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Oiler Alumni Hall of Fame

Nomination and Selection Process

The Oiler Alumni Hall of Fame was created by the Board of Education in 2009 as a way of recognizing and honoring outstanding graduates who, in their adult life, have become outstanding representatives of Wood River High. Although all of the inductees had exemplary high school successes, the Hall of Fame seeks to honor those outstanding men and women who have made significant accomplishments in their professions and through their community service. Eligible alumni are those who hold an EAWR Diploma and have been out of high school for at least 10 years.

To nominate an EAWR alumnus for the next class of the Hall of Fame, please send a letter, telephone (618-254-3151, Ext. 2502) or email to Dr. Pearson, with any supporting documents, resumes, news clippings, or any other papers which you feel might help the Selection Panel in making a decision. 

The Panel has recently met (May 2019) and announces the new Class of 2019: They are: Dr. Jane (Westerhold) Arbuthnot (1971), Dr. Curtis Berrey (1951-posthumous), Jim Fox (1968), Mark Hudson (1976), Dr. Antone "Tony" Kusmanoff (1961), Dennis Link (1971), Joe Silkwood (1978), and Larry Thatcher (1974). They will be inducted on Saturday, October 12, 2019, 6:00 p.m. in the East Building Courtyard. 

Dr. Jane (Westerhold) Arbuthnot (Class of 1971) enjoyed a distinguished career in private practice as an Obstetrician/Gynecologist in Springfield, Illinois. Professionally, she has also served as a Clinical Professor at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, the Sangamon County Medical Society; and other regional and state medical organizations and committees. During her career, she further expanded her talents and energy gleaned from her service to Springfield area women’s health care needs to many important charitable and community organizations and activities. Foremost among those was her leadership of the Springfield area Susan G. Komen Race for  the Cure. Dr. Arbuthnot served in several leadership capacities in the fight against cancer, noting that “we have raised over $1 Million in six years.” Dr. Arbuthnot’s personal experience as a 19-year breast cancer survivor has also inspired her in her work for the Komen Race for the Cure. Jane has also served as the Beaux Arts Ball Co-Chair and has served in multiple leadership roles with the Springfield Art Association. While at EAWR, Jane was very active in many activities, including cheerleading, NHS, Big Sisters, Latin Club, and Student Council.    


Dr. “Doc” Curtis Berrey (Class of 1951 - posthumous) was a well-known area family dentist, who also was well-recognized for his community service work. Professionally, he practiced dentistry for over fifty years and also served in the US Air Force and Reserves for twenty-two years, retiring at the rank of Lt. Colonel. Doc Berrey was a pillar in the community serving on various local boards such as the Roxana School Board, Lewis and Clark Community Dental Board, and the Airport Bank Board. He was a founding member of a cost-free dental clinic for indigent children in the community. Another accomplishment of Doc Berrey was that he joined another EAWR alumnus, contractor Dick Bell, in the development of the Kendall Estates subdivision in Wood River. Doc was an active member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Wood River. In his free time, when not traveling with his wife, he loved spending time with his family, and was an avid hunter and fisherman. While at EAWR, Curtis participated in basketball, baseball, Student Council, Thespians, and the Boys Glee Club.

 

Jim Fox (Class of 1968) has had an atypical - but very successful - career as a manager and executive in the barge industry. The unusual aspect of his career is that, in 1996, his 20-year career with American Commercial Barge Lines in the Midwest and South took Jim to South America as the Executive Director of ACBL de Venezuela. He lived there for 20 years, supervising its employees, directing shipping of millions of tons of bauxite down rivers to seaports for transfer to ocean-going ships; expanding ACBL operations into the Dominican Republic, and performing other leadership roles. After retiring from ACBL, Jim stayed on in Latin America and the Caribbean serving as a consultant and manager of river operations in Colombia and the movement of oil and other raw materials on its rivers. As an “expatriate” living in South America for almost 30 years, his Spanish language skills have allowed him - in his retirement - to teach English to Spanish-speaking baseball players in the Minnesota Twins farm system in Florida, where he now resides. While at EAWR, Mr. Fox played varsity basketball and tennis, as well as working on the Sandburr staff.

 

Mark Hudson (Class of 1976) has been the Director of University Housing and Dining Services at Eastern Illinois University since 2001. In that position, Mark’s responsibilities include the management the entire dimensions of the housing and dining program at EIU, with an annual  budget of $39 Million, 200 civil service and professional staff, and 900 student workers. The housing system’s capacity of 5,000 students in 12 residence halls, nine Greek houses, and 300 apartments. Prior to his stint at EIU, he worked in a similar capacity at the University of North Dakota for over 18 years. Mark has also filled the role of being a spokesperson and advocate of students’ interests and their safety, instituting several programs directed at student health and safety on campus. Mark is a member of several professional regional and national organizations related to university housing officers and has served as an advisor, delegate and committee member in these professional groups.  He has been recognized for his professional accomplishments with numerous awards from his colleagues in the region. Mark has been active in the greater Charleston community with scouting, the Charleston school district’s fine arts committee, and the Charleston Early Learning Center, where he serves as President. While at EAWR, Mr. Hudson was active in drama, choir, Coronation, and in stat keeping for basketball and baseball. And, his father, Dr. Harold Hudson was inducted in 2013, making them the first parent-child inductees!

 

Dr. Antone “Tony” Kusmanoff (Class of 1961) is a well-known researcher, professor, inventor, and project manager in the field of electrical engineering, electronics, and telecommunications. His research has been in the fields of airborne radar, wideband and telecommunications, and in creating greater efficiencies and cost-savings for business and governments in their respective networks. Tony has also been an instructor and held adjunct professorships in several universities (Oklahoma State, UT-San Antonio, Texas A&M-Commerce, and the USAF Institute of Technology), teaching in the areas of computer design, computer science, electromagnetic fields, telecommunications, digital hardware, and electronic technology. Dr. Kusmanoff has been a prolific writer, with numerous professional journal articles to his credit. He also holds three U.S. Patents, with two additional patents pending approval. He also is a member of the Armed Forces Communication-Electronics Association and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers. His awards include the Raytheon Individual Tribute to Excellence Award and the L-3 Communications Integrated Systems Tribute to Excellence Award. Tony still continues to teach on-line graduate courses, even in retirement. While at EAWR, he finished 2nd in the IHSA State Wrestling Tournament and also participated in Junior Engineers, Latin Club, Coronation, and Student Council.

Dennis Link (Class of 1971) has been an innovator in the curriculum design and instructional programming for training oil refinery process operators.  Dennis was the committee chairperson who designed, developed, and implemented nationally recognized Associate of Applied Science degree program in Process Technology at College of the Mainland in Texas City, Texas in 1993-1994.   It’s Process Technology degree program started with 55 students at College of the Mainland 25 years ago and has become the model Process Technology program in the world.  Currently 54 colleges offer the Process Technology degree across 16 states, US Virgin Islands, Canada and Singapore with over 20,000 students. Dennis became the Management Team Leader for development of the BP Process Technology Internship program in 2002 that is currently used as the template for all Process Technology Internships across the United States. While at EAWR, Dennis was named to the All-St. Louis Area Baseball Team and was also named to the Telegraph All-Area Basketball team. He was also an active member of the Student Council, National Honor Society, and the Lettermen’s Club.

 

Joe Silkwood (Class of 1978) has been a public servant for most of his adult life. The lifelong East Alton resident graduated from SIUE (BS) in Recreation Education, and SIUE (MPA).  He is currently the Mayor of East Alton. Prior to becoming Mayor, he was the Treasurer for the Village of East Alton and prior to that, its Director of Parks and Recreation. Following a successful baseball career at EAWR, Lewis & Clark, and SIUE; he played 3 years in the St. Louis Cardinals Organization reaching the Class AA level (1982-1985). He remained involved in local baseball coaching at SIUE as an Assistant Coach (1986-1987 and 1990-1997) and Lewis & Clark College as Head Coach (1987-1990). In addition to coaching at the collegiate level, he coached numerous local baseball teams and clinics for boys ages 7 -18.  He served on the school boards of East Alton Elementary District #13 (1995-1999) and East Alton –Wood River Community District #14 (2001-2009). He has been an active member of East Alton Rotary since 1999 serving 2 years as President.  Since 2015, Joe has been a member of the Operation Blessing Board of Directors.  Mr. Silkwood was entered into the St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame, the SIUE Athletic Hall of Fame with the 1991 Baseball Team (2015) and the Mon-Clair League Baseball Hall of Fame (2001).

 

Larry Thatcher (Class of 1974) is synonymous with amateur hockey in the Metro-East. His record as a leader, coach, builder, and organizer of amateur hockey is unparalleled. Larry’s passion for the game of hockey began in the 1960’s as a young player looking for places to skate and play the game. He continued his love of playing and coaching hockey while working for the Shell Oil Company and dreamed of the day when there would be a year-round hockey rink facility in the Metro-East. During those years, he was a coach in the Granite City league, which - due to it being an outdoor rink - was only in operation in the winter. In 1992, he took a business plan and feasibility studies to the Village Board of East Alton, who greeted the idea of a permanent indoor ice rink with enthusiasm. Soon thereafter, the ice rink was built, whereupon Larry became the new General Manager of the Ice Hockey Rink and where he has served for over 22 years. Also, during those years, he was the leader and organizer of the Mississippi Valley Club High School Hockey Association, which is composed of high school age hockey players from the entire Metro-East and coached the Alton, Roxana and Bethalto teams for many years. He also coached the SIUE Club Men’s Hockey team and serves on the Mid American Collegiate Hockey Association board.


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The Selection Panel may also be contacted with any nominations for the Hall of Fame: They are: Frank Akers, Jean Bruce, Jesse Daniels, Norris Dorsey, Bob Kasten, Ray Mercer, and Leigh Robinson.

Please see the links below for information on our outstanding induction classes ...

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John Pearson,
Jul 17, 2019, 12:46 PM
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