Downingtown Alumni to install 1st Hall of Fame class

DASDHOF2014DOWNINGTOWN — Downingtown High School’s Alumni Association is the oldest continuously active such group in the nation, and this year marks a new wrinkle in its activities – a Hall of Fame for distinguished graduates.

Melissa Menna, Class of 2000, chairs a committee of alumni and staff who created the criteria of nominations, invited nominations, and ultimately selected the inaugural class.  The impetus for the Hall, however, came not from an alumnus, but from a beloved teacher, Karen Mapes, who passed away in May 2013.

“The Alumni Association was honored to pick up the project where it was left off,” said Menna.  “With so many distinguished students graduating from the Downingtown schools each year, we knew this was long overdue.”

The project got the support of the Downingtown Area School District Board and superintendant Dr. Larry Mussoline.  Twenty-one alumni were nominated and the committee selected five for its first class.

Two inductees are from the Class of 1958 – Richard P. Whittaker (medicine and humanitarian work) and Todd D. Stong (military and humanitarian work). Other honorees include James “Hank” Hamilton (1968 – community service, business, and athletics), Bonnie MacDougal Kistler (1971 – law and literature), and Curt Schroder (1979 – politics and government).

The induction into the Hall of Fame will take place Saturday, April 26, at St. Anthony’s Lodge.  To attend, contact Caryn Menna at 610-883-3917 or via email at

— Kate Campbell

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