Arnold Cohen

While at Jefferson High School, Arni played varsity football and baseball for four years and intramural sports.  He was also on the senior committee. He was on the Booster staff (sports reporting) and a member of Quill and Scroll.  He graduated from Jefferson High School in 1950. He graduated from Indiana University in 1954 with a degree in history. He joined the Army as a second lieutenant and after his discharge returned to Lafayette to become a manager for Sarge Biltz restaurant. He bought the Market Square Pizza King in 1965.

Arni created the pizza empire of Arni’s restaurants and gave rise to the familiar slogan “Meet Me At Arni’s.”  Arni’s has become one of the largest independently-owned restaurant chains in Indiana with 18 locations statewide.
  Along with building his business, Arni made time for many community activities. He was an active member of the community, having served in the following capacities:  president of his synagogue, the Temple of Israel, president of United Way, vice-president of the Indiana Restaurant Association, elected member of the West Lafayette City Council, Greater Lafayette Museum of Art Foundation Board, United Stand for Children Board, Greater Lafayette Community Development Board, Tippecanoe County Historical Association Board, Lyn Treece Boys and Girls Club Board, John Purdue Club, West Lafayette Parks and Recreation Foundation Board, Friends of Convocations Board and Bank One Board.  He was the first chairman of Project Commitment of Lafayette.

He was the recipient of the Rotary International Award, the Paul Harris Fellow and the Marquis de Lafayette Award.

Vernon S. Denney

While at Jefferson High School, Vernon was a member of the band, Hoof Beats, master of ceremonies of the Red and Black Revue, Audio Visual Club, Performers Club, Hi-Y and Student Council.  After graduating, Vernon received an A.B. Degree from the University of Indianapolis (Indiana Central College) and a Master of Divinity Degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

Vernon served EUB and United Methodist churches in Ohio and Indiana during the 1960’s and 1970’s focusing his work on youth and Christian Education.  He led numerous youth travel and work camps in Europe, Africa and the United States.  In 1973, he became the director of the Crescent Avenue United Methodist Church weekday school serving preschool and kindergarten children.  In 1977, he began a twenty year career at the United Methodist Publishing House in Nashville, Tennessee as an editor of children’s Sunday school curriculum.  He also held positions in marketing and electronic publishing.

In 1982, Vern became a member of the first elected Metro Nashville School Board serving for 19 years.  He was elected chairman three years.  He is seen as a reconciler within the Nashville community, especially during school desegregation activities in the late 1970’s and 1980’s.  Vern was a member of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee School Board Association, serving as state president in 1998.  Vern was a member of the board of directors of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, the Rape and Sexual Abuse Center, Project PENCIL and the Nashville Institute for the Arts.

In 1998, Vern co-founded and was the director of the Learning Plus Foundation which financed and operated a program for academically at-risk elementary children called Project Starfish. This program served over 500 children every summer for five years.  Ultimately, the Project Starfish concept was incorporated into the Metro Nashville Public Schools enhanced option elementary schools.

In 2002, Vern was employed by Metro Nashville Public Schools as the director of student assignments.  In 2005, he became the director of customer service, establishing the first-ever, full-service public education customer service center serving the families of over 70,000 students.

Vern is a graduate of Leadership Nashville and received the Phi Delta Kappa Educator of the Year Award along with numerous recognitions for his leadership in the public education of Nashville’s children.  Vern retired from public service in May 2007 but remains a strong advocate of public education.

Paul E. “Spider” Fields

While attending Jefferson High School, Fields played varsity baseball.  “Spider” graduated in January 1945 and in February, was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in the U.S. Field Artillery, serving two years.  He played on the Fort Bragg baseball team before being discharged from the army as a Technician Fifth Class (Corporal).

Fields enrolled in the Purdue University School of Physical Education receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in 1952 and Master’s Degree in 1960.  After teaching one year in the Otterbein School Systems, “Spider” was hired as a teacher and coach in the Lafayette School Corporation.  He taught social studies, coached football and basketball at Sunnyside Junior High School and served as Jefferson High School assistant varsity baseball coach.  Fields was named head baseball coach in 1960.  The “Red and Black” compiled a record of 404 wins, 69 losses and 1 tie, a .855 winning percentage in his 16 years at the helm.  During this period, the Bronchos were North Central Conference Champions eight times and made three state finals appearances, winning state championship titles in 1969 and 1973 as well as state runner up in 1971.  Fields was named North Central Conference “Coach of the Year” eight times during his coaching tenure.  Other achievements include being named District 2 National High School Baseball Coach (1974) and Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association “Coach of the Year” (1974).  He has been inducted into the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame (1979), Lafayette School Corporation Wall of Fame (2003) and Loeb Stadium Wall of Fame (2007).  Fields served on the Indiana High School Athletic Association Board of Directors (1974).

Jack A. Hockema

While at Jefferson High School, Jack was in Student Council, J-Club, cross country, basketball (on the 1964 state basketball team), baseball and Junior Achievement.  Jack attended Purdue University’s College of Engineering graduating with distinction in civil engineering in 1968 and with an MBA degree in 1970.

He has since earned a reputation for successfully transforming underperforming businesses in the metals industry on behalf of Alcoa, Consolidated Aluminum, Kaiser Aluminum, Gulf + Western Brass Company and Outokumpu Copper.

In 1992, he founded Hockema Financial Services, an investment advisory and management consulting firm providing services to individuals and companies in the metals industry.  One consulting assignment triggered a chain of events that brought him back to the metals industry, culminating in Jack taking the helm of Kaiser Aluminum as chairman, president and chief executive officer.

Jack has served on the Civil Engineering Advisory Council, International Association of Financial Planners and International Aluminum Institute.
He is currently associate director of Materials Service Center Institute.

He was awarded the Purdue University School of Civil Engineering Alumni Achievement Award and served on the university’s Civil Engineering Advisory Council.  He also has received Kaiser’s “Best Operating Team” Award and Gulf + Western “Circle of Excellence” Award. He and his wife have established the Jack and Kay Hockema Professorship in Civil Engineering at Purdue.

Robert W. “Bobby” Masters

Bobby attended Lafayette Jefferson High School and participated in cross country, basketball, track and golf. He earned four letter jackets as well as maintained a grade point average in the upper 5% of the graduating class.  He was a part of the 1948 basketball team who won the State of Indiana High School “One Class” basketball championship.  In Bobby’s senior year, he shared the honor of captain of the basketball team with Dick Robinson.  He also was awarded the honor of being the 1948 State of Indiana’s “Mr. Basketball.” 

After graduating from Jefferson, Bobby attended Indiana University.  While a student athlete at IU, Bobby was elected and held office in many of the university’s student societies and organizations.  His highest honor was when he was elected to the “Board of Aeons” which was the president’s confidential student council.  All four years he was a member of the Dean’s honor roll, received the Big Ten medal and was named captain his senior year.  He also received Big Ten and national basketball honors in his senior year. 

After completing a successful career at IU on and off the basketball and tennis courts, Bobby decided to make medicine his career and to decline a draft deal offered with the Minneapolis Lakers.  Later Bobby specialized in the field of anesthesiology for 26 years and continued to play AAU basketball for 15 to20 years.  In 1978, Bobby received the NCAA College Basketball Coaches Silver Anniversary Award at the 1978 NCAA Basketball Championship in St. Louis.  After 26 years in the practice of anesthesiology, he returned to teaching to become an associate professor at the Anesthesiology Department of the University of Illinois-Chicago, Illinois.  After a short time, he was named chief of anesthesiology of the affiliated VAH.  While there he had over 26 publications in the medical journals of anesthesiology and regional anesthesiology.  Over the years, Bobby conducted seminars and chaired many anesthesiology meetings in the USA and abroad, retiring in 1996.

Philip M. Burgess

While at Jefferson High School Philip was in the Latin Club, Spanish Club, Performers Club, Hi-Y, Hi-Y Council, Student Council, J-Club, Red and Black Revue, football, track, swimming, Junior Revue, Senior Revue, Junior Achievement and Purdue legislature.  He also was junior and senior class presidents.

Phil graduated from Knox College with honors and earned his Ph.D from America University in Washington, D.C.  While at Knox College, he was student body president and was an outstanding scholar-athlete. 

He has been president of the National Academy for Public Administration, president of the Center for the New West, president of the Western Governor’s Policy Office and Executive Director of the National Policy Commission.  He also is Group Managing Director, Public Policy of Telstra Ltd. Australia.

He served for 19 years as a faculty member of the Ohio State University, University of Colorado and the Colorado School of Mines.  He also has served on the board of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Clapham Institute and is a board member and former president of Camp Blaze.  He also has been active in the international arena.

He has served on the U.S. Department of State’s European Advisory Council and U.S. committee on transportation, telecommunications and tourism of the Pacific Economic Corporation Council.  He has delivered the annual “American Outlook” lecture series in Tokyo for the Management Institute of the Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan.  He is active in groups to foster closer relations in the Western Hemisphere, especially in North America, among the U.S., Canada and Mexico.  Phil has written a weekly column on political and business issues which were distributed nationally by the Scripps Howard News Service.  He has been a guest on CNN, the Nightly Business Report, National Public Radio, the McLaughlin Group and the News Hour on PBS.