History

National Historic Listing. . .

. . . and Notable Alumni

History of the project to gain National Register of Historic Places for South High. 2018– 2021

by Ken Dobrovnolny (’65)

The writing of the Preliminary Property Evaluation for History Colorado was the first step in the journey, and that was undertaken in the spring, but other interests temporarily interrupted that journey, until the spring of 2019.  More research into what was needed to write the Preliminary Report was conducted and the final completion of that form was achieved in June of 2019.  Once submitted to History Colorado, the acceptance of that was sent to me in late June of 2019.  I thoroughly expected to achieve completion of the nomination form that fall in time for the October 2019 deadline. 

That expectation being unrealistic became apparent fairly soon, as I realized how immense the project really was.  Understanding the complexity of the documentation required and the architectural historical perspective necessary to fully describe the details of the building was enormous.  I started asking the wonderful folks at History Colorado for suggestions as to whom to contact to help with the effort.  They guided me to several consultants to contact, and Kathy Corbett came to our rescue, which was a wonderful start to our team.   

Getting the Denver Public Schools on board with this effort was also very trying, as they were initially hesitant to agree with the alumni association’s efforts.  We, with the help of Megan Eflin and Jennifer Deichman from History Colorado, as well as Kathy Corbett and the current South principal Bobby Thomas,  we were finally able to convince DPS that no additional building or renovation requirements would be added because of National Register designation..   Bobby Thomas and the staff of the school are now active parts of the effort, as well as the students in the South Student Senate. 

We have also recruited Jane Daniels from Colorado Preservation to conduct the writing of the grant application for History Colorado.  We now believe we have the players together to complete our efforts. The South students will assist both with the grant application and also with helping the research aspect of the actual writing of the nomination form.   We are very excited to see how the students will be able to contribute and learn about this exciting and detailed process to achieve National Register of Historic Places designation.

SHAFI received approval for the Grant from History Colorado in June of 2020, but due to the COVID-19 shutdown of the entire Denver Public School system, we were unable to continue our research or start writing the proposal during the summer or fall of 2020.  Only after South High opened back up in the early months of 2021 were we again able to access the building.  Dr. Kathy Corbett has just begun her on-site research, and already has some photographs already taken to help our application.   We are now hoping to get South students involved, either during the summer of 2021 or the fall of 2021, to assist Kathy in further research and writing.

Our timeline has now shifted to hoping to have the proposal completely written by the late months of 2021, and then submitted to History Colorado in January of 2022.  The staff at History Colorado will assist us along the way with reviews of our proposal and recommendations for improvements.   We are making several assumptions that COVID restrictions will not make major roadblocks to our progress.   We have until June of 2023 to use the grant funding from History Colorado, so we have a reasonable cushion for time.   The South alumni have been particularly generous in donating to our cause, and have exceeded the amount that SHAFI has committed to completing this project.

When we achieve our submission of the nomination form, hopefully in January of 2022, then we would receive a confirmation (if successful) in late spring of 2022. 

. . .Notable Alumni

YearGraduateBackground
1922Donald John KeirnMajor Air Force General with involvement in atomic weapons
1924Albert MooneyFounder of Mooney Aircraft
1933Keith WareWWII Medal Of Honor; Died in Viet Nam as a 3 star General
1936Verne (Vincent) ByersMusician and Bandleader.  Brought the Beatles to Denver Concert
1937Letitia Gramcko StahnkeFirst woman Podiatrist west of the Mississippi; WWII military service, first woman in Colorado to be certified scuba diver
1937Jack BennettWWII pilot & POW later portrayed in the Great Escape (Jim Garner character)
1938Harold AgnewNuclear physicist who worked on both the creation of the first atomic weapons 
1938Bert StilesWWII hero, Author killed in WWII
1940Arnold KramishPhysicist who worked on Manhattan Project, authority on weapons and author
1941Joy CaylerAge 16 created all girl jazz band that toured with the USO
1941Gene AmoleRocky Mountain News Columnist; Author; TV/Radio personality, Journalism Hall of Fame
1943James VaughanPlayed trumpet with Tommy Dorsey during WWII
1944Warren ChandlerDenver TV personality; producer of television documentaries
1945Robert M WarnerServed as the 6th National Archivist of the United States from 1980-1985.  See obit
1947Don BeuthellFounder Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library (stamp collecting)
1948Chuck DarlingBasketball Player, All American, University of Iowa, Olympic Gold Medal, Colorado Sports Hall of Fame 1996
1949Ward GrantLife long Personal Assistant for Bob Hope
1949Marilyn Sweitzer HickeyEvangelist
1949Fred MeissnerGeoscientist, professor at Mines, Author
1950Edwin PeikerPresident Royal Gold and Mining
1950Stan PhillipsMuseum of Modern Art in New York
1950Robert HigginsZoologist, Researcher, Smithonian Inst. Director of Oceanography and Limnology, curator of Invertebrate Zoology
1951Don EtterDon and Carolyn Etter served as Mgr of Parks & Rec under Fedrico Pena.
1951Stan BrakhageNotable film maker known for experimenting in film making on exhibit at a New York museum
1952John HallPHD; Nobel prize winner for work in lasers
1952Dale TooleyDenver District Attorney; Mayoral Candidate
1952Carolyn Brush EtterDon and Carolyn Etter served as Mgr of Parks & Rec under Fedrico Pena.
1952Frank RosenmayrOlympic Wrestling
1952Janet BonnemaCivil Engineer and Women’s Rights Activist.   
1952James TenneyComposer, Music Theorist
1953David ClairTop grad in CU Chem Engineering; VP Exxon R&D
1954Gary RoubosTop grad in CU Chem Engineering; Became CEO of large corporation
1954John KaneWell known Federal judge
1956Patricia ElliottTV Actress
1958Ron MitchellLocal TV news personality
1958Carol Bosselman WrightCircus Performer
1959Jon “Nick” WillhiteLA Dodgers / 65 World Series
1959Ken CharltonAll-American basketball player at CU in 1963.
1960John PerdewCivil Rights worker
1965Robin HallProducer of Macey’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
1973Martha WilliamsonFemale Television Producer – Touched By An Angel and other major productions
1975Diana DeGetteUS House of Representatives since 1997
1981Michael LavinePortrait Photographer, known for grunge bands
1983Michael PerezPro Football Player with Giants, Houston, Denver
1987Sky Gallegos2008 Democratic Convention’s deputy chief executive for intergovernmental affairs
1999Conor CaseyOlympic Soccer star; Colorado Rapids soccer player, All American
2002LenDale WhitePro Football Player, did two years at South but graduated at Chatfield
2004Calais CampbellFootball player, NFL Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017

Kent HarveyFilm maker Marvel comics, Everest movie

Dan Kittle

Phillip LindsayCU football player, broke all kinds of records at CU

Stewart MilliganActor, primarily UK
1965Stephanie FooteDenver City Council, Wellington Webb’s assistant
1933Harold E BergEVP Getty Oil, former pres Skelly Oil Co
1962Thom McKelvey CleaverAuthor, screen writer
1945Georgia Mattox GorringeAuthor
1960Sharon Taylor Talbot Playwright, won ntional prize from New York Women in Arts and Media 2003
1960Michael EldridgeAuthor, Jack of Hearts, Musician
1958Brian EtheridgeLockheed Martin designed autopilots for Titan , head of Guidance and Controls Section, helped FAA modernize National Air Traffic Control System
1950Herbert Hugh EdwardsHead lawyer for Dow Chemical heading Agent Orange litigation team, Midland MI City Council, County Road Commissioner, County Commissioner
2001Matt WolpeAuthor, Reinventing the Chicken Coop
1964Patrick MendozaAuthor, Between Midnight and Morning, Song of Sorrow Massacre at Sand Creek
1946Richard MortonCowboy Poet and Author, 20-year Greenwood School principal
1949Peggy Hamilton LockardAuthor, University of Arizona’s Women’s Plaza of Honor
ex 1943Robert McQueenDean of University of Nevada College of Arts and Sciences, Robert McQueen High School in Reno, NV
1947Cynthia Cushman JohnsonAuthor, Frigolli Frog
1945Bob PerskeCitizen Advocate Award 2011 ARC of the United States posthumous pardon of Joe Arridy, author, Deadly Innocence about Joe Arridy
1948Merrill FranklinAuthor, Speck, Principles and Practice
1950Royal SmithRadiologist, 2009 Outstanding American Colorado Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame
1957Carl V. ManionAuthor, Words from the Hills and Plains
1950John A. SellsAuthor, Stagecoaches Across the American West 1850-1920
1947Mary Knott McNabbDenver Radio Personality AKA Merrie Lynn
1950Elmer W. JohnsonExecutive Vice President and Director of General Motors, CEO of the Aspen Institute, author Chicago Metropolis 2020: The Chicago Plan for the 21st Century
1959Jim ManspeakerChief Clerk of US Federal Trial Court
1978Lisa Freed PavelkaAuthor, Polymer Clay Extravaganza
1951Donald W. HansenBrigadier General, Retired, Author, lecturer, Chief of Criminal Law Division, Army, Chief of Government Appellate Division, U.S. Army Legal Services Agency, Distinguished Servace Medal, Brone Stars, Air Medal, JAG School Alumni Legal Writing Award
1962Robert A. WherryJudge, United States Tax Court, Washington, D.C.
1939Burnett MeyerPh.D. Professor at University of Arizona, University of Colorado, head of undergrad committee of CU Math Department
1945Bud L. BursonChannel 7 Everyday Hero, Ski Instructor for National Sports Center for the Disabled
1964Vern IngrahamChannel 9 9 Who Cares Award. At UNC, ROTC’s Bronze, Silver and Gold President’s Medals for Academic Achievement and Distinguished Air Force ROTC graduate, CPA, US General Accounting Office, Department of Interior, Interior’s Meritorious Service Award, Executive Director of Scottish Rite Foundation of Colorado, established scholarship for teachers
1965John LunnAll American Track at CU
1950Jan Anderson LehrmanAuthor, Around Douglas, and Around Douglas and Beyond   about Nevada
1948Dave BreternitzReceived Emil W. Haury Award from Southwest Parks and Monuments Association for 50 ears spent in archaeological research in national parks and monuments in west
1946Ed and Mary Ann Pavela Hamilton9 who care award
1955Marilyn MacGruder BarnewallAuthor, Cosmic Canines, The Complete Astrology Guide for You and Your Dog, journalist, bank consultant
1944Doris Shirley Auger DavisAuthor, Flower of the Nile
1958May Wilmore Shaw9 who care award, Girl Scouts
1956Ned CochranAuthor, Bing, the early years 1903-1940
1959Max PowerRhodes Scholar 1963
1959Charles StevesonWoodrow Wilson Fellowship, Harvard
1959Robert SchleifMolecular biologist, Johns Hopkins, DNA
1936Louis Wilson Menk President of St. Louis-San Francisco Railway, President of Burlington Lines railroad, led merger of Burlington Northern, chairman of BN board
1960Martha DeWitt NakajimaFirst female Japanese Language Officer in the Foreign Service
1950Bama GlassNFL Referee
1945Roscoe L. Davidson Superintendent of Englewood School District, Colorado Superintendent of the year
1934Bob McWilliamsLongest serving judge in Colorado history, Chief Justice of Colorado Supreme Court, 10th Circuit Court of Appeals
1941Phyllis DanielHonored by Union Councils for Soviet Jews for activism on behalf of Jewish survival in Soviet Union
1955Nancy Greibel SpenceColorado State Representtive and Senator, Cherry Creek School Board
1952Robert DemingRobert H. and Beverly Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at CU
1939Irene West LarsonFirst chair of Arvada Center for Arts and Humanities, Arvada Center scholarship in her name 
1938Sylvester A. MoorheadDean of University of Mississippi School of Education 25 years
1948Mercer CrossEditor, Congressional Quarterly Magazine, LA Times Washington Bureau, National Geographic News Service
1938Ralph Wayne McClearyRockwell Internatioal developing P-51 Mustang, B-25 Bomber, F-86, F-100 fighters, X-15 rocket, XB-70 Supersonic bomber
1952Larry JordanProfessor at San Francisco Art Institute, films exhibited at Whitney Museum of American Art, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian, has numerous film festival awards, co-founder of Camera Obscura Film Society
1956James KnightCollege of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, head of school of architecture at Oklahoma University

Virginia BerkeleyCEO of Colorado Business Bank (research)
1953Victor J RossAuthor of Bite the Wall and The Forbidden Apple, Sex in the Schools, Aurora Superintendent of Schools
1945Eleanor Mosher FaderAuthor, This Way to Glory
1945Wayne KnoxLongest serving Colorado state representative as of 1996
1946Gaspar PerriconeJefferson County District Judge, Northwestern U football MVP, Big 8 official
1960Neil HutchesonPlayed baseball with Boston Red Sox