Past Hall of Fame Inductees  

Bassett, Bill
Bill Bassett is the chairman of the Board for Bassett Mechanical, a family owned company founded in 1935. Bill became the company’s second generation of family Leadership in 1974 and served as President and CEO for 33 years. Under his leadership, Bill grew the company into an industry leader in mechanical contracting, engineering, industrial refrigeration, metal fabrication and maintenance services based on a foundation of honest, integrity, and mutual respect.  

Bill’s leadership is built firmly on his belief in the “We Answer to You” philosophy, grounded in the conviction that we should do our best to “answer to” our customers, employees, suppliers, and our community. Bill believes in maintaining a strong, vibrant workforce and culture that contributes to the communities in which we live, work, worship, and learn, which he modeled throughout his career.

Inducted in October, 2016

Bernardin, Dr. John
Class of 1986
After graduating from Appleton West High School in 1986, John Bernardin went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with Honors and a Minor in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an MSME and PhD from Purdue University. Doctor Bernardin is a Senior Research and Design Engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory, owns an engineering consulting firm, vacation property rental business, and is a Professor at the University of New Mexico.

As a practicing engineer, he has designed key elements for world-class physics research centers including the National Ignition Facility, the Spallation Neutron Science Center, and the Los Alamos Science Center. Dr. Bernardin is a consulting expert for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, a collaboration between 35 nations to construct the world’s largest fusion research reactor. He’s designed a dozen spacecraft science instruments in support of national defense and scientific exploration. He led an engineering team to build a laser-zapping Composition instrument, currently active on the NASA Mars Rover Curiosity. Dr. Bernardin has published over 100 technical papers and mentored 75 engineering students. He’s taught engineering classes to the U.S. Military, numerous government agencies and large corporations. He was called upon by the U.S. government to provide engineering assistance during the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant and Deepwater Horizon Platform disasters, after which he received the U.S. Secretary of Energy's Achievement Award.

In his spare time he enjoys biking, skiing, and hiking in the mountain ranges of the western U.S. and around the world.  He attributes his accomplishments in life to the guidance of his parents, the Word of God, and the education he received while being a Terror at Appleton West.

Inducted October, 2022

Bohn, Major General Robert D.
Class of 1939
During his 32-year career in the United States Marine Corps, Major General Robert Dewey Bohn USMC (retired) served with distinction and honor. As a veteran of World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam, he participated in the battle of Iwo Jima, Pusan Perimeter, Inchon-Seoul Landing, and the Tet Offensive, earning two Silver Stars, two Purple Hearts, and the Legion of Merit. Upon his retirement, he owned and operated Courts Royal racquetball clubs, served as Chairman of the Retired Officers Association and was involved with the Armed Forces YMCA and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation.

Inducted June, 2003

Boldt, Tom
Class of 1970
While the 1970 State Basketball Championship was the most unifying experience for our class, history will also record an extensive list of personal and professional accomplishments by this group of West graduates. I was fortunate to have parents and family who were exceptional mentors, to have had teachers, friends and associates who shaped my perspectives and to have had life experiences that provided me with endless opportunities.

I have contributed to and been enriched by cornerstone organizations like the YMCA, Rotary, United Way and Memorial Presbyterian Church. I have been challenged and grown through leadership roles at St. Olaf College, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board and the Aldo Leopold Foundation. I have had fun promoting the mystery of Harry Houdini.

Along the way, I have met many who have, like my classmates of 1970, cared deeply about their causes and worked tirelessly to make the world a better place.

Inducted June, 2011

Boronow, Richard C., M.D.
Class of 1952
Dr. Boronow did his undergraduate work at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. and medical school at Northwestern’s Chicago campus. His internship was at Cook County Hospital and residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Evanston Hospital, part of the Northwestern system. His cancer training included fellowships in general surgery at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and in gynecology at the M. D. Anderson Career Center in Houston.

Board Certified in Gynecology and Obstetrics and in the subspecialty of Gynecologic Oncology, he served on the Northwestern faculty for two years before accepting an appointment at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson from 1957-1977. He then moved his referral practice in gynecologic oncology and gynecologic surgery to the private sector.  He was Director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology during that time and the  last two years served as Acting Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He still holds the rank of Clinical Professor.

Dr. Boronow was a founding member and past president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, past-president of the Society of Pelvic Surgeons, a founding member of the international Gynecologic Cancer Society, and has been active in medical societies as well.  He has published extensively in peer review journals and has been a guest lecturer widely in the U.S. and abroad.

In 2002 Northwestern University Medical School named him their Alumnus of the Year. In 1952 he was the recipient of the Craftsmanship Shield, and in 2006, Appleton West High School Hall of Fame.

Inducted June, 2006

Boldt, Oscar C.
Class of 1942
Always a strong believer in honesty, integrity, hard work, love of family, and community service. With these values, he developed a major construction firm which is a model for the industry.

Inducted May, 1999

Bradley, John
Class of 1941
Navy Cross awarded to John H. Bradley February 21, 1948, D-Day plus 2. For extraordinary heroism, his action against the enemy at Iwo Jima on February 1, 1945 as a hospital corpsman attached to a Marine Rifle platoon. During a furious assault by his company upon a strongly defended enemy zone at the base of Mt. Surbachi, Bradley observed a Marine infantryman fall wounded in an open area under a pounding barrage by mortars, interlaced with a merciless crossfire from machine guns.

With complete disregard for his own safety, he ran through the intense fire to the side of the fallen Marine, examined his wounds and ascertained that an immediate administration of plasma was necessary to save the man’s life. Unwilling to subject any of his comrades to the danger to which he had so valiantly exposed himself, he signaled would-be assistants to remain where they were. Placing himself in a position to shield the wounded man, he tied a plasma unit to a rifle planted upright in the sand and continued his life-saving mission.

The Marine’s wounds bandaged and the condition of shock relieved by plasma, Bradley pulled the man 30 yards through intense enemy fire to a position of safety. His indomitable spirit, dauntless initiative, and heroic devotion to duty were an inspiration to those with whom he served and were in keeping with the highest tradition of the United States Naval Service.

(Bradley served until wounded in both legs on March 12 by an enemy mortar shell, but refused evacuation until rendering aid to two other wounded Marines).

Inducted June, 2009

Buchanan, Wiliam E.
Class of 1920
Remembered for his ability to get along with people, and his farsighted technical and financial decisions in industry and the community. Led Appleton Wire Works, a Fourdriner wire manufacturer, to a worldwide reputation in the paper industry. A Dartmouth graduate with a master’s from Harvard, he worked to advance the cause of education.

Inducted May, 1999

Campbell, William Nelson
Class of 1948 
Bill treasured the years that he spent growing up in Appleton. It was there that many of his fine qualities were first developed and acknowledged. He loved his family, God, and his country and distinguished himself at the United States Naval Academy, as a Career Naval Officer, and as a leader in the business community. Bill served his country as a Naval aviator, as Assistant Naval Attache to Finland, as Commanding Officer of the Destroyer USS O’Brien, as US Naval Attache to Germany, and as Deputy Commander of the US Naval Intelligence Command. Bill received the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star (with gold star + combat ”V” for valor in combat), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal with four Bronze Stars, and the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as various other medals and commendations. Following retirement from the Navy, Bill enjoyed a 12-year corporate career with Computer Sciences Corporation, Inc.

Those who know Bill found him to be warm, talented, intelligent, gracious, courageous, and fun-loving. He spoke often of his days at Appleton West High School where he received an excellent education, excelled in sports and other extracurricular activities and made life-long friends. He played football, basketball, and ran track as Appleton West won championships in all three sports during his senior year. He was also one of the top golfers in the state and won the City’s Heavyweight Boxing Championship. At the Naval Academy Bill was one of the finest All-Time heavyweight boxers and president of the chancel choir.

Bill and his wife Lillian, whom he liked to greet with the phrase “Hi, Lovely”, raised their five children to appreciate the value of faith, honesty, a strong education and activities that promote positive personal development. He would be greatly honored by his induction into the Appleton West High School Hall of Fame. Lillian and the Campbell children are grateful to Appleton West for recognizing Bill in such a meaningful way.

Inducted June, 2010

Chang, Lan Samantha
Class of 1983
Samantha is currently a professor of English at the University of Iowa, and director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the first female to serve as director of the Workshop. She is a writer of novels and short stories. Her works include Hunger: A Novella and Stories and Inheritance, a novel. Her fiction has appeared in the  Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, and “The Best American Short Stories”. Samantha has received fellowships from Stanford University and Princeton University. She served as the Briggs-Copeland Lecturer of Creative Writing at Harvard University. She received an M.F.A from the University of Iowa, an M.P.A from Harvard University, and a B.A. from Yale University. At Yale she served as managing editor of the Yale Daily News, and at Harvard, she received a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Inducted June, 2009

Cundy, Rhonda
Class of 1959
In the name of all the fine, fine artists who are, have been, and will be students in our school, I accept this honor. I’m here, I believe, because I learned to celebrate daily all the little daily ways we grow, and thanks to the remarkable caring and patience of family, teachers, and friends. In being artists there is the hope and great joy of doing amazing things, and that chance that we, ourselves, will get closer to becoming works of art!  

Inducted May, 1999

Dafoe, Donald, M.D.
Class of 1967
Dr. Donald Dafoe is the Director of Pancreas and Kidney Transplantation Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. He has served on the faculty of Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and Thomas Jefferson Medical College.

A favorite quote of Dr. Dafoe is:
“If you have built castles in the air
Your work need not be lost;
That is where they should be.
Now put the foundations under them.”
- Henry David Thoreau

Inducted June, 2008

DeLong, William
Class of 1941
Assess your abilities
Maximize your strengths
Whatever you do, give your best effort
Live within your income
Give back to your community
Have good friends
Enjoy who you are and what you do

Inducted June, 2008

Dieterich, Tom
Class of 1929
He believed that art is for everyone. He believed that one of the main ingredients of a successful life is the desire to learn and grow. He devoted his life to sharing his vision of the world with his paintings

Inducted May, 2001

Ebert-Gray, Catherine
Class of 1973
As diplomat and United State Ambassador to Papua, New Guinea, The Solomon Islands, and Vanatu, and during her service in Washington D.C. and nine overseas postings with the U.S.Foreign Service, Ambassador Ebert Gray contributed to strengthening bilateral relationships, promoting international good governance, supporting U.S. investment overseas, and creating warm personal ties and international friendships.

As the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Logistics Management Office, and in other diplomatic positions, Ebert-Gray led and greatly contributed to reopening U.S. Embassies in Afghanistan and Iraq and in establishing managing operational support to diplomatic and military activities in both countries over several years.

Ebert-Gray also served as a delegate to the 2018 Asian Economic Cooperation Forum facilitating cooperation in international trade, and in support of American families and colleagues posted abroad, and she served on the boards of four international schools. Ebert-Gray mentored countless colleagues and students throughout her life as a role model in public service. Ambassador Ebert-Gray has been recognized for her leadership in foreign relations and strategic management with multiple State Department awards and two Department of Defense Distinguished Service Awards

Inducted October 2020

Ferber, Edna
Class of 1903
Dubbed by many contemporary critics as the “greatest American novelist of her day”, Ferber wrote 11 books of short stories, six major plays, two autobiographies and 12 novels, including her first big seller “So Big”, which earned her the 1924 Pulitzer Prize. Her other best-known works include “Show Boat” (1926), “Cimarron” (1929), “Giant” (1952), and “Ice Palace” (1958). Ferber has been honored with the release of a  commemorative United States postage stamp. She is the fourth honoree in postal services’ Distinguished American series.

Inducted June, 2004

Fielkow, Arnie
Class of 1974
Arnie D. Fielkow is President & CEO of the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the official al alumni association for professional basketball and home to more than 700 former NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA players. Under Fielkow’s leadership the NBPRA has grown its membership to an all-time high, added new community service initiatives for former players and strengthened mutually beneficial partnerships with the NBA and National Basketball Players Association.

Fielkow joined the NBRPA and returned to sports after six years spent in public service helping rebuild his adopted hometown of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  He was twice elected as New Orleans Councilman-at-Large post Katrina and led the City Council as President, introducing legislation to improve education, economic development, public safety and youth recreation in New Orleans.

Prior to running for public office, Fielkow served as Executive Vice-President of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints from 2000 to 2005.  In this capacity he served as the top senior management official presiding over all administrative/business departments and was instrumental in enhancing the team’s influence – internationally, nationally, and locally throughout Louisiana and the Entire Gulf South.

Inducted September 2014

Frank, John P.
Class of 1935
John P. Frank, Attorney at Law, demonstrated and lived a commitment to civil rights, and fought to end segregation. He helped shape the arguments in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education and, before that, he was successful in eliminating segregation at the University of Texas Law School. He was the author of 11 books.

He represented Ernesto Miranda before the United States Supreme Court in a case that resulted in the now-famous warning against self-incrimination, beginning “you have the right to remain silent.” As a law professor and as a practicing attorney, he mentored scores of law students and young lawyers at Yale, in Arizona, and across the country. The people he guided and assisted learned about principles, modesty, and generosity. Their outstanding careers are a constant tribute to a most unusual man.

Inducted June, 2003

Froehlich, Judge Harold
Harold V. Froehlich has served the citizens of our country in many roles during more than fifty years of governmental service. He has held positions at the county, state, and in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. Froehlich was a leader in the Wisconsin Legislature for 10 years, serving as Caucus Chairman, Minority Leader, and Speaker of the Assembly from 1967 to 1971. While serving 29 years as an Outagamie County Circuit Court Judge, he also held many leadership positions within the State Judiciary, including Chief Justice and Chair of the Chief Judges Committee. Froehlich was named Judge of the Year in 1998 and received the Lifetime Jurists Achievement Award in 2013. The American Judges Association created the Harold Froehlich Award for Judicial Courge in 2013 to “recognize the highest level of judicial courage in the service of justice”.

Froelich also served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and was a member of the historic 93rd Congress serving on the Judiciary Committee during the Watergate Hearing. He was the first Director of the Outagamie Child Support Agency, served as Outagamie County Family Court Commissioner, and as a member of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.

His motto for success is “Educate yourself to obtain a complete understanding of your job, work cooperatively with your coworkers, work hard and always be ready to move on and accept new challenges.”

Inducted October, 2016

Hammond, Michael
Class of 1950
One of the highest ranking natives of Wisconsin in the Bush administration, having been confirmed as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. An assistant to symphonic conductor, Leopold Stokowski. An empathetic teacher and conductor of Milwaukee’s Music for Youth Orchestra. A Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. A composer of serious music who also could lecture knowledgeably on neurophysiology. Master-minded the merger of the Wisconsin College of Music and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music into what survives today as the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. An amateur architect, designing a concert hall at Rice University. An educator and administrator, as dean of Rice’s School of Music. Received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Lawrence University.

Inducted June, 2009

Happel, Claudine Wetzel
Claudine Wetzel Happel has been an integral member of the Appleton West community since the mid-1970’s. She graduated from Whitefish Bay High School in 1968, received a BS in Secondary Education from UW-Oshkosh in 1972, and a MS in Library Science from UW-Madison in 1973. After receiving her degree she became a Library Media Specialist at West for 32 years where she had immediate impact on the West student body. She coached Track, Cross Country, and Basketball and served as an advisor for Letterladies and the National Honor Society. She continued to impact many students as they evolved into contributing adults of the West family.

After retirement Claudine became an “ambassador” of West. She worked on numerous projects for the betterment of the student experience. The most significant project was the Appleton West Field Project where she spent innumerable hours researching and contacting thousands of alumni. In conjunction with a considerable financial contribution her efforts culminated in the creation of the Claudine and Jim Happel Sports Complex on West’s campus. Finally West had its own “home field”.

Claudine seemed to have had two careers involving Appleton West. The first was her more than three decades of teaching and coaching and the second upon retirement in 2005 was the volunteering of her organizational skills to make West even better.  In her second “career” she broadened the scope of her service to include several non-profit groups in the greater Appleton community. One of these organizations was Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. She further exhibited her love of the Appleton area by continuing to expand her contribution of time, efforts, skills, and resources to the Appleton Historical Society.  
Together with her husband, Jim (a Mathematics teacher at West from 1970-2005), she received the Appleton Education Association Friend of Education Award, the Appleton West Terror Backers Award, the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Distinguished Service Award, and the Outstanding Philanthropist Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Claudine’s contribution of her efforts and financial support has benefited many and has been an excellent example of giving back to one’s community. Whether at West or in the community she always dressed and proudly “showed her West colors” — she truly “bleeds blue and orange.” 

Inducted October, 2022

Harriman, Frank W.
Class of 1878
Frank W. Harriman came to Wisconsin in 1852 where, during the succeeding four years, he devoted his time to attending and teaching school. In 1856 he moved to Appleton and was a student at Lawrence Institute, subsequently filling various positions as clerk. He was elected treasurer of the city of Appleton and also served as assistant postmaster. During this term he laid the cornerstone at the Union High School (known today as the Morgan Building). He was elected as alderman of the city and later served as justice of the peace. In 1873 he was elected county judge and was elected mayor of Appleton.

He was appointed one of the park commissions in recognition of the interest he took in the work providing the city with places of healthful and attractive public resorts. In January 1886, through his efforts, the Appleton Electric Street Railway Company was organized and he was president of the company as well as manager of the enterprise until his illness. He was also largely engaged in real estate, platting and laying out many additions to the city.

Inducted October 2013

Herzog, Raymond H.
Class of 1933
After two years as a high school teacher and basketball coach, he launched a 40-year career with 3M where he served as president and chairman of the board. At 3M, he was a visionary who combined his love of science and his talent for business and leadership. Continuing to see parallels between management and coaching, he often remarked, “My job is stimulating others to do a little better than they can do themselves. It works in business just as well as it does in sports.”
Inducted May, 2000

Hoffman, Paul J.
Class of 1972
“We make a positive impact on people’s lives and their environment by providing creative ideas and responsible solutions.” The corporate mission of Hoffman Corporation mirror my own personal commitment and life purpose. Accomplishing anything worthwhile requires commitment. However, commitment only happens when you truly believe in what you’re doing and have a purpose in your life. A purpose will inspire you to live your life with unbridled enthusiasm and vitality. People with a purpose are filled with passion and continually want to grow and contribute. Make a positive impact; be committed; find your purpose – Celebrate life!

Inducted May, 2000