Fairfield Ledger

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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 18, 2017

Three alumni to be honored Friday

By VICKI TILLIS | Oct 08, 2013
Jayne Stewart Freeman

Fairfield High School will honor three alumni who have achieved professional and community distinction and positively influenced the lives of others during its Wall of Honor induction Friday.

The ninth set of inductees will include Jayne Stewart Freeman, the valedictorian of the FHS graduating Class of 1951, Park R. Davidson, also a member of the Class of 1951, and Mahlon M. Vorhies, a member of the Class of 1955.

Family, friends and community members are invited to attend the 9 a.m. school assembly in the FHS Auditorium and the banquet from 6-9 p.m., preceded by cocktails at 5:30 p.m., at the Fairfield Golf & County Club.

The dinner is a buffet including: salad, chicken, pork roast and vegetables. Special dietary needs can be made known when making dinner reservations by calling FHS Wall of Honor committee chairwoman Judith Ward at 919-3587.

Each dinner is $20. The committee is providing dinner for each inductee and a guest.

The honorees also are invited to an informal breakfast in the FHS family and consumer science room and a tour of the school.


Jayne Stewart Freeman

After graduating from Fairfield High School in 1951, Jayne Stewart Freeman continued her education at the University of Iowa, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She graduated in 1955 and began working with WSUI University Radio.

In 1967, Freeman began “Talk of the Town” at WNED-TV in Buffalo, N.Y. She became an arts reporter for CBS WBEN-TV in 1971. A few years later, in 1973, she became a guest film reviewer for a New York City CBS talk show and began reviewing films for “Freeman Flickometer’s.”

Freeman has served on many boards and committees, such as Adult Education in Theater with Amherst Players, Erie County Theatre and the Buffalo Metropolitan Area, where she was director and fundraiser go-to. She was co-chairwoman of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra fundraiser. She served on the Cultural Resources Board in Erie County from 1968-1991 and was a “Critic Fellow” at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in 1974. She was founding member of the National Theater Critics Association in 1975, and co-founder of “Upstage NY” in 1985.

Freeman’s community service includes teaching math and reading to military service members, touring military bases with “The Moon is Blue,” directing annual musicals at a grammar school, serving as a lay reader and Sunday school teacher at church, helping to organize fundraisers for many groups and much more.

Freeman’s work and service has been recognized with several awards, such as Women to Watch in the Buffalo Metropolitan Area in 1967, a St. Bonaventure University journalism citation award in 1977, an Artie Award for best musical and an international modeling/talent award.


Park R. Davidson

After graduating from FHS in 1951, Park Davidson enlisted in the 34th Army Band. He attended the University of Iowa Law School, and then became assistant to the treasurer of Burlington Industries Inc. in 1964. He attended the Harvard Business School executive program, and became liaison for the chairman’s staff to division of presidents and department heads. He was coordinator of corporate advertising for “The Ed Sullivan Show.” He became president of Tricot Lingerie Manufacturing Division and head of the men’s hosiery division. He became assistant vice president of finance in 1971, and executive director of Burlington Foundation and treasurer in 1989.

Davidson has been involved with a long list of boards and committees, for example: he was director/chairman of Profit Sharing Council of Research Foundation (Chicago); co-founder, president and chairman of the Greensboro, N.C., Cerebral Palsy School; director/chairman of Greensboro Technical Community College Foundation; trustee and treasurer on both the Greensboro Wesley Long Community Hospital and the L. Richardson Hospital; founder of Greensboro Housing Foundation; director and chairman of the North Carolina School of Science and Math Foundation; director of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation and the Greensboro Country Club; chairman of the board of directors and retired elder of the First Presbyterian Church; president of Core Banks Club, a fishing club on the Atlantic coast; and more.


Mahlon M. Vorhies

After graduating from FHS in 1955, Mahlon Vorhies continued his education at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Vorhies had a private practice in Davenport and Riverside from 1963-1964 before returning to school at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, earning a master’s degree in 1967.

From there, Vorhies returned to ISU to work as a pathologist in the veterinary diagnostic laboratory and as an assistant professor from 1967-1972. He then became head director and a professor at South Dakota State University, Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory.

Vorhies was a visiting pathologist/professor from 1981-1982, with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Whangarei Animal Health Laboratory in New Zealand.

He was head and director/professor of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, from 1986-1997 before becoming the interim director of the Mississippi Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory from 1997-1998 and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture in 2000.

Since 2007, Vorhies has served on the Iowa State University Department of Veterinary Diagnostics and Production Animal Medicine External Advisory Board.

Vorhies lists as his awards and achievements: Society of Phi Zeta, 1967; Society of Gamma Sigma Delta, 1968; South Dakota Veterinarian of the Year, 1979; E.P. Pope Distinguished Service Award, 1984; developing a diagnostic training program for the People’s Republic of China in 1991; serving on the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians as president in 1977 and as secretary/treasurer from 1978-1981; and receiving Committee for AAVLD Accreditations 1974-1997.


Making nominations

FHS Wall of Honor nomination papers are due by June 1 each year. The papers are available in the FHS office, although Ward is hoping information about the Wall of Honor soon will be added to the school district’s website, www.fairfieldsfuture.org.

Anyone can nominate an FHS graduate, living or deceased, who has achieved distinction in his or her profession, public career and/or community service and had a positive influence on the lives of others.

Ward said the information about nominees is kept on file and reviewed by the committee each year.

The Wall of Honor display is on the north wall of the FHS Commons. It features a Trojan head above a coat of arms and a brass plaque, with an engraved photo, biography and citation for each inductee, on permanent display.

The Wall of Honor exemplifies the high quality of education available to students in the Fairfield school district and allows inductees to serve as role models for students.

The Wall of Honor is funded through private sources and donations from class reunion committees, individuals, community organizations, businesses and industries.

For information about the FHS Wall of Honor, call Ward.

Past inductees to the FHS Wall of Honor are:

2011: Susan Lamb Voss, Class of 1972; Marvin “Pete” Nelson, Class of 1956; and Dean I. Gabbert, Class of 1940.

2010: 1971 graduate Martha Bell, 1966 graduate William Davisson, 1957 graduate Eugene Leroy Copeland and 1942 graduate Julius H. ‘Zeke’ Van De Voorde.

2009: 1951 graduate Ray Brokken, 1963 graduate Lyle and 1968 graduate Michael Loomis.

2008: 1962 graduate Barry D. Harper, 1939 graduate Warren. H. Holmes and 1964 graduate David A. Despain.

2007: 1951 graduate Robert A. Krane, 1933 graduate Glen “Joe” Little and 1945 graduate John W. Glotfelty.

2006: 1963 graduate Patricia Thoma Wheeler, 1937 graduate Robert L. Gamrath and 1945 gradate Milo Hamilton.

2005: Colée Hospers, a 1959 graduate; and Richard Lawson, a 1947 graduate.

2004: U.S. Army Gen. (Retired) Warren “Bud” Lawson, a 1951 graduate; Thomas Louden, a 1936 graduate; and Deborah Raymond, a 1970 graduate.

Note: No inductions were made in 2012.

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