Rick Vanderwielen

While Rick Vanderwielen was at Jefferson High School, he was a three year member of the Jefferson basketball team which advanced to the state finals in 1974.  He was also the first high jumper at Jeff to use the “Fosberry Flop” and go over the bar backwards.  He won the county high jump championship three years in a row.  At Purdue, he walked onto the basketball team, but a knee injury ended his career, as a freshman.  Rick graduated from Purdue University  in 1978, earning a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering Technology. In 1985, Rick founded Indiana Automation which later became integrator.com.  Integrator designed and supplied computerized security systems for prisons, jails, and detention centers nationwide.  He sold the company in 2000 and retired at age 44.  He was also the founder of Flexware Integration and a past owner of a resort.  Today, he’s the owner of HomeTown Television Corporation, channel 19 in Noblesville, Indiana. Rick’s companies have won the Indiana Blue Chip award and the IU Kelly School of Business Growth 100 award.  He was named as one of the 100 Most Influential Businessmen in Indiana in 1997.  He’s been recognized as the Noblesville’s Person of the Year in 2003 and in 2004 was named Business Person of the Year.  In April of 2005, he was named  a Distinguished Alumni of Purdue University. 

Judy L. Johnson

While attending Jefferson High School, Judy Johnson was student council president and active in the French Club, Sunshine Society, National Forensic League, Cheerleader Advisory Council, Broncho Broadcasters, and   National Honor Society.  She graduated fifth out of 550 graduates in the class of 1974.  Majoring in business and minoring in marketing, Judy graduated from Indiana University with highest distinction,  earning a 3.98 grade point average.  Judy has logged 10,000 hours as a volunteer at Home Hospital and St. Elizabeth Medical Center – a milestone that few volunteers ever meet.  This is especially meaningful because Judy was permanently disabled in a 1980 car wreck that caused such critical head injuries that doctors expected her to die or spend her life in a nursing home. She spent seven months in a coma and did not talk for another six months. But Judy has always had a positive attitude and never gave up.   She learned to talk, walk, read, and write again and now lives independently, even doing her own shopping.  Judy has also volunteered at Jefferson High School, Westminster Village, Covenant Presbyterian Church and at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. She also attends meetings of “Reach Out,” a support group that she helped establish for those who have suffered head injuries or strokes.  Being disabled has deepened Judy’s appreciation for life and has changed her perspective.  She savors the little things and is filled with joy and gratitude.  Serving others brings Judy much happiness and satisfaction every day of her life.  

Richard Felix

Dr.Richard Felix graduated from Jeff in 1956 and received his baccalaureate degree from Olivet Nazarene University in 1963.  His educational career began as a fifth grade teacher in Beecher, Illinois, and was later an elementary school principal in Wilmington, Illinois. Following his master’s degree in education  from George Williams College, (now Aurora University), he began his higher education career as Athletic Director and head basketball coach at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana.  His 1969 team made the national NCCAA tournament. Following the completion of this PhD in 1974 from the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Felix began his administrative journey as Vice President at Trevecca Nazarene College in Nashville, Tennessee, and then Director of Major Gifts at the University of Florida in Gainesville.  In 1978, he received a post doctoral certificate from Harvard University’s prestigious Institute for Educational Management. In 1979, he was selected  President of Friends University in Wichita, Kansas.  During his eleven year tenure of leadership, student enrollment doubled, endowments increased, and  graduate as well as adult degree completion programs were introduced.   In 1990, Dr. Felix was elected President of Azusa Pacific University in California.  Under his decade of leadership until his retirement in 2000, seven new buildings were constructed, doctoral programs were begun in six disciplines, masters programs expanded, and undergraduate enrollment doubled.  In the February 2, 2004, issue of Time magazine, his leadership was cited in enabling APU to become a “flagship university” among Christian colleges and universities in America.   After his retirement and the death of this beloved wife, Vivian, he wrote a book about her remarkable faith as she battled breast cancer.  The School of Dying Graces  was released in 2004 by Tyndale House. Dr. Felix is the recipient of numerous honors and awards.  He has received honorary doctorates from Bethel College (Indiana), Belhaven College (Mississippi), and Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea.  His alma mater, Olivet, selected him Alumnus of the Year in 1998.    He was presented an Olympic Torch by Park Se Jik, President of the 1988 Olympic Games. 

Raymond C. Ewry

Raymond C. Ewry is considered by some to be the greatest athlete ever of the modern Olympics, having won ten gold medals during four different Olympic competitions.  As a child, Ray was stricken with polio and told he would never walk again. Not only did Ray walk, he became a tremendously gifted athlete in several jumping events in track. Ray completed high school in 1890 and enrolled in Purdue University’s Mechanical Engineering school.  He joined the track and field team winning several running and jumping events.  He was the first Big Ten athlete to win an Olympic championship, representing the United States in the Paris Olympiad in 1900.  He became a sensation,winning three gold medals in jumping events.  He set a world record in the standinghigh jump leaping five feet five inches.  The French newspapers labeled him “The Human Frog.” In 1904 at the St. Louis Olympics, Ewry added three more gold medals to his collection.  He won two more gold medals at the 10th anniversary Olympics in Athens in 1906.  He set world records in the standing broad jump and standing long jump.  He won his last two gold medals at the London Olympiad in 1908.  During the years between Olympics, Ewry participated in AAU meets across the country, winning numerous national titles up to 1912 when he retired from competition. He continues to hold world records in some events because they have been dropped or changed in recent decades. Ewry received an engineering degree from Purdue University in 1894 and worked as a civil engineer for the Navy, helping design and build war ships.  He completed his career as the city engineer for New York City. Ray Ewry’s amazing athletic abilities have earned him numerous awards.  He has been inducted into the Olympic Athletic Hall of Fame and Purdue University Athletic Hall of Fame.