2011 Distinguished Alumni Award Winners

Harold Jurgena

Harold Jurgena pic  
One of the Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient for 2011 was Harold Jurgena, Class of 1946.  Jurgena was also the former mayor of Irving for 44 years.

Foundation director Barbara Adams called Jurgena's lifetime of public serivce "the absolute epitome of giving back" in presenting his award. In addition to his 44 years as mayor, 45 years as volunteer fireman, and 51 years on his church council, Adams praised him for his effort to bring the Continuing Recovery Center to Irving when many communities would have said, "not in my back yard." "He made sure CRC became an accepted and respected part of his community, Adams said." Jurgena, class of 1946, credited advice from a freshman teacher in Irving: "If you have any talents, you should share them with your fellow man." Jurgena described some of his accomplishments as mayor of Irving for which he is most proud, including building a new village hall in 1970 without any debt, and building a tennis court in 1977 at the suggestion of Janet McElroy. Before he was elected village president, he served eight years as village trustee and two as treasurer.  In 1968 he was elected to the Hillsboro School Board, and in 1994, was appointed as one of the charter directors of the Hillsboro Education Foundation. "I've been very lucky in my life," he concluded by thanking his family. 
Foundation director Barbara Adams called Jurgena's lifetime of public serivce "the absolute epitome of giving back" in presenting his award. In addition to his 44 years as mayor, 45 years as volunteer fireman, and 51 years on his church council, Adams praised him for his effort to bring the Continuing Recovery Center to Irving when many communities would have said, "not in my back yard." "He made sure CRC became an accepted and respected part of his community, Adams said." Jurgena, class of 1946, credited advice from a freshman teacher in Irving: "If you have any talents, you should share them with your fellow man." Jurgena described some of his accomplishments as mayor of Irving for which he is most proud, including building a new village hall in 1970 without any debt, and building a tennis court in 1977 at the suggestion of Janet McElroy. Before he was elected village president, he served eight years as village trustee and two as treasurer.  In 1968 he was elected to the Hillsboro School Board, and in 1994, was appointed as one of the charter directors of the Hillsboro Education Foundation. "I've been very lucky in my life," he concluded by thanking his family.
 
 -Photos and article courtesy of The Journal-News
 
 

Dr. John Lowe III

Dr. John Lowe III  
2011 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient. Dr. John Lowe III, was from the Class of 1960 at Witt High School.   
 
Dr. John Lowe III, speech pathologist and professor at the University of Central Arkansas, is another addition to the Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients for 2011. 
 
Dr. Lowe was introduced by a video by his son in Columbus. "I want to tell you about a guy who was also a great dad," John Lowe IV said via a presentation that included old family photos. Lowe, class of 1960, began by crediting his Witt upbringing. "I was lucky to have great parents," he said, "parents who always stressed education." His father was a plumber and his mother operated a beauty salon. "Just try getting away with anything in a small town when your mom has a beauty shop," he quipped. Scholastically, he called himself a "late bloomer."
"I graduated seventh in a class of 13 at Witt High School," he said, introducing classmates present. Lowe also thanked memorable teachers in Witt, Dick Mormino and Cora Lipe who taught for 41 years, and other Witt graduates who were inspired to distinguished careers: U.S. Steel president Leslie Worthington, Major League Baseball pitcher Glenn Hobbie, and Brooklyn Dodger catcher Paul Chervinko. He thanked his wife, Sherry, two sons, and his brothers. 

Last Modified on August 16, 2016
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