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Bethel Park High School to welcome first seven inductees into Alumni Hall of Fame |

Bethel Park High School to welcome first seven inductees into Alumni Hall of Fame

| Wednesday, January 16, 2013 9:22 p.m
HOF Admiral Replogle
HOF Grant Hammond
HOF Bill Brucker
HOF Barbara Pierce
HOF Roger Zelt
HOF Thomas Watjen
HOF Ken Beyda

Bethel Park High School has a long tradition of honoring its accomplished athletes in its Hall of Fame, but a basketball game on Friday will mark the beginning of a separate honor roll for accomplished alumni.

The first seven members of the Alumni Hall of Fame will be inducted at halftime of the game between Bethel Park and Canon-McMillan high schools, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the Bethel Park High School gymnasium. The inaugural class of distinguished alumni includes veterans of the Air Force and Navy, Ivy League graduates, doctors, advocates and entrepreneurs.

The first group of inductees are:

• Lt. Kenneth “Buzz” Beyda, Class of 2003, a U.S. Navy fighter pilot.

• William Brucker III, class of 2000, a doctoral candidate and medical student at Brown University; founder of the Providence Alliance of Clinical Educators to improve the way science is taught in schools in the United States and Haiti.

• Thomas R. Watjen, Class of 1972, president and CEO of Unum, a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based insurance company. He established a $1 million fellowship at the University of Virginia for military students of the business school.

• Dr. Roger Zelt, Class of 1972, a Harvard-educated opthalmologist and assistant professor of clinical instruction at the University of Pittsburgh.

• Grant Hammond, Class of 1962, deputy director of the Air Force Center for Strategy and Technology at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala.

• Barbara Bowman Pierce, Class of 1962, president of the National Federation of the Blind and editor of “Braille Monitor” magazine.

• Rear Adm. Thomas H. Replogle, Class of 1947, supervised training for the Navy and helped establish the “Top Gun” program.

Members of the Hall of Fame, nominated from August to October and evaluated by a 10-member selection committee of administrators, teachers, students and community members, will get their names on plaques to be hung outside the Bethel Park High School auditorium, district spokeswoman Vicki Flotta said.

Brucker and Zelt will attend the ceremony; the others will have representatives accepting the award on their behalf, Flotta said.

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or

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