In congruence with the 160/125 Anniversary Celebration, Chaminade Julienne is excited to also celebrate the 30th anniversary of the inception of the CJ Athletic Hall of Fame. On Saturday, Feb. 19, this year’s inductees will be recognized during halftime of the men’s varsity basketball game vs. Alter at the Trent Arena.
First introduced in 1981 by founder and alumnus Jerry Raiff, ’55, the Hall of Fame exists today to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to athletics at CJ and its predecessor schools.
“It gives alums across all generations the opportunity to share in the great traditions of our school as one,” said Mike Lehner, assistant development director. Originated eight years after the 1973 merger of Chaminade and Julienne High Schools—and seven after the addition of St. Joseph’s Commercial High School—the program has flourished and brought together generations of members of the CJ community as a direct result of Raiff’s leadership, foresight and dedication.
“I want to thank Jerry as well as the hundreds of volunteers who have helped make the Hall of Fame such a special program over the last 30 years,” Lehner said.
Those also instrumental in contributing to the success of the program include: Mike Hohner and Sr. Carol Lichtenberg, who, as CJ staff members in 1980, fully backed the initiation of the project; Bill Duffy, a 1937 CHS grad and longtime supporter of the school’s athletic programs; “Doc” and Eileen Harsha, who worked for years facilitating the awards ceremony and reception for inductees; and Denny Gorman, ’66, and Rick Iannarino, ’67, for their efforts helping with the annual CJ Golf Outing.
“I think the Athletic Hall of Fame really brings back a lot of history and memories for the alumni of all the schools and it’s been great for CJ,” Raiff stated. A former three-sport athlete himself, Raiff hoped by establishing the Hall of Fame he could help boost spirit amongst supporters at a time when the school’s identity was uncertain to some.
“I felt the school was in dire need of some perk,” he reprised, so he decided to undertake the responsibility of acquiring all the funds to cover the first year start-up costs. Today, Raiff still enjoys welcoming each new class of inductees, but has since left the fundraising associated with keeping the program running up to the Golf Outing held in August.
“Every year is special to me and I’m very happy for the six new inductees who we’ll be honoring this year,” Raiff said.
Joining the CJ Athletic Hall of Fame as members of the class of 2010 include:
Richard Wessels '62, Baseball, Basketball
John Meyer '68, Track
Paul Harker '98, Football
John Szabo '00, Football, Basketball
Erin Treadway Hazelbaker '00, Volleyball
Amy Brand Powell '00, Volleyball