About the Hall of Fame

Mission Statement

The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field is dedicated to preserving, honoring, and promoting the tradition of excellence manifested by the specific individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame and through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired.

Nine of the ten living legends were able to attend the APH Annual Meeting in 2002. Posing with their plaques are: (back row) Samuel Ashcroft, Cleo Dolan, Louis Vieceli, Stanley Suterko, (front row) Ruth Kaarlela, Natalie Barraga, Eleanor Faye, Alice Raftary, and Donald Wedewer.

These 58 significant professional colleagues of the recent and distant past are a fascinating cross-section of heroes and pioneers who not only shaped our rich history, philosophy, knowledge and skills, but also give us insights into current and future challenges. These giants shared their personal lives and showed us strategies to ensure that services for blind persons remain unique and specialized. Enjoy their lives and contributions and reflect upon your own list of heroes.

The establishment of the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field was announced in Louisville, Kentucky, in October of 2001 at the 133rd Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and friends of the American Printing House for the Blind. The Hall, which has gained support from across the field, including AER, AFB, and CEC-DVI, is located in the 1926 wing of the APH building that has been renovated to also house the Barr Research Library.

On this page:

Video: Hall of Fame Inductees, 2016

Video: Hall of Fame Inductees, 2002-2015

2016 Induction Ceremony

It was Friday evening, October 7, when the 57th and 58th members of the Hall of Fame were inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. The spirited master facilitator for the evening was Hall Chair, Billy Brookshire, who began by sharing the history of the Hall, followed by presenting Dr. Randall Jose and Sir Frederick Fraser for induction. Responding for Dr. Jose, who was unable to attend due to health issues, was his good friend and member of the Board of Governors, Dr. Greg Goodrich. Responding for Sir Frederick Fraser, a legendary Canadian hero from our past, was former member of the Board of Governors, Dr. Ann MacCuspie.

2015 Induction Ceremony

On Friday evening, October 9, at the Hyatt Regency in Louisville, the stage was set for the Hall of Fame induction of the 55th and 56th blindness field legends, Francis Campbell and Alan Koenig, as a part of APH’s 147th Annual Meeting. As is the tradition, a video honoring all 56 inductees since 2002, opened the ceremony.

Hall of Fame Board Member Jane Erin provided the welcome and induction of Dr. Alan Koenig. The touching response was offered by Alan’s brother, Steve. Former Board Member Mary Nelle McLennan did the honors of inducting Sir Francis Campbell with the insightful response given by his great grandson, Fred Campbell. Also participating was great-great grandson, Nick Meade.

Video of the 2015 Induction Ceremony

We apologize for the poor audio.

2014 Induction Ceremony

The 53rd and 54th legends of the blindness field, Michael T. Collins and Newel Perry, were inducted in to the Hall of Fame on Friday evening, October 17, 2014, in Louisville, KY at the Hyatt Regency Hotel as a part of APH’s 146th Annual Meeting. After a video that honored all 54 inductees since 2002, Hall of Fame Board Chair Jane Erin offered a brief history of the Hall. Curator Bob Brasher then shared the significance of the Wall of Tribute, which supports the Hall, and showed recent stones placed on the wall to honor friends, family, mentors, and agencies.

Dr. Erin then introduced and inducted the two honorees for 2014. Accepting for Michael T. Collins was his wife, Linda, who eloquently shared many insights regarding the life and accomplishments of Michael. Accepting for Newel Perry was Dr. Stuart Wittenstein who traced Perry’s fascinating life and career through a well-researched power point presentation.

You will most certainly find yourself even more inspired by the lives and accomplishments of these deserving heroes after visiting their Hall biography pages.

Video of the 2014 Induction Ceremony

Photos

2013 Induction Ceremony

It was Friday evening, October 18, 2013, in Louisville, KY when the 51st and 52nd legends of the blindness field, Martha Morrow Foxx and Laurence C. Jones, were inducted in to the Hall of Fame. The venue was the Hyatt Regency Hotel and the event was a part of APH’s 145th Annual Meeting. The ceremony began with a video showing all 52 inductees immediately followed by Hall of Fame Curator Bob Brasher sharing a bit of the history and purpose of the Hall. From there, B.J. LeJuene, of MS State, shared the evolution of the unique place of hope and learning in rural Mississippi that set the stage for our heroes; the Piney Woods Country Life School.

Dr. Rosie Pridgen then presented a spirited induction of Martha Morrow Foxx. Responding with heartfelt reflections of Mrs. Foxx, was former student Napoleon Campbell. The induction of Dr. Jones was deftly handled by B.J. with his grandson, Laurence C. Jones III, offering very special remembrances. Joining us for this unforgettable ceremony were Hall of Fame Inductees Alice Raftary (2002) and Dr. Richard Welsh (2008), twenty-six members of the Jones family, and student of Mrs. Foxx, Barbara Hadnott.

On that very special night, the Hall inducted and celebrated two courageous heroes who improved and changed the course of education and, in the process, immeasurably improved the lives of countless students and families for the better. To be inspired by their achievements, please visit their Hall biography pages.

Video of the 2013 Induction Ceremony

Watch video of the 2013 Induction Ceremony

Photos

2012 Induction Ceremony

Friday evening, October 12, 2012, the 49th and 50th leaders and legends of the blindness field, Phil Hatlen and Pete Wurzburger, were inducted in to the Hall of Fame. The event was hosted at the Galt House Hotel as a part of APH’s 144th Annual Meeting. A video of the 50 inductees was followed by Hall Governing Board Chair Jane Erin sharing the history and purpose of the Hall.

Dr. Erin then moved effortlessly in to the Induction Ceremony of these two giants. First came Phil Hatlen. Responding with heartfelt reflections about Dr. Hatlen, who could not attend due to recent surgery, was his son Jim. Then came Pete Wurzburger’s induction with his daughter Kristie offering very special remembrances.

On that special night, the Hall inducted two icons of our field who were also great friends—and that made this event even warmer and more touching.

Video: Jane Erin — Introduction

Watch video of 2012 Induction Ceremony Introduction by Jane Erin

Video: Phil Hatlen — Acceptance by Jim Hatlen

Watch video of 2012 Induction Ceremony, focusing on Phil Hatlen

Video: Pete Wurzburger — Acceptance by Kristie Wurzburger and Patricia Leader

Watch video of 2012 Induction Ceremony, focusing on Pete Wurzburger

For additional information on the lives of these amazing men, visit their Hall biography pages.

Consider making the field’s Hall of Fame, located at APH, a destination. Also, visit the Hall website for a virtual tour and the latest news!

Photos

2011 Induction Ceremony

On the evening of Friday, October 14, Jane Erin, Secretary of the Hall of Fame Governing Board, once again beautifully facilitated the ceremony that framed the contributions of the newest Hall inductees. The ceremony, inducting Edward Ellis Allen and Sally Rogow, began with a video presenting all 48 inductees followed by welcoming remarks from Hall Chair, Jim Deremeik.

Responding to the induction of Edward Ellis Allen were Jerry Kitzhoffer, Director of Overbrook School for the Blind, and Steven Rothstein, President of Perkins School for the Blind.

Unable to travel to Louisville, Sally Rogow accepted the honor by video from Vancouver, British Columbia. An afternoon Tea, in her honor, was hosted by Cay Holbrook on the University of British Columbia campus during the Induction Ceremony. Dr. Rogow, friends, and family were able to view the Ceremony as it occurred.

For additional information on the lives of these amazing heroes, visit their Hall biography pages. On your next visit to Louisville, please visit the Hall of Fame located on the 4th floor of the American Printing House for the Blind.

Video: Jim Deremiek: Opening Remarks and History

Jim Deremiek portrait

Video: 2011 Induction Ceremony

Collage of 2011 inductees and Jane Erin

Video: Sally Rogow Response

Sally Rogow portrait

Photos

2010 Induction Ceremony

The two 2010 Hall of Fame inductees took their rightful places in the Hall on Friday evening, October 15, at an Induction Ceremony hosted at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY. The ceremony began with a video presenting all 46 inductees followed by a history of the Hall and the Wall of Tribute from Hall Chair Jim Deremeik. The 45th and 46th legends, Morris Frank and M. C. Migel, were then skillfully presented for induction by Dr. Jane Erin, secretary of the Hall Board.

Responding to the induction of Morris Frank, co-founder of The Seeing Eye, was Dr. Jim Kutsch, President of The Seeing Eye. As a touching bonus, we heard Morris Frank’s own words through a beautifully crafted video. A special guest for the occasion was Frank’s great-grand-nephew, Horton Frank.

Responding to the induction of M. C. Migel, founder of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), was AFB President Carl Augusto and Migel’s grandson, Christopher "Kit" Migel. Mr. Migel shared insightful stories about his grandfather and Mr. Augusto offered a listing of Migel’s AFB accomplishments.

For additional information on the lives of these amazing men, visit their Hall biography pages. On your next visit to Louisville, please visit the Hall of Fame located on the 4th floor of the American Printing House for the Blind.

Video: 2010 Induction Ceremony

Collage of 2010 inductees and Jane Erin

Video: Morris Frank: In His Own Words

Morris Frank portrait

Photos

2009 Induction Ceremony

On Friday evening, October 15, 2009, the 43rd and 44th legends of the blindness field, Dr. Euclid Herie and Dr. Dean Tuttle, were inducted in to the Hall of Fame at the Hilton Seelbach Hotel as a part of APH’s 141st Annual Meeting. The ceremony began with a video showing all 44 inductees followed by Hall Governing Board Chair Jim Deremeik who offered a brief history and explanation of the Hall, ending with a plea to the field to support their Hall of Fame. Jim then recognized artist Andrew Dakin, bas relief sculptor of all 44 inductee plaques found in the Hall.

Inducting Herie and Tuttle in to the Hall was Dr. Jane Erin (AZ) who serves on the Hall Board of Governors. Dr. Herie and Dr. Tuttle provided inspirational responses to Dr. Erin’s compelling biographical introductions. For additional information on the lives of these amazing men, visit their Hall biography pages or, better yet, visit the actual Hall of Fame located on the top floor of the American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville, Kentucky.

Video

Download this video

Photos

2008 Induction Ceremony

On Friday evening, October 3, 2008, two legendary icons of the blindness field, Dr. Sally Mangold and Dr. Richard L. Welsh, were inducted in to the Hall of Fame at the Hilton Seelbach Hotel as a part of the 140th APH Annual Meeting. To begin the festivities, a brief history of the Hall was offered by Hall Governing Board Chair Jim Deremeik, followed by a video showing all 42 inductees, ending with the actual ceremony inductions. Skillfully facilitating the ceremony this year was Dr. Bernadette Kappen, ably assisted by Dr. Susan Spungin. The response to Dr. Sally Mangold’s induction was provided by Dr. Phil Hatlen. Dr. Rick Welsh then responded to his induction, introducing family and friends. Please visit their Hall biography sites for additional information.

Video

Download this video

Bonus Video! The Stone Presentations to Susan Spungin and Bob Brasher

Download this video

Photos

2007 Induction Ceremony

On Friday evening, October 12, 2007, two historic heroes were inducted in to the Hall of Fame at Louisville’s Marriott Hotel as a part of the 139th APH Annual Meeting. After a welcome by Dr. Tuck Tinsley, and history of the Hall by Advisory Chair Dr. Cay Holbrook, the ceremony inductions were passionately provided by Dr. George Zimmerman. The responses to Charles F. F. Campbell’s induction were provided by Dr. Rick Welsh and Campbell’s grandson, Charles Campbell Mead. Responses to Dr. Everett "Butch" Hill’s induction were presented by his widow, Mary Maureen Atkin, and his son, Marc Hill. Butch’s son David Hill was also in attendance.

Video

Download this video

Photos

2006 Induction Ceremony

On Friday evening, October 13, 2006, two legendary figures were inducted in to the Hall of Fame at a Ceremony held at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Louisville as a part of the 138th APH Annual Meeting. The activity was skillfully and beautifully orchestrated by Mary Nelle McLennan and Richard Welsh. Legendary teacher Anne Sullivan Macy was inducted by Mary Nelle with responses by Steven Rothstein, President of Perkins School for the Blind. Famed ophthalmologist Arnall Patz, who had already charmed the crowd when receiving APH’s Wings of Freedom Award on Thursday evening, was inducted by Rick.

Video

Download this video

Audio

Photos

2005 Induction Ceremony

Collage portrait of 2005 inductees

On Friday evening, October 14, 2005, four additional members were added to the original 32 inductees of the Hall of Fame at a Ceremony held at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Louisville, Ky, as a part of the 137th APH Annual Meeting. Bill English and Abraham Nemeth were present for the special evening. Also honored were William Hadley and J. Max Woolly. The historically significant presentation of each inductee was beautifully handled by event facilitator, Bernadette Kappen. Responding for Dr. Hadley was Hadley School Vice President Dawn Turco. Responding for Dr. Woolly was his son Bill Woolly who was accompanied by his mother Kathlyn and brother Jim.

Photos

2002 Induction Ceremony

On Thursday, October 10, 2002, APH opened the 134th Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees with a ceremony inducting the first 32 members in to the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field. Nine of those ten living legends were in attendance (left to right in photo): Ruth Kaarlela, Samuel Ashcroft, Natalie Barraga, Cleo Dolan, Eleanor Faye, Louis Vieceli, Alice Raftary, Stanley Suterko, and Donald Wedewer. The inductees were expertly presented by facilitator Phil Hatlen whose remarks perfectly framed each legend and prepared the audience for their responses. Warren Bledsoe, unable to travel, appeared by video with Lou Tutt presenting him with his plaque.

Video

Download this video

Photos

Pre-Hall of Fame Background Information and Acknowledgements

AER "Heroes And Pioneers" Presentation

At a General Session of the International Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) Conference in Denver, July of 2000, Mike Nelipovich and Rod Kossick, of Wisconsin Rehabilitation Services, together with John Maxson, of Mississippi State University, presented the Gallery of Pioneers and Heroes for the Blindness Field. A couple of years earlier, they had expressed a concern that many of the professionals new to the field were not aware of the individuals who not only shaped our rich history, philosophy, knowledge and skills; but also gave us purpose, direction, and insights into current and future challenges. A smaller version of "Heroes and Pioneers" was unveiled at a 1999 Wisconsin conference with Dean Tuttle as an invited co-presenter.

In preparation for the Denver conference, this committee of four sought input from leaders in the field and selected 32 heroes and pioneers to represent the profession’s rich heritage. The focus of the presentation was to share a brief glimpse of these giants’ personal and professional struggles and successes, all committed to cultivating strategies to ensure that services for blind persons remain unique and specialized. The gallery consisted of enlarged photographs with accompanying brief biographical sketches which, with input from the other committee members and the field, were compiled by Dean and Naomi Tuttle. Those biographies are now being used on this site.

The AER presentation in Denver served as the catalyst for APH’s fledgling efforts to develop a venue to celebrate the leaders of the blindness field. A committee representing the United States and Canada was soon established and is leading the development of the field-wide Hall of Fame.

Those 32 heroes and pioneers, honored in Denver, appropriately became the Hall of Fame’s initial inductees.

Hall of Fame Governing Board

Those who have served

Establishing the Hall of Fame 2001-2002

The Initial Informational Brochure (2001)

The First Articles about the Hall of Fame (2002)