Plymouth High School Principal Larry Pinkerton first conceived of the honor in 1981, and that year the first recipient was Major General Larry N. Tibbets. Since then outstanding Alumni of Plymouth – in all fields – have been honored as the Distinguished Alumnus.
This year preliminary voting narrowed a field of 56 nominees to seven finalists for the committee to consider. They are Jack Greenlee class of 1947, Don Kehoe class of 1943, Howard Menser class of 1948, Ronald Probst class of 1967, Morgan Ucney class of 2003, Lt Col. William Lee Jr. class of 1988. and Duane M. Davis class of 1951.
On Saturday this year’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame winner will be announced.
Below is the biographical information on the seven finalists for this year’s inductee to the Plymouth Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.
Jack was a graduate of the Plymouth Class of 1947, and was nominated for his contributions in public service to the City of Plymouth.
He was a two term mayor of the city of Plymouth and also served the city as a member of the City Council. He was the manager of G&G Supermarket for 40 years. As a boy Jack was an Eagle Scout, and continued his involvement as an adult being very active as a Boy Scout Leader.
He was awarded one of the state’s highest honors for public servants – The Sagamore of the Wabash – by Governor Joe Kernan.
Don was a member of the Plymouth Class of 1943, and he died in 2004.
He did his undergraduate work at Franklin College, and went on to do post graduate work at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University where he received his Masters Degree. He was nominated for his outstanding contribution to education
Don began his career as a teacher and coach at Boonville and Edinburgh Schools became Principal at Edinburgh, and then served as Superintendent of Schools at Centerville for 24 years. He President of East Central School Study Council, Chairman of District VI and Treasurer of Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents, President of Southern Indiana Superintendents Club,
He received the Outstanding Educator Award by the Lions Club and American Legion, and was awarded The Sagamore of the Wabash by Governor Evan Bayh. He served on the United Way of Wayne County Executive Board and Resource Inventory of Wayne County.
He was also a great patron of the arts and the performing Arts Center in Centerville is named the Don Kehoe Center of Performing Arts.
Howard was a member of the Plymouth Class of 1948. He studied at Ball State University, and did graduate work at IUSB. He was nominated for his outstanding contribution to industrial innovation.
Howard began his career as a teacher at Lincoln High School in Plymouth. His ideas and great talents led him to become the founder and President of Menser Industries and President of MiPly Equipment Inc.
His invention of the Hydrodynamic Pressure Saturator was voted one of the top 100 most significant new technical products of the year in 1987 by Research and Development Magazine, and the invention was displayed at the Museum of Science and Industry,
He was very active in the Plymouth community as founding President of the Plymouth Jaycees, Marshall County Republican Chairman and a member and Elder of the First United Church of Christ
Howard served in the U.S. Army, teaching an artillery class at West Point. While there his talent for innovation aided his country as he designed a slide rule for control of artillery fire.
He is known as an entrepreneur, innovator and is the holder of five patents.
Ronald G. Probst
Ron is a member of the Plymouth Class of 1967. He graduated from Indiana University with a BS in Astrophysics. He received a Master in Astronomy and PhD. at the University of Virginia, and was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at NASA/Ames Research Center.
He was nominated for his outstanding contributions in the field of Astronomy.
Ron is the Project Scientist and resident astronomer at Kitt Peak National Observatory. He has been centrally involved in the development and deployment of infrared imaging systems in the United States and Chile and is one of the foremost in that field in the world. His areas of interest in research are star forming regions, low mass stars and infrared imaging instrumentation.
Morgan is a member of the Plymouth class of 2003. She received her degree at Cornell University and was nominated for her outstanding career as a female athlete and role model.
Morgan is currently an athlete at the prestigious Mammoth Track Club. She runs professionally worldwide for Reebok.
Morgan was a member of the National Honor Society – top 5% of graduating class at PHS – was inducted into the Indiana Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2010. She is ranked in top 5% for the United States Track Federation, is world ranked by IAAF and was 4th in Olympic Trials for 1500 meters in 2008.
Some of the honors she has received since graduating from PHS include being an IACCCA Hall of Fame recipient, ECAC Conference Female Track Athlete of the year 2007, NCAA Finalist for 3 years, and a Cornell Record holder.
She continues to serve others as the liaison for young athletes as a member of USATF Elite’s Athlete Development Program, and has volunteered for youth programs in Australia.
She continues her pursuit to be a member of the next U.S. Olympic team.
Lt. Col. William Lee Jr.
Lt. Col. Lee was a member of the Plymouth Class of 1988. He has a dedication to learning and just the highlights of his education include a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, Charleston Southern University, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL (Distinguished Graduate), Master of Business Administration, Touro University International, United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Master of Military Studies, United States Marine Corps School of Advanced Warfighting, Master of Operational Studies, Marine Corps University, Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA.
He was nominated for his outstanding service to his country in the United States Air Force. He is presently Commander of the 682 Air Support Operations Squadron, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina.
He began his military career as a Security Policeman at Hurlburt Field in Florida. While attached to the 58th Fighter Squadron, Lt .Col. Lee flew combat missions in Iraq, enforcing the no-fly zone during operation Southern Watch. As a member of the 17th Reconnaissance Squadron – the Air Force’s first weaponized remotely piloted vehicle squadron – he was the Chief of Weapons and Tactics and flew missions in operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
Currently he is the lead USAFCENT planner for Afghanistan and the primary advisor and lead planner to the Commander, USAFCENT, on Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance capabilities and deployments in support of Secretary of Defense and Presidential directives.
He has received the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Duane M. Davis
Duane is a member of the Plymouth class of 1951. He received his degree at Purdue University BS-AE with highest distinction, and went on to receive an MS-ME at the University of Pittsburgh, and his PhD.-AE at Purdue University
Duane was Commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the Air Force and was assigned to Westinghouse Bettis Atomic Power Division building nuclear reactors for the Navy. During his active duty career with Air Force he was a B47 Pilot Strategic Air Command and stood nuclear alert at Whiteman Zaragossa Air Base in Spain and Fairford Air Base in England. He became an Associate Professor of aeronautical engineering at the Air Force Academy and volunteered for service in Vietnam. He flew AC-47 gunships supporting ground troops at night, and flew 200 combat missions in Vietnam. He was then named Chief Engineer on the Laser Guided Bomb project which became the weapon of choice in Desert Storm, Bosnia and Kosovo.
Academically he has been honored as a National Pi Kappa Phi Scholar, Sigma Gamma Tau National Honorary Aeronautical Engineering Society, Tau Betta Pi National Engineering Honors Society. His military honors include Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 7 oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with valor and 3 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with silver palm, Vietnam Service Medal with 4 oak leaf clusters.