The Grandview Heights High School Alumni Association has announced four recipients of the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award.

The Grandview Heights High School Alumni Association has announced four recipients of the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award.

The award honors GHHS graduates, living or deceased, who achieved extraordinary success in their chosen careers, said alumni association president and GHHS Class of 1956 member Ron Harris.

“There are no restrictions, we’ve honored people involved in a variety of careers, including business, performing arts, academia, military service or nonprofit work,” he said.

The GHHS distinguished alumni for 2011 are:

• William P. Boardman, Class of 1959. Previously served as chairman and CEO of First USA, Inc., senior executive vice president of Bank One and chairman of Visa International and now serves on the board of Bank of America and a number of other corporate boards. Boardman is a former partner with Porter, Wright, Morris and Arthur and executive vice president and general counsel with BancOhio. He served two years as a field artillery officer. Boardman holds a bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctor from Washington and Lee University.

• Robert D. Rockey Jr., Class of 1959. After overseeing the economic turnaround of Levi Strauss Europe in the 1980s, Rockey was named president of Levi Strauss North America in 1991, a position he held until his retirement. He began his career in the clothing industry working in the stock room of The Union Company’s downtown Columbus store. He graduated from Ohio State University and served on active duty in the Navy off the coast of Vietnam and subsequently in the Naval Reserve.

• Tom Sutphen, Class of 1943. President and CEO of Sutphen Corp., one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of custom fire trucks, pumpers, aerial ladders and aerial platforms (invented the aerial platform). Sutphen is a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Force, specialist in aircraft engine repair and maintenance. After World War II he joined the family business, a small fire apparatus manufacturer dating back to 1890. As president and CEO he steadily built the business, adding production facilities, creating new and innovative products and increasing sales and distribution capabilities.

• William Walters, Class of 1955. Stage manager and actor, most notably for P.D.Q. Bach, a fictitious composer invented and portrayed by musical satirist Peter Schickele. Despite his on-stage persona, Walters actually served as the technical coordinator, production manager, road manager and real stage manager of Schickele’s concerts. Walters started with Schickele in 1966. More information about Walters can be found at

“We’ve had about 4,000 people graduate from Grandview and it’s amazing how many notable alumni we have had given the size of our community,” Harris said.

“It says a lot about the quality of education students receive in Grandview,” he said.

The alumni association’s awards committee reviews the nominations that have been submitted for the distinguished alumni honor, Harris said. The committee’s selections are given final approval by the alumni association board.

This year the committee received eight nominations, he said.

A display highlighting each of the 24 recipients of the award is located in the hallway by the cafeteria in the high school, Harris said.

“Hopefully, students will see what these people have accomplished and it will inspire them to strive toward their own achievements,” he said.

Nomination forms are included in issues of the alumni association’s newsletter, Harris said.

Nominees who have not yet been selected for the award are kept on fire and considered again each year, he said.

William P.


Robert D.