The Bull Dog Alumni Association has the pleasure of inducting nine outstanding alumni into our Alumni Hall of Fame inaugural class. The inductees are recognized for their professional achievements and personal contributions to enhance the lives of others and society.
Inductees all attended Columbus High School/Columbus North High School and have been graduates for a minimum of twenty years at time of nomination. Alumni Hall of Fame inductees were nominated by peers, community residents, Columbus North faculty, and fellow alumni.
Ross Barbour, class of 1947
Mr. Barbour was a founding member of the Four Freshmen, the nation’s top vocal and instrumental group in the 1950s. As a band, the Four Freshmen recorded 39 albums and 34 single records. They were best known for their songs, Graduation Day, Day by Day, and It’s a Blue World. In 2001, the Four Freshmen was inducted in the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
Ray Eddy, class of 1929
Mr. Eddy was a basketball player extraordinaire, accomplished coach and well-respected athletic director. As a 3-year starter and captain at Purdue University, Mr. Eddy won a national championship and was elected as an All-Big Ten Forward on the 1934 Conference Championship team. Following his college career, Mr. Eddy took to coaching. He lead Madison High School to a state championship and then began his career at Purdue from 1950 to 1965 where later he became its athletic director. Mr. Eddy was inducted in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1972 and in the Purdue Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007. Mr. Eddy has been recognized by A.G. Spaulding Co. as the coach who originated the orange basketball.
W. Paul “Dutch” Fehring, class of 1930
An incredible athlete and devoted teammate, Mr. Fehring earned nine letters in basketball, football and baseball at Purdue University. In 1932, Mr. Fehring helped lead the Purdue basketball team to a national championship. After graduation, Mr. Fehring started his career as a baseball and football coach that spanned 42 years. In 1967, Mr. Fehring was the Pac 10, District and NCAA Baseball Coach of the Year at Stanford University. Mr. Fehring has been inducted in the Indiana Basketball and Indiana Baseball Halls of Fame, Stanford and Purdue Athletic Halls of Fame, and the American Association of Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame.
Shirley A. Lyster, class of 1947
Ms. Lyster taught English at CHS/CNHS for 52.5 years, including a 31-year stint as department chair. Under her outstanding leadership, a syllabus-based curriculum was developed, the school writing center and peer-tutoring program were created and curricula for over 50 courses were written. The influence Ms. Lyster had on her students is evident as several of them graduated and then pursued careers in English and teaching. In 1982, Ms. Lyster received the Hoosier Teacher of English Award and was the first recipient of the Edna Folger Award, 1983. Then in 1994, Ms. Lyster was honored with the BCSC Hall of Fame Award.
Sandra Bridges Newkirk, class of 1956
Women’s athletics advocate and pioneer, Ms. Bridges mentored thousands of students during her 40-year career at Auburn University. While at Auburn, Ms. Bridges was a physical education instructor, intramurals director and the first women’s volleyball coach. Ms. Bridges was also the founder and first president of the Alabama Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. In 2005, Ms. Bridges was honored for her humanitarian leadership and contributions to the Auburn community with the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.
Thomas E. Spurgeon, class of 1956
As a Purdue University graduate in industrial management, Mr. Spurgeon is an entrepreneur who has built companies throughout the United States. Mr. Spurgeon has served in ownership and management roles, as well as an instructor at Indiana and Bradley Universities. Currently, Mr. Spurgeon is a Chairman of the Purdue University Board of Trustees where he devotes much time and service as an alumnus.
William L. “Bill” Stearman, class of 1943
Mr. Stearman spent 46 years in education at CHS/CNHS where he also coached basketball and baseball and served as athletic director. With his 714 coaching career wins, Mr. Stearman is ranked as the fourth winningest coach in Indiana High School Basketball. In 1983, Mr. Stearman was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. Mr. Stearman was also the winner of the Distinguished Service Award for the National Federation of Interscholastic Coaches Association in 1993.
Robert N. Stewart
Following his sophomore year at Columbus High School, Mr. Stewart was admitted to the University of Chicago where he attended and then later transferred to Franklin College. Mr. Stewart has shown outstanding dedication throughout his life to the Columbus community. Mr. Stewart was the first 3-term mayor of Columbus, bringing new jobs and property investments to the city. Among other notable honors and awards, Mr. Stewart was the recipient of the 1995 Russell G. Lloyd Distinguished Service Award, the highest award given to a public official by the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns.
Charles H. “Chuck” Taylor, class of 1919
Mr. Taylor dedicated his life to improving the game of basketball for players, coaches and fans. In 1921, his suggestions of improving the design of the shoe were adopted by Converse and a logo bearing his name was placed on the shoe. In 1923, the shoe officially became the Chuck Taylor All Stars. Mr. Taylor spent the majority of his time and effort holding clinics and demonstrations in an attempt to promote basketball on both a national and international level. Through his work, Mr. Taylor became known as the “Ambassador of Basketball.” Mr. Taylor was inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 1969 and then the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1989.