Tickets are nearly sold out for this year's gala dinner hosted by the Fulton Public Schools Foundation.
A decorated major general, a renowned structural engineer, a rising nonprofit leader and a noted heart specialist make up the list of honorees who will be the first inducted into the foundation's new Hall of Fame.
The foundation's annual gala dinner, 6-9:15 p.m. Saturday at the Auto World Museum, will also see recognition of the teachers who have received foundation classroom grants in 2017-18, the reunion classes of 1952, '62, '67, '72, '77 and '97 who help fund teacher grants, and members of the Hornet Foundation Circle, the foundation's major giving club.
Plans have been underway to establish the Foundation Hall of Fame for more than two years.
"The foundation recognized the importance of honoring Fulton graduates who have gone on to achieve excellence in their life endeavors," Foundation President Rodney Latty said. "We are very pleased with our first class of distinguished alumni to be inducted into the new Hall of Fame."
2018 honorees are:
Byron S. Bagby, U.S. Army major general (ret.), graduated from Fulton High Schoool in 1974 and then from Westminster College. He served 33 years in the Army. He also earned a master's degree from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. In 2011, he was presented with the Westminster College Lifetime Alumni Achievement Award. His awards and decorations include: two Distinguished Service Medals, four Defense Superior Service Medals, and two Legion of Merit. He is currently the managing partner of BMB Solutions, an independent consulting firm focusing on executive leadership development and coaching, strategy development and international business development.
William (Bill) F. Baker, graduated from FHS in 1971, and then from the University of Missouri, going on to become a structural engineer. Later degrees included a master's degree and two honorary doctorates. He has been with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in Chicago for more than 35 years. Baker is internationally known for his structural engineering innovation. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and an International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in the United Kingdom. He is the recipient of multiple national and international awards. Baker is noted for having designed the structural system that enabled construction of the world's tallest human-made structure, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Milia Islam-Majeed, a nonprofit executive, left FHS in 1997 and attended Westminster College, followed by graduate work at Harvard University where she earned a masters in Theological Studies of the World Religions and Anthropology. She has consistently followed her passion for social justice and inter-faith initiatives. Islam-Majeed has been recognized by the USA Network, NAACP and Fetzer Institute where she served as an advisor on the Council on World Religions and Spiritualities. She is a frequent guest lecturer around the world focusing on the importance of creating a world defined by compassion. Currently, she is the executive director of the South Coast Interfaith Council serving approximately 1.8 million people in southern California.
Dr. Jerry D. Kennett is a 1965 FHS graduate who then attended Westminster, followed by medical school at the University of Missouri. He is a founding member of the Missouri Cardiovascular Specialists and pioneered the interventional cardiology program at Boone Hospital Center. Kennett has been actively involved in organized medicine on both the state and national levels for about 35 years. He is past president of the Missouri State Medical Association and former member of the board of trustees of the American College of Cardiology, where he currently serves on several national committees. Strong in community involvement, Kennett also has served on Westminster College's board of trustees, including as its president, and received the MU Alumni Achievement Award.
Betsy and Jack Tutt are honorary Gala chairs and said they are excited to be part of the event.
"We invite everyone to join us at the Auto World Museum. It is the perfect venue to honor those helping the Foundation and to enjoy a great array of vintage automobiles," Betsy Tutt said. "It will be a wonderful evening of celebration."
Another group being honored at gala are Fulton High School classes that held reunions in 2017 and made gifts to the foundation. Included are the reunion classes of 1952 (65th reunion), Class of 1962 (55th reunion), Class of 1967 (50th reunion), Class of 1972 (45th reunion), Class of 1977 (40th reunion) and Class of 1997 (20th reunion). Each of the six classes made a gift and raised $14,622.97 for the popular classroom grants program and for items from the school district's wish list. The grant program provides mini-grants of $500 or $1,000 to classroom teachers for projects and activities not in the current budget. Applications are reviewed each year by the selection committee and about 10 grants are chosen.
Teachers who received the 2017-18 classroom grants will be on hand to showcase their mini-grant projects. This popular portion of the evening brings home the need for private support of public schools.
Tighter budgets and funding cuts mean private dollars can help in the classroom. The Fulton Public Schools Foundation strives to provide financial support to enhance the educational experience in Fulton's public schools.