The main lobby is the architectural heart of Radnor High. Hundreds of students pass through the lobby every day, but very few ever stop to examine its distinguishing feature—the Hall of Fame. On the lobby’s speckled gray walls shine the golden letters marking this tribute to outstanding Radnor graduates. Each member of the Hall of Fame has a placard adorned with a picture and a short description of his or her professional achievements. Over the years, fifty Radnor alumni have been added to the Hall of Fame, with the most recent induction occurring in 2012. As of November 21, though, the membership will expand to sixty; ten members are being inducted into the “Class of 2015.”
The 2015 inductees exhibit a wide breadth of achievement. Though their areas of expertise range from applied mathematics to dance, the future members all share the common attribute of exceptional success in their pursuits. Some of these individuals are being recognized for their intellect, as is the case with mathematician Jeffrey O. Kephart, scholar Maria Rosa Menocal, global affairs analyst Shadi Hamid, and meteorologist Joshua Wurman. Others stand out for their creativity: interior designer Jeffrey Bilhuber, writer Kelly Corrigan, dancer Austin Hartel, and sound effects expert John Roesch. The final two inductees demonstrate remarkable commitment to their surrounding community: military veteran Mark Gibbons and coach/teacher/administrator Jenepher Shillingford. These Radnor graduates also represent an eclectic range of graduation years, from 1950 (Jenepher Shillingford) to 2001 (Shadi Hamid). Thus, the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015 exemplifies diversity in both interest and age.
The fifty Hall of Fame members that these ten will join are just as divers in their endeavors. The founding “class” was nominated in 2003. All ten of the first inductees were athletes, including Olympic diver Mary Ellen Clark and football player and coach Jules Prevost. Both of these alumni have parts of the high school dedicated to them—the natatorium is named for Clark and the turf football field for Prevost. The class of 2006 consists of “ten RHS greats whose collective impact on the community and the country extends from the performing arts to politics to literature to cinema to sports,” as the Hall of Fame website notes. Two recognizable names from this group are Janis Gran Berenstain, author of the Berenstain Bears children’s books, and Randal Kleiser, the director of Grease, a movie that actually drew from life at Radnor High School. The classes of 2008, 2010, and 2012 consist of equally remarkable alum.
Each of these “classes” was selected by a committee of other Radnor graduates. The committee, which currently includes 14 members, chooses the nominees based on certain criteria. One potentially unexpected requirement is a gap of at least ten years between RHS graduation and Hall of Fame nomination. Another necessity for nomination consists of a noteworthy impact on Radnor or the greater community. Further, the committee specifies that an inductee must be “recognized for achievements in his/her field.” With over 100 years of Radnor High School history, the Hall of Fame committee’s task of selecting 10 individuals to represent thousands of students can certainly be considered momentous.