Dr. Susan Ellerbush Orosz recalls with fondness her time as a student at Woodward High School. Now, more than 40 years after graduation, Dr. Orosz will be among six graduates inducted into the school’s Alumni Hall of Fame.
“Woodward was really a good time,” the Jerusalem Township resident said. “It was difficult, but there was a lot of learning.”
“It’s a great honor,” Dr. Orosz said of her induction.
Dr. Orosz, class of 1972, is a veterinarian who specializes in treating birds, one of only four veterinarians in the United States to be board-certified in avian medicine in this country and Europe.
During a stint in California, she helped develop methods to anesthetize and perform surgery on the endangered California condor, then spent 14 years teaching at the University of Tennessee college of veterinary medicine before deciding it was time to return to northwest Ohio.
In 2000, she returned to the Toledo area and today operates the Bird and Exotic Pet Wellness Center in Sylvania Township with her veterinary colleague, Dr. Tim Reichert. She and her husband, Eric, have their own animal sanctuary at their Brown Road home that includes birds numbering in the hundreds.
The hall of fame dinner will be April 20 at the Inverness Club, 4601 Dorr St. Prepaid reservations are required, and the deadline for making them is Friday. Tickets, which include dinner, are $45 each and can be purchased from Michelle Jacob at 419-474-2131.
The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails, dinner at 6:15, and the induction ceremony at 7:45. The latter part of the evening, from 9:15 to 11, will be social time.
The hall of fame dates to 1983 and honors distinguished graduates, administrators, faculty, staff, and friends of Woodward for their accomplishments and contributions, said Diane Kornowa, one of the organizers.
The 2013 additions will increase the roster to 193.
The Hall of Fame Association also awards scholarships to Woodward seniors. The scholarship program was started in 1988 and has distributed more than $240,000.
Scholarship finalists will be recognized during the induction event, as will past and current members of the Woodward girls' volleyball team. The induction dinner each year recognizes a particular group associated with Woodward.
The other inductees are:
● Shirley Foxe-Hall, class of 1948: She will be inducted posthumously. Ms. Foxe-Hall was a teacher whose career took her to Taiwan in the 1950s and later to Missouri. She was named Horace Mann Missouri Teacher of the Year in 1980.
● Rebecca Nowak Erd, class of 1968: Ms. Erd is a tireless promoter of Woodward who helped develop the valedictory sock hop in the old building and a second sock hop to introduce the new building. Both events were a great success. She also has headed the Woodward Polar Bears' annual Under the Stars summer dance at Centennial Terrace in Sylvania.
● Ed Johnson, class of 1971: Mr. Johnson, the owner of a plastics company, co-founded the Woodward New Legacy Committee, a fund-raising group that plans to finance projects at the new high school, including a track and stadium.
● Shelley Brown Milano, class of 1974: A business attorney, Ms. Milano spent more than 20 years as an executive at Starbucks Coffee, Honda of America Manufacturing Inc., and Eddie Bauer. In 2005, she co-founded Zavida Gemstones, an online store that sells hand-made jewelry from around the world.
● Tamara Hall Geer, class of 1983: Ms. Geer has had a successful career in the oil refining industry, holding positions with Sun Refining and Marketing, Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC, and BP. She holds many certifications and licenses and has been a steady Woodward supporter over the years.
The deadline for 2014 nominations is July 1.
Nominations can be made at woodwardhalloffame.com. A nomination form can be obtained by emailing email@example.com.