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Association recognizes 3 distinguished alumni and sorority started by 5 MCHS girls

The Muncie Central High School Alumni Association at its annual meeting in November recognized three distinguished alumni and gave an honorary award to five Central alumnae for their founding of Delta Theta Tau sorority, which grew into a national organization.

The three alumni recognized for their distinguished careers and contributions to their community and Muncie Central were Bob Barnet, who graduated in 1929; Ryan Kerrigan, 2007; and Marilyn Weaver, 1961.

Muncie's legendary sportswriter, Barnet, was recognized posthumously. He is probably one of the few people to see the Bearcats win all eights of its basketball state championships. He witnessed the first one as a student at Muncie Central in 1928; he wrote from courtside about the next six championships; and he probably watched Muncie Central win its eighth championship in 1988 from the stands. By 1988, he had been retired from daily reporting for about six years. He was a full-time journalist at The Muncie Start for 52 years and a part-time writer for the newspaper until he died on Christmas day in 1996.

Upon graduation from Purdue University, Kerrigan was drafted in 2011 by the then Washington Redskins in the first round and 16th overall. In his very first game as an NFL player, Kerrigan intercepted a pass thrown by Eli Manning and returned it for a touchdown, which was the start of his notable career as a professiional football player. Kerrigan played 10 years with the Washington team and was named to the NFL All-Pro team four times. Kerringan is currently coaching the defensive ends for the Washiington Commanders, formerly the Washington Redskins.

Weaver is one of the nation's most recognized and honored college journalism professors and administrators. Her national awards, not including state awards and the numerous times she has been honored by her long-time employer, Ball State University, are too many to list, but she has favorites: the Scripps Howard Foundation Journalism Administrator of the Year Award, the Gold Key from Columbia Scholastic Press Association and the Pioneer Award from the National Scholastic Press Association. Weaver also is a member of the Ball State Journalism Hall of Fame, which recognizes Ball State Journalism alumni from around the nation for their outstanding careers.

An honorary award was presented to the Alpha Chapter of Delta Theta Tau, which is still active in Muncie. More than 120 years ago, five Muncie Centrall girls found the Alpha Chapter of Delta Theta Tau. Since its founding, it has become a national sorority with 71 active chapters and 25 alumni chapters.

The founding members' names are recognizable in Muncie history: Ethel Busch, Nora Spurgeon, Olive Spurgeon, Betsy Gordon, Charlene Prutzman Rector. The Prutzman family made and supplied the bricks for the first Muncie High School, which open in in 1915 on South High Street. All these families were prominent in establishing Muncie, before and during the Gas Boom.

Forrest Bowers, a 1957 graduate of Muncie Central and chairman of the association's Distinguished Alumni Committee, presents Marilyn Weaver, 1961, with her Distinguished Alumni Award.

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