Alumni Hall of Fame
Gideon Johnson - Inducted in 2018
Sylvanus Finchum - Inducted in 2018
Written by: Maddie Newlin
Branch McCracken - Inducted in 2018
Written by Travis Judson
Emmett Branch McCracken, born in Monrovia, Indiana on June 9, 1908, went to Monrovia’s schools, quickly becoming a star player on the high school basketball team. As a player and captain of Monrovia’s team, McCracken would win several county championships with his team. This was along with their follow-up placement in the Tri-State Tournament in 1924, followed by two consecutive victories in the tournament in 1925 and ‘26. McCracken would be named the MVP of the two winning tournaments in his junior and senior years of high school.
2. Branch McCracken Gym Dedication. Rocky and Christy Carter Photo Collection, 1971
4. Pjeiffer, Casey. “Branch McCracken a Hardwood Hero.” Indiana History Blog, 19 April 2017, Indian Historical Bureau of the State Library. https://blog.history.in.gov/branch-mccracken-a-hoosier-hardwood-hero/ Accesses 24
5. McCracken, Branch. Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame https://hoopshall.com/inductees/branch-mccracken/ Accessed 24 November 2020
6. Hammel, Bob. “Branch McCracken: Symbol of IU.” Daily Herald-Telephone, 4 June, 1970, p. 21
7. Branch McCracken Senior Photo. Brett Fisher Photo Archive, 1926.
The Indianapolis News (Indianapolis, Indiana) · 28 Oct 1976, Thu · Page 14
Gordon Hadley - Inducted in 2018
Written by: Maddie Newlin
John Hurt - Inducted in 2018
Written by Emma Gaston
John Hurt was born in Hall on November 3, 1912. John was a member of the 1931 class of Monrovia. He went on to lead a successful life as a lawyer and being a member of many different organizations/clubs. Hurt went to Indiana School of Law and partnered with different law offices based in Martinsville and Indianapolis. He joined the Jackson Club and became an avid member of the Democratic party. John served the successful campaign of Governor Paul McNutt and became the Secretary to the Indiana Democratic State Central Committee. He was also a Delegate to the Democratic Convention. John Hurt was a Kentucky Colonel, Oklahoma Admiral and five time recipient of Indiana’s highest honor the Sagamore of the Wabash Award which is given by the Governor. John Hurt passed away on July 6, 2006 and was inducted into the inaugural Alumni Hall of Fame class in 2018. The following are different organizations that John was apart of:
Honorary Member of Harry S. Truman Library
Kendrick Memorial Hospital
My View of the Twentieth Century. John E. Hurt.December 2005. Cover Photo.
Virginia (Schrader) Jett - Inducted in 2018
Written by: Maddie Newlin
1. The Reporter-Times (Martinsville, Indiana) · 30 Aug 2001, Thu · Page 11
Alma (Davis) Smock - Inducted in 2018
Written by: Maddie Newlin
Bill "Mac" Fisher - Inducted in 2018
Bill Fisher graduated from Monrovia in 1947 and was a member of the 1944 and 1945 Tri-County Championship teams as well as participating in track, baseball, school plays and was class president. After high school he attended Canterbury College in Danville and later earned his masters degree from Indiana University. He was in education for 40 years including being principal and superintendent at Monroe-Gregg School District.
Gary Morris- Inducted in 2018
Written by Travis Judson
Gary Morris grew up in Monrovia, Indiana, saying that one of his most fond childhood memories was getting to listen to the Indianapolis 500 race with his family while at a Memorial Day picnic. Morris graduated from Monrovia High School in the class of 1973, and later would graduate from Indiana State University in Terre Haute - where he would provide many job opportunities to students there. Clabber Girl was a company that began in the 1850s, producing baking powder and other ingredients. Morris would work his way up in the company to become its CEO in 2000. He provides many job opportunities to the students of Indiana State University, and charitably donates much of the company earnings to Riley Hospital - a quarter of the proceeds of every tub the company sells. Mr. Morris also has the following affiliations:
A board member of Agrinovus Indiana from 2016 to 2018, the ISU foundation from 2008 to 2016, and currently the Union Hospital
He’s an active member of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Board (2008)
He’s a member of the Rotary Club as of 2005
J. Jeff Schwegman - Inducted in 2018
Written by: Emma Gaston
Jeff Schwegman was a graduate of the 1987 Monrovia class. He was also a member of the marching band. Schwegman went on to have a very successful life being the founder of AB BioTechnologies. In 1992, Schwegman earned his BS in biochemistry from Purdue University and worked at Cook Imaging located in Bloomington Indiana. In 1999 he began his graduate studies within the Department of Industrial and Physical Pharmacy at Purdue University. His graduate studies focused on the changes in the physical structure of biological molecules during lyophilization. In 2003, Jeff received his PhD from Purdue and worked at Baxter Pharmaceutical Solutions as a research scientist. In 2005, Jeff and three other founders formed BioConvergence LLC. From there, in 2008, Jeff left and started AB BioTechnologies which focuses on lyophilization technology. To enhance his business techniques, in 2012, Dr. Schwegman joined the PeerSpectives CEO roundtable. This organization has given Jeff much more confidence in running a successful business. In 2015, AB BioTech broke the $1 million mark in revenue and Schwegman hopes that the revenues will rise over the next several years so that he will have the capability to expand his company. Jeff Schwegan was inducted into the inaugural Alumni Hall of Fame class in 2018.
George Hubbard - Inducted in 2019
George Hubbard was a Quaker born in North Carolina in 1786 and moved to Morgan County. He along with fellow Quaker Gideon Johnson established Monrovia in 1834. Originally they had planned on naming the town Pleasant Grove, but another town already had that name so Monrovia was chosen. Most reports have the town being named after the Township, which was named after President Monroe, but some reports have Monrovia being named after Monrovia Liberia, which was a country started by the United States to recolonize freed slaves. This suggest the name was chosen to support the Quaker views on abolition and opposition to slavery. George Hubbard’s family would later own the Hubbard Mill, which was a local landmark and one of the first steam grist mills in Central Indiana.
John Elwood Bundy- Inducted in 2019
John Bundy was born in 1853 in North Carolina and moved to Monrovia at age five. He attended the West Union Meeting school and was a Quaker. He was an American Impressionist artist and was known as the Dean of a Richmond group of painters. He would later join the Earlham University art staff and was known for his landscape paintings. He was inducted into the the Morgan County Hall of Fame for Fine Arts in 1976 and was the second Monrovia resident inducted with Branch McCracken.
Bruce and Kay Atkinson - Inducted in 2019
Bruce and Kay Atkinson had been Monrovia residents since 1964 and were longtime school employees since the late 1960’s. Bruce started off as a janitor, would be involved with the maintenance of the bus garage and eventually head of maintenance until his departure in the early 1990’s. Kay worked for 36 years retiring in 2003. Bruce and Kay were Model T Ford enthusiasts and had traveled to various parts of the United states as part of car clubs. Bruce had climbed Pikes Peak and the annual Newport Hill Climb. Bruce was famous for his iconic 1926 Ford Model T Truck and even drove it in the opening ceremonies of the Pan Am games that were held in Indianapolis. Due to their travels across the country they became avid collectors; Kay was known for Teddy Bears, which she would eventually have over 700, and Angles. Bruce collected other antiques that were associated with engines and automotives including a 1906 steam engine. Bruce and Kay were consistent entries in antique shows and parades including the Martinsville Fall Foliage and the Monrovia Festival which they Grand Marshals for in 2005. Bruce has contributed a significant amount of memorabilia to the local history department and alumni association. Some of the most significant contributions have been the blue prints and old High School stones from the “Old School” Bruce carted the old stone fragments to his house in a cart and used them in the construction of his garage. He and Jerry Pheifer were also responsible for the “Old Bell” structure that was built outside the high school office entrance. Most importantly to the importance of Bruce and Kay were comments that older alumni had about the support that they gave students during their time as employees. Alumni would comment that “anytime we needed anything for homecoming or spirit week, Bruce and Kay were there to help us with anything we needed.” Bruce and Kay are the only couple inducted into the Hall of Fame and were given a standing ovation.
Austin "Red" Lambert - Inducted in 2019
Written by: Mackensi Schneider
Austin Lambert. Purdue University Library Archive. 1931
Randy Marsh-Inducted in 2019
Randy Marsh graduated from Monrovia High School in 1965. He worked at Allison in Indianapolis that summer and enrolled in the fall at Howard W. Sam’s Technical Institute (future ITT) studying electronics. Once qualified, Marsh worked at RCA on the nightshift, continuing his studies during the day.
Marsh was drafted, but married his wife Jackie before reporting for service. In the Army he was placed in the Signal Corps and sent to Vietnam to run communications for a battalion. He became communications chief and was promoted to the rank of sergeant, serving twelve months from 1968 to 1969.
Returning home, Marsh continued in electronics. After his company relocated, he began working in construction for Central Engineering. He helped to develop tens of thousands of acres in the Indianapolis area. This is when Marsh began to see the need for historic preservation.
Marsh was invited to join the Morgan County Historical and Preservation Society, a commitment that lasted 20 years. They saved the Grassyfork Fisheries building in Martinsville. They worked with Indianapolis-based Flaherty and Collins to save and restore the old jail, the Martinsville Sanitarium, and the Kivett Building. They were converted into senior housing.
The Marshes joined the Monrovia Christian Church in 1986. They were deeply engaged in church programs and activities, Jackie’s involvement assisting in the development of many church associations.
Marsh became president of the Wilbur Community Association. He led efforts to obtain the quick claim deed of the Wilbur Schoolhouse building and grounds. They secured funding and restored the roof to its 1876 state. The intense project required help and labor from friends, using native lumber cut to non-modern dimensions. The work took three years to accomplish. During this period Marsh was working a full-time job as well as completing other Wilbur Schoolhouse projects such as a new ceiling, insulation, wiring and new limestone steps.When the Association stepped down from the schoolhouse stewardship, they worked with county officials to pass oversight to Morgan County Parks.
In the mid-1990’s Marsh was invited to the Monrovia High School Alumni Banquet. He saw a need to set up an association and was quickly nominated to lead it. He was president for ten years. He stepped back for a short time while he was receiving radiation treatment for cancer, a fact which he did not share with the group. He headed up the scholarship committee. He steered the group toward going digital. They tracked down and collected addresses, started a mailing list and sent out newsletters. Donations boomed. The Alumni Banquet was packed. In 1995, the Rivieras performed at Marsh’s 30-year reunion.
Marsh learned that Hall School would become vacant. He formed the Hall Civic Association in 2004. They started with a 99-year lease on the 1911 building. Fundraising to sustain the building included dinner theatre, spaghetti dinners and festivals. In 2010, the association took full ownership of the building and grounds. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Hall’s Haunted Halls has become the key to the fundraising efforts.
In 2017 the Morgan County Historical and Preservation Society was dissolved. Marsh helped to form a new historical group, the Morgan County History Partnership. They have established a history center and museum in Martinsville.
2000: Monrovia Alumni Association Booster of the Year
2006: Morgan County Preservationist of the Year
2014: Sandi Servaas Memorial Historic Preservationist Award presented by Indiana Landmarks
Hall Civic Association Preservationist Award
Bill David Shields - Inducted in 2020
Rick Streiff - Inducted in 2020
Written by: Emma Gaston
Inducted into the Monrovia Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006-2007
Rick Streiff has led a very successful life including being an athlete at Monrovia High School and Butler University, and then being a well-established coach at Cathedral. He graduated in the class of 1980 and went on to get his Bachelors and masters at Butler University. Rick is married to Julianne and has three children, John, Lauren and Tom. He now serves as the athletic director for Cathedral High School.
All-Time leading rusher and 3rd in Indiana (since has dropped) - football
All-Time leading scorer - football
Conference champions in 1978 - football
All-Conference 1979 and 1980
All - State Honors 1979 and 1980
Coaches Association Region MVP 1979
North/South All-Star Game - 1980
Also competed in Basketball and Track - football
Played football at Butler
4 varsity letters
Conference Champions in 1983
2nd Team All-Conference 1983
1st team in Butler history to qualify for Division ll playoffs (9-0-1)
Assistant positions at Butler, Bishop Chatard before becoming head coach for Cathedral
Has also coached at Brebeuf Jesuit and North Central High School
10 state football championships at Cathedral High School
Overall Record - 242-109
Inducted into Butler Hall of Fame
David Becker-Inducted in 2021
Written by Travis Judson
David Becker moved to Monrovia, Indiana, after 7th grade where he would attend High School. He struggled to find the funding to go to college, which nobody in his family had ever gone to before. He managed to get admitted to the Coast Guard Academy, which very few do, and decided instead to go to DePaw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where he would graduate with a degree in political science in 1975. Becker would get his first job at General Electric Credit Corp., which he would leave to start his own credit union that would fix their issues, known as Member Data Services. He would sell the company for $24 million, and then he would start and sell several tech companies before founding First Internet Bank.
Today he is the Chairman, President, and CEO of the corporation which held approximately $2.8 billion in December of 2017. He is also currently the CEO of three other companies: OneBridge, DyKnow, and RICS. He used to be a member of the TechPoint Foundation for Youth, which promoted STEM programs for students, and was Chairman of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, a charity to improve central Indiana services. Becker remains philanthropic today with involvement in several organizations; currently, he is on the board of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, a group of CEOs and university presidents that work to promote economic prosperity. Becker, a supporter of higher education, has supported several Indiana universities and educational corporations, serving on the advisory boards for several university programs. He has received several awards throughout his life, winning the following:
The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2001.
The INITA (now Techpoint) Trailblazer in Technology award in 2002.
Named the Sagamore of the Wabash by Indiana Governor Joe Kernan in 2004.
Placed in the Central Indiana Business Hall of Fame in 2008
Granted the Lifetime Achievement Award in Mentoring by College Mentors for Kids in 2015.