator. Some of his community activities have included: chairman of the board of the Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union; president of the Evansville Coalition on Adult Literacy; president of the Downtown Quarterback Club; chairman of the EVSC Foundation’s Committee to rename Central Baseball Field the “Paul Gries Field” and president of the Central High School Football Club.
has been described by the New York Times as a “goddess”. Ms. Colton graduated from Harrison High School then studied music in Vienna, Austria; Oberlin College; the University of Cincinnati and in Zurich, Switzerland. She has performed with major orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. Ms. Colton has returned many times to Evansville to perform with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. When she is not performing on the international stage, Ms. Colton teaches at Oberlin College Conservatory.
Lt. General John B. Conaway (Ret.)
graduated from Bosse High School. He later attended Evansville College where he received a B.S. degree in Business Administration. Lieutenant General Conaway entered the Reserve Officer Training Corps program and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Air Force in June 1956. After completing basic pilot training and advanced combat crew training, his next assignments were as an F-102 fighter-interceptor pilot in the Air Defense Command at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base and Kincheloe Air Force Base, Michigan. After an illustrious and well-decorated military career, Lt. Gen. Conaway retired on November 30, 1993.
graduated from Reitz High School where he served as student council president. He went on to attend Butler University where he earned a BA in Economics. He then attended Indiana University School of Law for two years before deciding to pursue a career in commercial real estate. Mr. Fenneman founded two Indiana-based businesses, Fenneman & Associates and Southern Bells, Inc. – one of the largest Taco Bell franchisees in the country. He has given back to his community in many ways, including serving on the Board of Directors of the YMCA Camp Carson and on the board of trustees for Butler University. He also served as board president of the Boy Scouts of America National Foundation. Mr. Fenneman has received a Sagamore of the Wabash, YMCA Camp Carson Outstanding Volunteer Award, YMCA of Southwest Indiana “James Orr Award” as Outstanding Volunteer, Boy Scouts of American Silver Beaver, Award of Merit, Silver Antelope, Distinguished Eagle and 2007 Ernst & Young Indiana Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Father and Daughter inductees: Harold E. Gourley, Ed.D. and Karen LeMond
Harold Gourley, Ed.D.
, returned to Evansville and attended Evansville College after active duty on an LST in the South Pacific. He served as a teacher and administrator with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation for 45 years. Dr. Gourley taught at Fulton, Lodge and Glenwood Elementary Schools; he was then named principal at West Heights Elementary School in 1956. In 1963, he was named principal at Highland Elementary School, where he spent the next 37 years until his retirement in 1995. Dr. Gourley received several awards during his leadership at Highland, including the Outstanding Principal Award from Indiana Congress of PTA. Dr. Gourley was also a licensed IHSAA official of basketball, football, baseball and track. Dr. Gourley passed away on February 27, 2005.
is a graduate of North High School. She is an active board member on the Vanderburgh Community Foundation and on the advisory board for the Women’s Fund. Ms. LeMond also serves on the selection committee to award the Lilly Endowment scholarship. In addition to her volunteer commitment with several boards and non-profits in Evansville, she is a member of the American Rental Association and the Industrial Fabrics Association International. For the past 18 years Mrs. Lemond and her husband have owned and operated TRU Event Rental where she is the Secretary/Treasurer.
Joseph Heathcott, Ph.D.
, graduated from Harrison High School. He received his Ph.D. in History and American Studies at Indiana University. He currently serves as associate professor of Urban Studies at The New School University in New York City. Professor Heathcott has received numerous awards and honors including fellowships from U.S. Fulbright, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Erasmus Institute, the Mellon Foundation and the Brown Center for the Humanities. He has been invited to lecture, consult and judge design reviews in a wide variety of venues both in the U.S. and internationally. He volunteers with neighborhood groups and community organizations around issues of planning, preservation and urban design. He served on the Board of Directors of the Center for Urban Pedagogy and the Urban History Association and as president of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History.
received a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Edward’s University in 1963 and graduated from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking. He also saw active duty with the U.S. Army and the U.S. Army Reserve. Mr. Henning worked at Old National Bank for 42 years, working his way up from an adjustor to executive vice president and regional chief operating officer for the Evansville Region when he retired. Over the years he contributed his time and talents to many community organizations, including the Evansville Freedom Festival, the Evansville Association of Commercial Banks, the Consumer Credit Counseling Services, the Greater Evansville Lenders Association, and Reitz Memorial High School Alumni Association. Mr. Henning has also served as the associate general chairman of the United Way, vice-chairman of the Evansville Chamber of Commerce, and chairman of the Southern Indiana Financial Institutions for I-69 along with being a board member of several local non-profits.
Rose M. Cole Mays, Ph.D.
, graduated from Bosse High School. Dr. Mays earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Evansville and her masters in pediatric nursing from Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis in 1974. Her Ph.D. in nursing science is from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Mays retired from Indiana University after 36 years of service. Dr. Mays is founder and past president of the UE African American Alumni Association and serves on the UE Board of Trustees. Dr. Mays also carried out a program of research and professional service focused on health promotion and disease prevention for vulnerable adolescents. In 2002, she received the Tony and Mary Hulman Preventative Medicine and Public Health award from the Indiana Public Health Foundation for efforts to improve health care for the underserved. Presently she is Professor Emeritus, Indiana University School of Nursing.
graduated from Lincoln High School and devoted 29 consecutive years as a teacher, assistant principal and principal in the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. He was the first African-American elected to the Vanderburgh County Council. He also served as president of Evansville’s Board of Public Safety, president of the Friends of the Public Library, president of the Evansville Retired Teachers Association, chairman of the Police Merit Commission and construction chairman and vice president of the Board of Directors of the African American Museum. He and his wife, Mattie Miller, embrace the historic distinction as part of the first husband and wife concurrent principals in the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. Mr. Miller passed away on March 12, 2012.
Raymond W. Nicholson, M.D.
graduated from Bosse High School. He received his B.A. and M.D. degrees from Indiana University. Dr. Nicholson’s long and distinguished career as an educator and physician in family medicine began in August 1958. In 1980, Dr. Nicholson decided to move his practice into the Family Practice Center at St. Mary’s. He served in this capacity, as an educator of residents and family practitioner for 33 years – graduating more than 200 young physicians, most of whom stayed in the Tri-State area. Through the IU School of Medicine Volunteer Clinical Faculty, Dr. Nicholson donated countless hours of volunteer teaching and mentoring medical students through their two-year medical education in Evansville. Dr. Nicholson also served as the Vanderburgh County Health Officer from August 2007 to May 2014.
Honorable Leslie C. Shively
graduated from Harrison High School. He received his B.S. in Accounting and MBA from Indiana University and his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Indianapolis School of Law. Judge Shively has represented numerous clients in civil litigation involving significant land use and property rights issues. He also has represented the Vanderburgh County Election Board, the Town of Chandler and the Warrick County Plan Commission. From 2001-2011, he served as a member of the Indiana State Board of Law Examiners and was president for two years. He also c-hosted a weekly television show on PBIS affiliate WNIN entitled "Shively & Shoulders" with fellow attorney Patrick Shoulders. He is currently serving as judge of the Vanderburgh Superior Court. Judge Shively is currently teaching at Ivy Tech Community College and was a former adjunct instructor at the University of Evansville. He is also actively involved in the community with such organizations as Youth First, the Methodist Youth Home, Leadership Evansville, YMCA, Community Action Program, WNIN Auction and the Vanderburgh County 4-H Center. He also has served on the Board of Trustees for Indiana University and the Indiana State Student Assistance Commission. He also served as state trustee for Ivy Tech Community College. Mr. Shively has received numerous awards including Martindale-Hubbell Highest Possible Rating in both Legal Ability and Ethical Standards in 2011.
Michael R. Shoulders
graduated from Harrison High School. Mr. Shoulders retired from VPS Architecture as President and CEO in 2010 after 20 years. He is responsible for designing many of the landmark buildings around Evansville including; Central Library, Old National Bank, Ford Center, Ivy Tech Community College, Le Merigot Hotel, Vanderburgh County Courthouse renovation, Evansville State Hospital and more. Mr. Shoulders is also an incredibly active community member. He has served on the Arts Council of SW Indiana, the Evansville Vanderburgh County Building Authority, the Indiana Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission, the ECHO Housing Corporation, Keep Evansville Beautiful, Habitat for Humanity, Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center, Methodist Temple and Leadership Evansville.