Upper Arlington News

Two chosen for UA Wall of Honor

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A renowned pianist and educator will be inducted to the Upper Arlington Wall of Honor this spring, along with a former mayor whose land sale led to the founding of what became the city.

The Upper Arlington Historical Society and city officials last week announced that former Ohio State University Professor George R. Haddad and James T. Miller, viewed by some as Upper Arlington's first resident, will be inducted May 19 into the city's Wall of Honor.

Haddad and Miller will become the 32nd and 33rd members of the Wall of Honor, which annually commemorates a deceased resident for his or her achievements and contributions to the city, Ohio or the U.S.

The two were selected by a committee of UA Historical Society and city representatives from a pool of 16 nominees.

"We basically rely on the nominations," said Charlie Groezinger, president of the UA Historical Society. "We look at the work that's been done by the person -- whatever their contributions are.

"It's not necessarily the number of nominations a person gets. It's still going to be based on what the person has done in Upper Arlington or throughout the world."

According to information provided by the city, Haddad (1918-2010) received recognition in Canada, Europe and the United States as an accomplished pianist and teacher.

Ohio State University, where he was a full professor for 35 years, artist-in-residence and professor emeritus, established the George Haddad Piano Scholarship in his name. He won a presidential citation for excellence in education at OSU, was the first winner of the Prix-de-Canada and was an alumnus of the University of Toronto, Julliard and the Paris Conservatory.

He also is a member of the Columbus Musicians Hall of Fame and the Central Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Haddad was credited with giving back to his community through many activities in support of the arts. He worked with the Upper Arlington Cultural Arts Commission for several years and received the Community Arts Award from the Upper Arlington City Council.

Haddad performed with the Upper Arlington Civic Orchestra, volunteered for the Upper Arlington Civic Association, performed at Upper Arlington High School, gave master classes and recitals through the LifeLong Learning Program and performed at a fundraiser for the James Lantz colloquium.

"Haddad had quite a few nominations this year and he was nominated before," Groezinger said. "If you look at his whole bio, the guy was incredibly impressive. He was known around the world."

UA Historical Society Executive Director Kate Kallmes said this year's second inductee is synonymous with the establishment of Upper Arlington.

Miller (1846-1919) was the city's mayor from 1918-19. His former home is now the site of First Community Village.

In 1913, he sold 840 acres of land for $1 per acre to Ben and King Thompson, who ultimately used the land to establish what became Upper Arlington. In 1918, Miller became the first mayor of Upper Arlington, which at that time was a village.

City officials said he built and lived in one of the first six homes in Upper Arlington that had plumbing. President Warren G. Harding and Annie Oakley were among his guests there.

Miller Park also is named for the Miller family.

"It's the centennial celebration of Upper Arlington and we feel like (Miller) should've been put on the Wall 30 years ago," Kallmes said. "Without him, Ben and King Thompson would've bought different land.

"As we started talking about the centennial celebration, (Miller's) choice was just obvious."

To be considered for the Wall of Honor, nominees must be deceased, must have lived in Upper Arlington for part of their lives and must have made a significant contribution to the city, the state or the nation.

Honorees are recognized via permanent bronze plaques on the Wall of Honor, which is located on the plaza in front of Upper Arlington Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road.

The dedication ceremony for Haddad and Miller will take place at the Municipal Services Center at 3 p.m. May 19.

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