Class of 1939


Harvey was a young lad when The Great Depression hit this country.   That most difficult economic time did not stop this youth from excelling in his studies at high school, which led him to his post-secondary education where he majored in Biochemistry, an up and coming field.   Subsequent to serving in the military for Uncle Sam, Mr. Higgins attained his PhD, and began employment with Eli Lilly Company where his role in the development of the antibiotic, vancomycin, was crucial.  He was awarded the coveted title of Development Associate by Eli Lilly in recognition of his valuable work on the vancomycin project.   Although he came from humble beginnings during difficult economic times, he was determined to make a difference, and how well he did it!   (Mr. Higgins passed away in 2000; his widow, Marie,  was presented with the Hall of Fame plaque in April 2012).

Class of 1958

Karen was an active student throughout her high school career and even started her own dance studio before she was a Junior.  After graduation, besides operating her dance studio, she worked for Starlight Musicals, choreographing over 50 musicals and touring with stars like Anne Blyth, Carol Lawrence and Janet Leigh. 

She is responsible for originating, supervising and choreographing the IU RedSteppers at Indiana University, who are celebrating their 40th year in existence.  

Mrs. Bailey offered athletic dancing performance lessons for girls in an era when there were no athletic sports open to girls in school in the 1960's. 

She and her husband, John, live in Carmel -- they have one daughter and three grandchildren.

Class of 1967

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson was an honor student and cheerleader during her high schol years.   Shortly after graduation, she and husband Jack started their own auctioneering business, Lawson & Company (which they still own and operate today).   She started her government career with a job in the Hendricks County Clerks Office, running as and winning the Clerk  position in 1989.   From there she ran for the Indiana Senate and was later named Majority Floor Leader.    The photo at left was taken at the swearing in ceremony for the Secretary of State position in April 2012.

Class of 1980

An outstanding athlete in high school, Rick White attended West Point Military Academy after graduation.   From there, he travelled as his service to his country led him to patrol the Berlin Wall before it fell, leading and managing soldiers, working with CentCom including Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Pakistan and Afghanistan campaigns.  he is one of the highest ranking officers in Asia and the Attache to the US Embassy in New Delhi, India.   He is married to wife, Aru, and has two children, Moneka and Evan.   He is shown here with his parents, Judy and Ken White, also DCHS graduates.



Phil G. Acton - 1956 graduate - Phil was an excellent athlete and student while at DCHS. He attended U of Indianapolis, Florida State and Purdue Universities, and has two Masters degrees.   He taught Business Ed, sponsored NHS, and coached football over a 42-year career.  Over 200 young men went on to play college football and 17 went on to play in the NFL!  He is in the Bollingbrook HS Hall of Fame and Illinois HS Football Coaches Hall of Fame, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the NFL.  He is shown here with his nominator, Mr. Larry Piper, Class of 1958.



Sarah Lawson - 1961 graduate - Sarah was active in writing activities during her high school years, including journalism, the school newspaper, Quill and Scrool, and languages.   She attended IU, University of Pennsylvania and took her PhD at Glasgow University in Scotland.   Sarah has translated many books, and is also an author.   One of her books, "A Fado for My Mother," about growing up in Danville among other subjects, was given as a gift to the Top 15 Academic Seniors during the Induction and Top 15 reception on April 13, 2011.  Sarah makes London, England her home, and is hoping to travel back to Danville in June for her 50th class reunion! She is shown here with her (now deceased) husband, Alistair Pettigrew. 



Lt. Col. Randall S. Hoffman - 1985 graduate - Lt. Col. Hoffman was Senior Class VP and participated in the school newspaper,yearbook staffs, and many other clubs.   He believes that mentoring by his teachers and coaches was instrumental in preparing him for his career.  He joined the US Marine Corp, graduated with honors from IU with a degree in History; he has been in Officers Schools, Platoon Leaders courses, served in infantry, recomnnaissance and special opewration units.   He currently serves as Deputy Director of the School of Advanced Warfighting in Quantico, VA.  With more than 26 years of service in various Infantry, he has received Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star, Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal and Combat Action Ribbon.  He also wrote part of Chapter 4 of a Marine Corp book "Applications in Operational Culture, Perspectives From the Field" i He is shown here with his wife, Dawn.

2010 Recipients

    Crawford F Parker - 1924 graduate -  The quintessential public servant was born the 2nd of 10 children.   After High School, he went on to become the Henry County Clerk for 2 terms, serve on the Public Service Commission, elected to Indiana Secretary of State, and ran for the office of Governor in 1960, against Matthew Welch.  Also served as Executive Director of Indiana Manufacturers Association, and worked on the Great Lakes Commission for 8 years.  Mr Crawford passed away in 1986.
    William T Gill ("Billy") - 1937 graduate -  After WWII, he established a masonry business.   He worked on Clowes Hall at Butler University and the National Geographic Society Building in Washington DC, among others.  He was instrumental in the construction of Danville's swimming pool in 1959, later dedicated and renamed Gill Aquatic Center.  Mr. Gill passed away in 2005, and his daughters accepted the Hall of Fame plaque in his honor.  He is shown with his wife, Edith, in this photo.


L. to R.
Lee T Comer and Donnell R Hunt

  Lee T Comer - 1964 graduate - Lee joined his father's abstract & title company after college, and has since acquired ownership and expanded it to 6 offices in four counties.  He practices real estate, zoning and probate law, and serves as a lecturer with Indiana Continuing Ed Forum.   He has coached girls softball and boys basketball, little leagues, and worked on many county committees on zoning and development issues.   He and his wife of 42 years have two children and 6 great-grandchildren.
Donnell R Hunt - 1944 graduate - Donnell went to Purdue for his BA and Iowa State for his Masters, joining the U of Illinois Agricultural Engineering Dept.   Here he pioneered farm machinery management research, contributing to Ag majors everywhere with his three books, one which is in its 10th edition.   He was Assoc. Dean of Engineering before his retirement.  He still maintains a farm in Marion Township, Hendricks county. 

. Edward H Mertz - 1955 graduate - finished high school in 1955, attended Notre Dame, and joined General Motors.   He is responsible for helping develop the first vehicle emission control system, and air bags.   He holds four US patents, and before his retirement in 1997, he was appointed Buick Division General Manager and VP of General Motors.   Since retirement, he has published four photography books,  works in his local community with the Phoenix & Scottsdale (AZ) Art Museums,  and maintains contact with all his living class of 1955 members.

2009 Recipients R. David Heimansohn, Jim Disney, Mary Neilson, John Worrell, & Charles Harris

Kenneth Hogate (posthumous award)                     1914    Detroit News copy editor; Managing Editor Dow-Jones news dept.; VP General Mgr Dow Jones; President and Chairman of the Board Dow Jones. President Wall Street Journal; Mayor of Scarsdale, NY
Geraldine Roberts Lilly (posthumous award)   1926 Central Normal Education Major, Magna Cum Laude; Teacher at IPS and Amo HS; PTA President, and President of HRH Hospital Guild, over 4000 hours of hospital volunteer time.
Dorotha Pritchett Owens (posthumous award) 1929 Early advocate for the developmentally disabled, responsible for organization of group that established Opportunity Cottage,and later Sycamore Services
Charles W Harris 1944 World-renowned landscape architectural design engineer, Fellow in American Society of Landscape Architecture Emeritus at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design
James N Disney 1963 High School teacher, Principal at DCMS and Assistant Principal DCHS (ret.), licensed official at IHSAA, and local realtor.  A dedicated Danville Warrior, and role model to all.
Dr David Heimonsohn 1976 Cardiovascular surgeon, innovator in developing minimally invasive cardiovascular techniques, broad involvement in trauma support and organ transplant issues, one of the nation's best.
Mrs Mary Draper Neilson     1977 Active mother of four, high school math and Spanish teacher, swimming coach of both women's and men's teams (named Coach of the Year by GSAC in 1984 and 1986).  
Dr John E Worrell 1951 Minister, expert archeologist with numerous excavations in teh West Bank, Israel and USA, youngest leading authority on the Dead Sea Scrolls, human rights activist and humanitarian
2008 Recipients
Dr Donald Cline 1956 Pioneer in Reproductive Medicine and Embryonic Studies, Obstetrics and Cynecology
Mr Philip H Gulley 1979 Pastor, Author and Emmy-award winner for BPS Series "Across Indiana"
Mr Robert B Snyder 1954 World-class jazz musician, played with Glenn Miller Band in 1950's, Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, recorded with Count Basie, Gladys Knight, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Lionel Hampton, and The Temptations.
Mrs Beth Kerlin Tobin 1976 Attorney in Waco TX Prosecutor office, having distinquished herself as a leader and advocate of victims of abuse, awarded Women in Leadership title by Taylor University; "First Lady" of Baylor University.
2007 Recipients
Ronald W Dollens         1964 Was Eli Lilly executive, CEO of Guidant (ret.), Chairman of the Board Kinetic Concepts & Director of ABIOMED Corporation
Dr. Jeffrey Lawrence     1966 Yale graduate, professor at Oregon HS University, faculty at U of CA in San Francisco, written over 60 publications, and currently professor at UCSF, doing research to find a cure for cancer
Mr John Milton Lee (posthumous award)     1910 pre-med student at Temple University, left to serve in military during WW1, served in many civic organizations in PA; organized & served as president of first negro golf club (Fairview Golf Club) in Pennsylvania
Dr Richard L Miller (posthumous award) 1947 BS and MS from ISTC, active in school projects, traveled for the US State Department as consultant; a fitness expert early on, running races, sailing racing boats, biking all over the world; climbed to base of Mount Everest, served community and state for many years. 
2006 Recipients
Mr. Robert Bales 1948 Brookings Institute graduate in Washington DC, executive at Eli Lilly and Co., served in Indiana House of Representatives for 12 years, his community and constituents for many years prior to his passing in 2008.
Mr Hursel Disney 1942 Cum Laude graduate, U of Wisconsin School of Banking, bank executive, active in local Hendricks Co. government as Commissioner and County Council member, school board member, and many civic contributions
Pfc Jack A Ketter (1943) Played basketball, track & field, was a member of the first varsity football team, left school in 1943 at 18 to serve his country, giving the ultimate sacrifice in March 1945 in WWII's South Pacific Theater of Operations; was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart with oak leaf clusters and Bronze Star for heroic achievement

Mrs Lois Parker 1926 After graduation, received BS from Central Normal College, was a teacher in Avon, got Masters from Butler University, became a school principal and served as an outstanding educator
2005 Recipients
Dr Robert Kirtley 1947 Honors graduate IU School of medicine, local family practitioner & ER doctor at Hendricks Regional Health, serving the community of Danville for many years before his retirement
Mr Robert E Pearcy 1944 Canterbury College, Butler University journalism major, became managing editor of The Danvile Gazette, President of the Chamber of Commerce, Danville Rotary Club, chairman of Easter Seal Society, and many more affiliations too numerous to mention.
Mrs. Betty Weesner 1944 Magna cum laude graduate, IU graduate with Journalism major, editor and publisher of The Republican newspaper, since the 1960's and still running the newspaper to this day!
2004 Recipients
Mr Henry N Cox 1943 Honorably served the country in the US Navy during WWII.   Returned to teach and coach in the Danville school corporation in 1955, became HS Principal, and eventually Superintendent, retiring in 1988; awarded on of the Ttop 100 Educators in 1986 in USA; president of the Danville Public Library; died in 2001.
Mr Max Gibbs     1945 Member of the basketball team that defeated Anderson High School in the 1945 regionals.   Joined US Army in 1945 serving in the Philippines in WWII.  Graduated from Canterberry College, began teaching in Danville in 1958.   Named principal of the high school in 1965, named Superintendent in 1979.   Retired in 1988, and farmed land east of Danville, where he resided until his death in 2007.   His wife, Janet, survives.