History of the Hall of Champions Association...
How it all started...The Norristown Area High School Hall of Champions Association is approaching its 30th anniversary. As a result, it is only proper to take a look back on how the organization got its start and to recognize those who had the foresight to start it. The timeline below provides a brief overview of that first year.For a video interview on the history of the Association <click here> NASD-TV Issues with Jeff Brandon
January 18, 1977
NAHS Athletic Director, Curtis Coull invited 10 individuals who were alumni or school district administrators to a meeting in the high school cafeteria to discuss the organization of a committee to “perpetuate the accomplishments of outstanding athletes of the NASD."
Besides Coull, the meeting was attended by Charles Blockson, Lou Spinelli, William Kohler, Les Eckman, Gene Hollick, Dr. Jay Gruener, Jim Wood, Charles Biehl, Geore Jones, and Nancy Collier.
The idea was to establish a permanent record of the students who competed and received honors at the district, state, national and international levels of competition, and it was recommended that a "Hall of Champions be established in the Athletic Wing" of the high school. The committee wanted to ask the community's help in researching and compiling the data on these athletic accomplishments and the possibility of publishing pictorial history book was discussed.
February 28, 1977
Attendance at the second meeting grew and included William McCain, Les Eckman, Norman Kratz, Lewis Kost, Mary Burkert, Marion Earl, Kimmel Custer, Paul Shellenberger, Arthur Herr, Leona Herr, Fred Lobb, Louis Spinelli, Betty Craft, Carol Tompkins, Dick Keyser, Jacob Stehmaj, Marvin Savage, Charles Blockson, and Nancy Collier, with Curtis Coull presiding.
The idea that by "holding on" to the accomplishments of the students would help to develop a better awareness and pride among the students and the community" was expressed by Mr. Blockson. The committee felt that distinguished alumni who have brought honor to their school and community in their life endeavors should also be recognized. As a result, two separate Halls were proposed. The Hall of Champions was to recognize outstanding athletes, either individually or a team, while the Hall of Fame would recognize alumni who made "substantial contributions in various categories of life."
The first step of the committee was to inventory all athletic pictures that were displayed in A.D. Eisenhower High School will begin. Also a review of old Spice Books to research relevant dates to establish a chronology of the athletic honors was initiated.
March 31, 1977
Marion Earl nominated Curtis Coull and Charles Blockson as co-chairmen of the committee, while Nancy Collier and Fred Lobb were nominated as secretary and treasurer respectively. The motion carried.
The next item of business was to find some seed money to "initiate the first project of remounting pictures and the restoration of trophies." Arthur Herr moved that $2000 be requested from the school board. Additionally, a publicity drive was initiated to appeal to alumni, friends, and community to financially support the efforts of the committee.
April 28, 1977
Bolstered by the donation from the school board, the work of the committee could move forward. Wilmer Cressman was appointed chairman of the Publicity and Fund Raising Committee. Discussion about the possibility of incorporating as a nonprofit corporation ensued when solicitation of funds broached.
Charlie Hood volunteered to look into having plaques made for the inductees.
Curt Coull and Charles Blockson reported on their visit with Dr. Kersherner, Class of 1906, the oldest practicing physician in Montgomery County.
Nancy Collier was tasked to contact other schools and colleges that have a hall of fame to request information on the criteria they use for determining their inductees.
May 26, 1977
The committee realized the need for formal by-laws and decided to contact alumnus Parke Ulrich, Esq. regarding the legal aspects in that regard.
June 27, 1977
The leadership structure of the organization was formalize at this meeting when the officers and board of directors were elected. Together, they constituted the organization's board of directors.
The first officers were
President Curtis Coull Vice President Charles Blockson Secretary Nancy Collier Treasurer Fred Lobb
The terms of the nine-member board of directors were for three years and they were staggered so that a third of the board would change each year, allowing for continuity. Therefore, the first board of directors were appointed to one, two and three year terms of office. They were
3 year term of office Lewis Kost, Kimmel Custer, Doris Gorman 2 year term of office Paul Shellenberger, Charles Hood, Mary Burkert 1 year term of office Louis Spinelli, Marin Earl, Wilmer Cressman
Parke Ulrich was appointed solicitor for the association.
August 1, 1977
Parke Ulrich presented the Articles of the the Norristown Area High School Hall of Champions Association which provided structure to the committee. Wilmer Cressman suggested that the next step was to establish criteria for both the Hall of Champions and the Hall of Fame.
It was decided to distribute flyers at the September 23 football game vs. William Tennent to announce the purpose of the association and to invite the public to an open meeting on October 18.
September 20, 1977
Betty Craft presented a membership application form.
October 4, 1977
Criteria for Induction to the Hall of Champions and Hall of Fame was presented.
October 18, 1977
A report from Rebecca Price recommended a Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
November 2, 1977
Members first selection committee were Mary Burkert, Arthur Herr, Norman Kratz and Louis Spinelli. The Association had 41 paid members.
December 14, 1977
Chris Monaco was named property Chairman.
Ten nominees were submitted to the Board for recommendation to the First Induction into the Hall of Champions.
First Hall of Champions Induction
April 27, 1978
Name Class of *Warren Geiger 1897 *Harold Zimmerman 1909 Paul Shellenberger 1923 *Samuel Leroy Rambo 1926 Arnold Sharply 1934 *Walter Smith 1899 *Leroy “Pete” Lewis 1925 *Charles Deem 1925 Erwin Brown 1933 Harlan Gustafson 1937
* Deceased at time of induction
First Hall of Fame Induction
October 26, 1978
Name Class of *William S. Middleton, MD 1907 *Judge William F. Dannehower 1906 Frank J. Tornetta, Ph.D, MD 1934 E. Gilbert Radcliff 1936 J. Ronald Ryan, PhD 1939 Col. Paul G. Atkinson 1939 John W. Shainline 1940 Richard Schweiker 1944 John J. Pisano, PhD 1947 Robert J. Butera 1952
* Deceased at time of induction
A thank you to Nancy Collier for providing the information found on this page.