FOUR graduates of Columbus North High School and its predecessor, Columbus High, were recognized Sept. 9 with induction into the school’s Hall of Fame by the Bull Dog Alumni Association.
That honor was well deserved based on the way they distinguished themselves and have made a positive difference in the lives of others.
Martha May “Marty” Newsom, a 1945 graduate, worked for 41 years with organizations dedicated to the betterment of girls and women, such as the Girls Club of America. She made an impact locally, too, with her involvement in raising $2.2 million in 1997 to rebuild the Foundation for Youth in Columbus.
The late Duane Barrows, a 1946 graduate, is best known locally for guiding the Columbus High boys swim team to six state championships and coaching the Indiana State University men’s swim team.
However, he also taught swimming to people of all ages while developing the Donner Swim Club — which has helped generations of local residents become better swimmers.
Terry Schmidt, a 1970 graduate, earned All-America honors as a safety at Ball State University, then played 11 seasons in the NFL with the Saints and the Bears.
His post-football career in dentistry is equally impressive. He’s served as the dental service chief at four Veterans Administration medical centers, providing care to veterans. He also travels to Central America, South American and Africa on annual medical and dental mission trips.
Tony Stewart, a 1989 graduate, is one of the most well-known Columbus natives in history because of his success in auto racing. Most notably he’s known as a three-time NASCAR series champion and two-time winner of the Brickyard 400. He’s one of only nine drivers in NASCAR history to win the series title at least three times.
His philanthropy, which doesn’t get as much attention, has also made an important impact. The Tony Stewart Foundation funds programs that serve chronically ill and disabled children, drivers injured in the sport of racing and at-risk or endangered animals. The foundation has awarded more than $6.5 million to more than 150 organizations.
These alumni changed the world with their accomplishments and contributions, and deservedly take their place in the school’s hall of fame.