An outstanding student and all-around athlete at Chagrin Falls High School and in college, Peter is currently the president and chief operating officer of H. B. Zachry Company, an $800 million a year construction and maintenance company in San Antonio, Texas. He was graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1959. As a junior there, he completed the year as the top academic performer in a class of 850. As a senior, he was selected to be Brigade Commander, the highest ranking student military position. Peter was the first person in the history of Navy to be commissioned into the Engineering Duty Corp directly from the Naval Academy. Early in his career, he worked with Admiral H. G. Rickover, managing the application of nuclear power in ships.
Joel’s splendid academic performance at Chagrin Falls High School was but an early chapter in a life replete with scholastic achievement. Since 1988, he has been president of Fort Lewis College, the public liberal arts college for Colorado. For the previous 19 years, he was a professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico, where he received his Ph.D. in 1966. He earned his B.A. from Yale University in 1960 and his M.A. from Miami of Ohio in 1962. Dr. Jones has published more than 50 scholarly articles, chapters of books, and reviews covering such topics as American social/ intellectual history, environmental studies and cultural diversity. In 1972, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Educational Press Association of America.
Owner of Evans Printing Company for 26 years, Dick’s talents and altruistic endeavors have been duly recognized by the communities in which he lived and worked. In 1968, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Chagrin Valley Jaycees. Sun Newspapers selected him as “Citizen of the Year” for Solon in 1992, the same year he was named to the Solon Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame. Numerous paper companies have presented him awards of excellence in printed communication. Dick was president of the Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce in 1967 and in 1994. He is a life member of several local organizations including the Chagrin Valley Little Theatre, Valley Art Center and the Chagrin Falls Historical Society.
Tom enjoyed a 31 year career as an American History teacher at Beachwood High School, Strongsville High School and for 25 years at Chagrin Falls Middle School. He has been honored in his profession by being named the 1st Chagrin Falls Schools “Teacher of the Year” and the Ohio Outstanding American History Teacher of the Year by the Ohio Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Tom has served on the Board of Directors for the Chagrin Valley Recreation Center, Main Street of Chagrin Falls, United Methodist Church, and Meals-On-Wheels. Several awards have been named in his honor for outstanding 8th grade history student, CFHS Athletic Department Service Award and CFAA Alumni Scholarship. Tom was named the 1996 Citisun of the Year by the Chagrin Herald Sun/West Geauga Sun. The Chagrin Valley Jaycees has honored him with the Distinguished Service Award and selecting him to be Grand Marshall of the Blossom Time Parade. In his retirement he helped to oversee the formation of Chagrin Falls Alumni Association, served as its Director for 15 years and is currently serving as Alumni Director Emeritus.
Ron enjoyed a 33 year career with the Forest Service, USDA, finishing with a six year assignment as Forest Supervisor of the one million acre Siskiyou National Forest in Southwest Oregon. During his career, he was summoned to Washington, D.C. several times to testify before Congressional committees on subjects ranging from fire suppression and post-fire rehabilitation to forest planning. Ron also met periodically with the Governor of Oregon, and key Senators and Congressmen regarding natural resource management issues and conflicts. Ron has earned several awards including Outstanding Performance as Forest Supervisor, Society of American Foresters “Tough Tree Award”, and Secretary of Agriculture Superior Service Award. Following retire- ment I founded and operated a consulting forestry business for 10 years. Recently he authored and published a book entitled Plain Green Wrapper – A Forester’s Story which has enjoyed a success that has exceeded his expectations.
Dick Bodwell is the recipient of the first Chagrin Falls Alumni Association Community Service Award. Dick graduated in 1955 and married his high school sweetheart, Pudge Fischer ’56. They have been married 48 years. After entering the insurance business and living in Chicago, Detroit, Albuquerque and Houston, Dick and Pudge decided that they would like to raise their family in Chagrin Falls. Together they have three children: Brad *78, Beth ’81 and Greg’83. Since their return in 1970, Dick has given his time to many groups in the Chagrin Valley including: working with youth as a coach and umpire through the Chagrin Athletic Association, serving our schools and athletic programs as a Board member of the Chagrin Falls Booster Club and member of the CFHS Advisory Committee, service to his church as a Sunday School Teacher, Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry at the Geauga County Jail, and as a councilperson, Village Council President, and then Mayor. For the last two years he has been the Parade Marshall of the annual Memorial Day Service that takes place at Evergreen Cemetery. Dick’s service to the community has been recognized in the past as he has been the recipient of the Kemper’s President’s Club Cup in 1979, John Alden’s Top Hat Award in 1990, and the Chagrin Valley Jaycee’s Distinguished Service Award in 1992. Dick also enjoys playing golf. He and Pudge spend their free time traveling, collecting antiques and spending time with their five grandchildren-all boys!
A career of distinction was John Thomas’ 34-year experience with J.P. Morgan Investment Management, Inc. He served for twelve years as a member of the board of directors, five years as president of J.P. Morgan Trust Bank, the group’s operating company in Japan, and nine years as head of marketing. Currently, he is president of JRT Research of San Francisco, providing international management investment consultant services to private industry. He is a visiting professor at the Golden State University Graduate School of Business and is director of The Japan Society of Northern California. He has had several articles published in the Japan Security Analysts Journal. John earned a B.A. in economics from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1961. He received his M.B.A., with distinction, from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in 1963. He was a superb athlete at CFHS and at Ohio Wesleyan, where as a halfback and linebacker, he was a two-time All-Ohio Conference selection.
The valedictorian of the class of 1951 chose the field of medicine to continue his practice of excellence. A graduate of Denison University (1955) and Harvard University (1959), Dr. Rodgers is a recognized expert in lipid research and has been published widely in medical journals. His research efforts were recognized by his election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the New York Academy of Science. For the past 36 years, he has been associated with Albany Medical College, where he earned the position of Professor of Medicine in 1974. He continues to be active in clinical research involving abnormalities in lipid metabolism and also in the area of liver disease. The Albany Medical Center recently honored him by establishing the Dr. John B. Rodgers Endowment Fund for Continuing Education in Gastroenterology.
Claudia Mayner Greenwood is a teacher who credits her former teachers at Chagrin Falls High School for much of her success. The former CFHS newspaper editor and Prom Queen is Associate Professor of English, Emeritus at Kent State University, Ashtabula Campus, where she has taught for more than 30 years. Dr. Greenwood earned her Ph.D. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1986. She was a finalist for the Distinguished Teacher Award at Kent State in 1994 and for the Outstanding Teacher Award in 1993. Among her many publications and professional activities is Go For It! A Handbook for Women Returning to College, published in 1999. Public poetry readings are also among her current endeavors.
The “class clown” at Chagrin Falls High School came to be known as a “comic genius” in Hollywood. Tim Conway has achieved monumental success in motion pictures, television, and on stage. His work in television has earned him five Emmy Awards, including four on The Carol Burnett Show. He also won an Emmy for his guest appearance on Coach in 1997. Among Tim’s movie credits are The Billion Dollar Hobo, The Prize Fighter, The World’s Greatest Athlete, and The Apple Dumpling Gang. His stage career includes 182 appearances as Felix in The Odd Couple. He earned a Cleo Award for his work in TV advertising spots for Chase Manhattan Bank. In 1989, he received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Long-time residents may recall Tim’s references to Chagrin Falls during episodes of McHale’s Navy in the 1960’s
Mexico City is a long way from Chagrin Falls Village, but one of this capital city’s residents has not forgotten the dedication and commitment of his former teachers in Chagrin Falls Schools. In 1994, Lee Crawford was awarded the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor that the Mexican Federal Government bestows upon foreign individuals. He was the first U.S. citizen to receive the award since 1936. For ten years, he was director of Packard Electric’s Mexico West Operations. Lee was lauded for his efforts with the people, the environment, and the community. He serves on the board of directors for the United Way of Mexico, and in 1994 was named “International Man of the Year” by United Way. He is currently in charge of the Delphi Components Group of General Motors in Mexico, which includes 48 manufacturing facilities, employing more than 65,000 people. He began his GM career at Packard Electric following graduation from Kent State University, where he studied architecture and Pre-law. Formerly a resident of El Paso, Texas, Lee recently moved to Mexico City.
David Farris traces his success to the supportive atmosphere of the Chagrin Falls School System. Much involved in athletics and drama during his years at CFHS, his successes have reached dramatic proportions. Since 1987, he has been Chief Operating Officer of Beneficial Corporation, a $15 billion, New York Stock Exchange-listed financial services holding company. He is also President and Chief Executive Officer of Beneficial Management Corporation, a subsidiary. Subsidiaries of the company provide financial services through their various consumer-finance, banking, and insurance operations located throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Ireland. A graduate of the Advanced Management Program of the Harvard Graduate School of Business, he is a director and past president of the National Home Equity Mortgage Association. He is a chairman of the New Jersey Ballet Company, and also chairman and a trustee of CHEMcare, a Westfield, N.J. support group for cancer patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatment. After being graduated from CFHS, David stayed close to home for a while. He earned his undergraduate degree in business from Kent State University, and he was president of the Chagrin Valley Jaycees. He is currently a member of the board of directors of Kent State University Foundation.
When she was a student at Chagrin Falls High School, Joanne Griffith worked on the school newspaper, The Echo. Today, she is still working on a newspaper — her own. After a two-year stint as a reporter for a suburban newspaper in Worcester, Massachusetts, Joanne founded the Holden Landmark, in the basement of her home in Holden, Massachusetts in 1976. Her weekly newspaper now serves 7300 paid subscribers in five towns across the Wachusett region of the state. As editor and publisher of The Landmark, her staff has garnered many awards from the New England Press Association and the Massachusetts Press Association. Included were a second place award for General Excellence in 1989, and first place awards for Editorial Writing in 1985, 1988, and 1992. She is also President and Treasurer of The Holden Landmark Corporation. In 1994, Joanne was a finalist for the Business Person of the Year award from the New England Women Business Owners. This year, she was appointed to the board of directors of the New England Press Association.
A former sailor in the United States Navy, Richard Draz weaved his love of people, water, and physical education into a coaching career paralleled by few. A graduate of Kent State University, he has been referred to as “a living legend” in the swimming and water polo circles of southern California. From 1962 until 1986, he was the head swimming coach at Crawford High School in San Diego. He has received numerous awards. In 1986, the National High School Athletic Association presented him the “National Coach of the Year” award for being the top swimming coach in the United States for that year. In 1990, the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association honored him with the “National Outstanding Service” award. He is listed in the book, America’s Greatest Coaches, by Michael Koehler. His dual meet record at Crawford in boys swimming was 253-38-1, which included 21 undefeated league championships. His boys’ water polo teams were 334-106-1, which included 13 league titles. Since 1986, he has been the head swimming coach and head water polo coach at San Diego Mesa College. Richard remembers the caring and supportive attitude the Chagrin teachers had for their students, qualities which he has carried proudly as a teacher-coach in his adopted homeland.
A student of deep and varied interests, Don Bullock’s list of achievements stretch from the halls of Chagrin Falls High School to the far reaches of outer space. While still a student at CFHS, he visited the United Nations with the Junior Council on World Affairs, being among the first group from the United States to visit the Soviet Legation Headquarters. An early fascination with chemistry and his love of the great outdoors, steered him to the forestry program at Michigan Technological University, where he earned a degree in physics in 1957. By 1963, he had acquired an M.S. in Applied Physics and Ph.D. in Physics, both from UCLA. Currently, Don is Chief Scientist for Lasers and Optics in the Space and Defense Sector of TRW, Inc. He has been with TRW since 1961. His innovative, technical accomplishments have served to advance our country’s defense and space programs. In 1972, he independently designed the optical resonator for the first high-power chemical laser, the Baseline Demonstration Laser (BDL). He has 16 publications and several patents. In 1989, Don was awarded the TRW Chairman’s Award for Innovation, recognizing his performance enhancing contributions, and laser weapon systems. In 1990, he was elected to TRW’s Space and Defense Technical Fellows Program.