3 to enter school’s Hall of Fame

Bull Dog Alumni Association will honor past students in ceremony

Three Columbus/Columbus North High School alumni will be inducted this week into the Bull Dog Alumni Association Hall of Fame.

The alumni association plans to have a 6:15 p.m. ceremony Friday in the student commons area of Columbus North. That will follow a 5:30 p.m. reception planned for the fifth class of inductees prior to the homecoming football game against Perry Meridian High School.

The inductees include a fashion designer, attorney and music composer.

Stephen Sprouse

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The late Stephen Sprouse, a pioneer fashion designer and artist who graduated from Columbus High School in 1971, is one of the three individuals set to be inducted. Sprouse died in 2004 at age 50 of lung cancer. Sprouse helped design clothing for rock stars including Debbie Harry, Duran Duran, Billy Idol, David Bowie and Axl Rose.

Sprouse was a costume creator for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, also designing staff uniforms when the building opened in 1995. He also worked with fashion designer Halston during his career.

His mother, Joanne Sprouse, said her son became interested in fashion in the early 1960s, saying she often took him and his brother, Bradford, shopping with her.

Joanne Sprouse said her son attended Rhode Island School of Design, but left school at the end of his first semester of freshman year to work for fashion designer Halston in New York City. That ultimately opened up the door for the various opportunities within the fashion industry, she said.

“He was a very shy person, but he loved music and design,” she said. “It was a God-given talent.”

Joanne Sprouse, who lives in Empire, Michigan, and will be unable to attend her late son’s induction into the Hall of Fame, said she is honored that the school is recognizing him for his accomplishments.

Pamela Robillard Mackey

Pamela Robillard Mackey, a 1974 Columbus North graduate, works as an attorney for Haddon, Morgan and Foreman, a Denver-based law firm, where she focuses on criminal defense, civil and environmental litigation and government investigations.

Mackey graduated with honors from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1981 with a degree in journalism and went on to earn her law degree at George Washington University, where she also graduated with honors. Mackey, who plans to attend Friday’s ceremony, represented then-Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Kobe Bryant in 2003 during a sexual assault case in Colorado that later was dropped.

Mackey said she decided to attend law school after taking a communications law class during her undergraduate course work in college. She has spent the past 30 years of her professional career in Colorado.

She participated in gymnastics during her time at North, where her team won the state championship during her junior and senior years. She won four of five individual events, including the all-around, in competitions, she said.

“I was consumed by gymnastics,” she said. “I spent most of my high school years in the gym.”

She is looking forward to her return to Columbus, joining 23 alumni that currently bear their names on the wall, including former NASCAR driver Tony Stewart and Vice President Mike Pence.

“It’s a lovely gesture of the high school and the hometown to be in touch with alumni and honor those who went and had interesting careers,” Mackey said. “I was very honored and think it’s a privilege.”

Brad Garton

Brad Garton, a 1975 North graduate, will join Sprouse and Mackey as the third inductee. He is a professor of music composition and director of the Computer Music Center at Columbus University, a private Ivy League school in New York City, where he has worked since 1987.

Garton earned his bachelor’s degree in pharmacology from Purdue and doctoral degree in music composition from Princeton University. Garton, who also plans to attend the induction ceremony, said his interests in music began as a student at Southside Elementary School in Columbus, where he helped write school musicals.

“It was really quite an experience,” he said.

During his years in high school at North, he played keyboard synthesizers and was involved in several bands with several close friends, Garton said.

“I really, really enjoyed my time at Columbus North,” he said. “They kind of let people pursue what they wanted to pursue.”

As a Purdue undergraduate, Garton continued his passion of music, eventually joining a punk rock band known as Dow Jones and the Industrials, and eventually decided to pursue doctoral work at Princeton. As part of his work in academia, Garton helped co-develop RTCMIX, a music synthesis and signal processing language. He has assisted in establishing more than 50 computer music centers around the world.

Garton has collaborated with a professor of neurobiology at Columbia Medical Center for the brainwave music project to convert brainwaves into sound. Garton said he considers it an honor to be recognized into the Hall of Fame this year, pointing to his roots in music being developed in Columbus at a young age.

“I just really get a kick out of sounds I can create,” he said. “I’ve always been lucky to find myself as a part of a musical community.”

He is the son of Columbus parents who were active in public service — Bob Garton, Indiana Senate President Pro Tem president for 26 years, and Barb Garton, who was an Ivy Tech Community College trustee for 24 years.

Selection process

A seven-member committee selected the nominees for inclusion into the Hall of Fame this year, said Hedy George, executive director of the Bull Dog Alumni Association. The Hall of Fame was created in 2012 by the association as a way to celebrate the accomplishments of Columbus High School and North High School alumni.

George praised Sprouse, Mackey and Garton for their achievements.

“They have been outstanding in their professions and they’re very accomplished,” she said.

If you go

What: Induction of Stephen Sprouse, Pamela Pamela Robillard Mackey and Brad Garton into the Columbus North High School Wall of Fame

Where: Columbus North High School student commons area, 1400 25th St.

When: Friday beginning at 5:30 p.m. with reception and followed by a ceremony at 6:15 p.m.

Brad Garton

He is a 1975 graduate of Columbus North High School and serves as professor of music composition and director of the Computer Music Center at Columbia University in New York City. He has had faculty appointments at other universities such as the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, New York University, Bard College, the University of Thessaloniki and Tamagawa University.

He has assisted in establishing more than 50 Computer Music Centers around the world and is an active composer and music software developer. In addition, he has written three books, collaborated with a professor of neurobiology at Columbia Medical Center for the brainwave music project to convert brainwaves into sound.

Garton was named as a recipient of the Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award at Columbus University in 2015 and is a former member on the board of directors of the International Computer Music Association. He is a graduate of Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacology and earned a doctoral degree in music composition from Princeton University.

Pamela Robillard Mackey

She is an attorney practicing in the areas of criminal defense, civil and environmental litigation and government investigations for Haddon, Morgan and Foreman, a Denver-based law firm.

She came to Haddon, Morgan and Foreman as an associate attorney in 1987 and then served as deputy state public defender for five years beginning in 1989. She then returned to Haddon, Morgan and Foreman in 1994.

She has been honored as a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Bar Association and the Colorado Bar Association.

Mackey served as chairperson of the American College of Trial Lawyers Task Force that published a nationally recognized white paper on best practices for Title IX investigations by universities and colleges this year.

A graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in journalism and a law degree from George Washington University, both with honors, she has been honored annually by Best Lawyers in America in various areas of litigation since 2001.

Stephen Sprouse

He is considered to be a pioneer fashion designer and artist and initially worked with fashion designer Halston for the Seventh Avenue collection. Sprouse also helped merge pop culture’s uptown and downtown sensibilities to fashion’s connections to contemporary art.

Sprouse is the creator of Day-Glo colors, mirrored sequins and velcro attachments in the early 1980s and was recognized by the Council of Fashion Designers of America for Fashion Design in 1984. He also was a designer of clothing for rock stars such as Blondie’s Debbie Harry, Duran Duran, Billy Idol, Davie Bowie and Axl Rose.

He was costume creator for the new Rock & Roll  Hall of Fame and designer of staff uniforms when the building opened in Cleveland in 1995. He created prints using NASA photos taken on Mars by Pathfinder in 1999 and was also the designer of graffiti patriotic motif clothing for Target, as well as handbags and luggage for Louis Vuitton and Diesel brand clothing.

Sprouse died March 4, 2004, at the age 50 of lung cancer.

List of previous Hall of Fame recipients


Ross Barbour: Class of 1947

Ray Eddy: Class of 1929

Paul “Dutch” Fehring: Class of 1930

Shirley Lyster: Class of 1947

Sandra Bridges Newkirk: Class of 1956

Thomas Spurgeon: Class of 1956

Bill Stearman: Class of 1943

Robert Stewart: Class of 1947

Chuck Taylor: Class of 1919


Josephine Armuth: Class of 1921

James K. Paris: Class of 1957

Michael Pence: Class of 1977

Albert “Ab” Schumaker: Class of 1934

Richard “Rick” Stoner: Class of 1964

Dr. Robert Zerbe: Class of 1968


Stephen David: Class of 1974

Jamie Hyneman: Class of 1975

Michael Martin: Class of 1982

Glenn Thompson: Class of 1917


Duane Barrows: Class of 1947

Martha May Newsom: Class of 1945

Terry Schmidt: Class of 1970

Tony Stewart: Class of 1988

Hall of Fame nomination criteria

To be considered into the Columbus North High School Alumni Hall of Fame, individuals must be graduates of Columbus High School/Columbus North High School for at least 20 years at the time of nomination. Included are graduates in fields such as the armed services, sports, business, education, fine arts, government, law, literature, media, medicine, performing arts, science and other areas.

In addition, a statement must be provided about how the nominee demonstrated respect, responsibility, relationships and a generous spirit. Other nomination criteria includes outstanding achievements in the nominee’s area of specialization; honors, awards or other recognition received on a local, regional, national and/or international level; community service if appropriate; and meritorious contributions to society in general or to a specific segment of society.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com