The value of an education at Chattanooga High School over the years was such that people came from across the area -- from Lookout and Signal mountains and even from out of state -- to attend, former students remembered.
Organizers of the school's upcoming Dynamo Decade reunion have recognized that excellence with the selection of the first 25 people to the school's hall of fame.
Hall of fame members will be honored at the reunion of the 1964-1974 classes at the Chattanooga Convention Center on Saturday, Oct. 17.
"Almost everybody who went to City was someone who knew he was getting a really good education," said Gene Roberts, a member of the class of 1951, a former Chattanooga mayor and a member of the first hall of fame class.
The hall of fame includes a U.S. senator (Bob Corker) and college president (University of Georgia's Dr. Michael Adams), former educators, captains of business and philanthropy, military leaders, sports stars and others.
Doug Jones, a graduate of the class of 1965 and a member of the reunion planning committee, said several longtime teachers and administrators were chosen for the hall, but graduates needed to have achieved recognition in their chosen field.
Graduates from the school in the early part of the 20th century were chosen from information found in Elizabeth Kelley Wade's 1974 book "History of Chattanooga High School," he said.
"All the credit (for the success of the students) goes to the teachers who were there through the years," he said.
Mr. Roberts, mayor of Chattanooga from 1983 to 1997, agreed.
"We had some extraordinary teachers," he said. "We also had the benefit of a lot of (students) who had a lot of smarts."
The idea for a City High hall of fame came from the school's oldest rival, Central High School, Mr. Jones said.
"Yeah, the Purple Pounders get some credit," he said.
Central selected a hall of fame in 2008, its 100th year.
Selections to the Chattanooga High School hall of fame will be honored with a wall of fame somewhere in the school, Mr. Jones said.
Chattanooga High School, now known at Chattanooga Center for Creative Arts, has been in North Chattanooga since the fall of 1963. Prior to that, from 1921 to 1963, it was located in what is now Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts on Third Street. Before that, it was on Eighth Street in what later became Dickinson Junior High School. According to Elizabeth Kelley Wade's 1974 book "History of Chattanooga High School," it had three other homes since its establishment in 1874.
CITY HIGH SCHOOL HALL OF FAME:
* Dr. Michael Adams -- Class of 1966; now president of the University of Georgia.
* Dr. Mary Barker -- Longtime CHS teacher who went on to Cleveland State Community College, where she served as dean of academic affairs and where the humanities building was dedicated in her honor in 1992.
* Judge William Barker -- Class of 1959; state Circuit Court judge 1983-1995; state Court of Criminal Appeals judge 1995-1998; Tennessee Supreme Court justice, 1998-2009 (chief justice 2005-2009)
* Col. Creed Bates -- Principal of Chattanooga High School 1927-1964.
* Frank "Skip" Bowman -- Class of 1962; graduate of Duke University and MIT; retired four-star admiral was head of all nuclear programs for the Navy.
* Ray Bussard -- Was assistant football and track coach at Chattanooga High School in late 1950s and early 1960s; won 1978 national championship and had 252-20 record in 21 seasons as swimming coach at University of Tennessee.
* Lewis Card -- Class of 1971; principal, Card-Monroe Corp.; philanthropist.
* Clara Carpenter -- Class of 1879; taught in city schools for 58 years; former District 1 school later named for her.
* Dr. Wayne Clough -- Class of 1959; dean of the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech; provost at University of Washington; president of Georgia Tech for 14 years; present secretary of Smithsonian Institution.
* Charles Coolidge -- Class of 1939; recipient of Congressional Medal of Honor for actions in 1944 during World War II; awarded the Légion d'honneur by officials of the French consulate in 2006.
* Bob Corker -- Class of 1970; started construction business; Tennessee Commissioner of Finance and Administration 1994-1996; mayor of Chattanooga 2001-2005; elected U.S. senator 2006.
* Jimmy Duke -- Longtime CHS basketball and baseball coach; went on to coach and teach at Baylor School.
* Sharon Fanning-Otis -- Class of 1971; UTC women's head basketball coach 1976-1987; University of Kentucky women's head basketball coach 1987-1995; Mississippi State University head women's basketball coach since 1995.
* Jeffrey R. Grime -- Class of 1965; retired Air Force major general; was chief of staff, Headquarters Allied Forces North Europe 1998-1999; also was commander, Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center, Cheyenne Mountain Air Station, Colo.
* H. Carey Hanlin -- Class of 1942; former chief executive officer of Provident Life and Accident Insurance Co.; among honors, received Chattanooga Bar Association's Liberty Bell award in 1984 and Kiwanis Distinguished Service award in 1990.
* Dr. James Henry -- Class of 1940; principal 1964-1970; superintendent of Chattanooga City Schools 1970-1978.
* Orlando Lightfoot -- Class of 1989; all-time leading basketball scorer for University of Idaho and the Big Sky Conference; played professionally in Europe 1994-2007, earning all-star status on several teams.
* A.C. "Scrappy" Moore -- Class of 1920; longest serving University of Chattanooga head football coach 1934-1967.
* Jim Phifer -- CHS basketball and golf coach whose 1970 and 1972 golf teams were state champions; also was CHS principal and teacher, principal and coach at Notre Dame High School from the early 1970s through 1995.
* Katharine Pryor -- Longtime CHS teacher who also helmed many of the school's arts productions.
* Gene Roberts -- Class of 1951; Chattanooga fire and police commissioner 1971-1979; headed Tennessee Department of Safety 1979-1982; mayor of Chattanooga 1983-1997.
* John Ryan -- Class of 1921; retired three-star Army lieutenant general.
* Garrison Siskin -- Class of 1920; established Siskin Foundation with brother Mose in 1950; ran family's steel supply company with brother Mose.
* Tommy Taylor -- Class of 1981; played linebacker at UCLA and was a fourth-round draft choice of the San Diego Chargers.
* Russ Ward -- Class of 1944; former NBC national news announcer and, according to a classmate, a sailing buddy of former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite.
Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...