Starting an athletic hall of fame from scratch can feel like a daunting process. Each school has their own way to get it started and they each have their own unique challenges. Common questions for a program to get started include: “Who gets in?”, “How often do we induct?”, and “What is the process for collecting the necessary information?”.
Park Ridge High School in Maryland recently went through an overhaul of their athletic hall of fame signage. Chris Brown, Park Ridge High School athletic director, was kind enough to take the time and share his experience throughout the process.
The first thing Park Ridge did was develop a hall of fame committee to ensure that there was a process for inducting hall of famers. Having a committee in place allows decisions to be made by a group rather than putting the burden on any one individual. Rather than having smaller annual classes, they opted to induct larger classes every 2 – 3 years providing the committee some flexibility.
Each hall of fame class is typically broken down into military veterans (5 members), individual inductees (5 members), teams (1 male and 1 female), coaches (2 members), and a contributor. There are no stipulations on why a person is, or should be, inducted. The reasoning is decided upon and voted on by the committee.
Also, anyone can nominate a team or player including committee members. The only criteria for nomination is that the inductee must have been out of school for a minimum of five years.
Once Park Ridge had decided on its nominating process and administrative decisions in place, they inducted their inaugural class. To honor the class, a banquet was held. Inductees were encouraged to invite their friends and family to celebrate their accomplishments.
In addition, this inaugural and all future classes will be recognized on a “Wall of Fame” displayed proudly in the high school. Each class will have its own plaque added to the wall when it is inducted making them a permanently displayed part of Park Ridge High School’s athletic history. To further enrich the experience, the hall of fame signage surrounds a touch screen that allows viewers to dive in deeper and view pictures and accomplishment details of the hall of fame members.
The hall of fame wall has been a great addition to the facility. When asked about the reaction from others Chris Brown said, “They love it. It is great walking down the hallway and seeing students, staff, etc. looking at the information on the wall of fame.”
Do you have a hall of fame in place, but formal display highlighting its members? Talk with a Team Fitz rep today and discuss the different ways to honor your top alumni.