Lawrence High School alumni induct three into Hall of Honor
Hung from the walls of the front rotunda of Lawrence High School are 85 framed photographs of Lawrence high school graduates spanning nearly 100 years, and it was beneath those photographs that three more graduates were inducted into their ranks Sunday.
Each year, the Lawrence High School Alumni Association recognizes graduates of Lawrence High School and the former Liberty Memorial High School who have distinguished themselves in their professions or have made significant contributions to society on a state, national or international level.
The three graduates — Dr. Sharyn Lewin, LHS class of 1993; Thomas V. Murray, LHS class of 1965; and Alan Clark Fisher, LMHS class of 1940 — who were inducted Sunday into the association’s Hall of Honor spoke to attendees about their experiences in high school and its impact on their lives and careers.
Lewin, a gynecologic oncology specialist, was named “physician of the year” in 2011 at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Lewin is the medical director of the gynecologic oncology division at the Regional Cancer Center of Holy Name Medical Center. She is also the president and executive director of The Lewin Fund to Fight Women’s Cancers, a nonprofit organization that helps fund and develop women’s cancer research initiatives and support programs.
Lewin told attendees the culture and qualities emphasized in Lawrence public schools, as well as the critical thinking skills she learned at LHS, taking classes in literature, math and science, propelled her into her career.
“They were all skills that helped me be successful in my post-graduate work,” Lewin said.
Murray, a business litigation attorney with Lathrop & Gage LLP, was selected for Missouri and Kansas “Super Lawyers” in 2013 and 2014. Murray is also on the board of directors of the Reuter Organ Co., 1220 Timberedge Road, is a member of the Kansas University Hall Center for the Humanities advisory board, and previously served on the Lawrence school board.
Murray said the person with the greatest impact on his life was his LHS Latin and English teacher, Gertrude Ruttan, who taught at the school for 44 years. After graduating, Murray went on to study Latin and Greek at Kansas University, which he said was a good foundation for his study of law.
“When you hear someone say they owe everything to a teacher, it’s true,” Murray said.
Fisher, who was inducted as a “citizen,” served in Europe during World War II as part of the 104 Infantry Division. He has been a member of American Legion Dorsey-Liberty Post No. 14 since 1946. He researched and wrote the book “Service After the Service: A History of Dorsey-Liberty Post No. 14,” which chronicles the history of the post from its founding in 1919 until 2002.
Fisher said he was proud to have attended Liberty Memorial, and though he never expected to join the Hall of Honor, he was appreciative and humbled. Fisher, motioning to the photographs above, said those already there have left a strong legacy for students, teachers and administrators to follow.
“The people who have previously been enshrined on these walls have set high goals for this community to maintain,” Fisher said. “Let us not forget to maintain that objective.”