Thomas Hatem among five inductees announced for Havre de Grace High Hall of Fame's Class of 2016

Thomas Hatem among five inductees announced for Havre de Grace High Hall of Fame's Class of 2016
The late Thomas J. Hatem, who was state insurance commissioner and then Maryland Public Service Commission chairman, is one of the five Havre de Grace High School alumni who will be inducted into the school's hall of fame next month. (AEGIS FILE PHOTO / Baltimore Sun)

The Class of 2016 of the Havre de Grace High School Hall of Fame includes Havre de Grace's fire chief, a onetime Aberdeen Proving Ground mathematician, two university professors and a former Harford County political leader.

Hall of Fame inductees are alumni "who have excelled in their chosen profession and have exemplified our school motto, which is 'enter to learn, leave to serve,'" Rick Hauf, chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee, said. Hauf is also the band director at HHS.


This year's five inductees, whose names were announced earlier this week, are alumni of either HHS, the Havre de Grace Colored High School or Havre de Grace Consolidated School.

The group includes the late Thomas J. Hatem, the namesake of the Route 40 bridge that connects Havre de Grace and Perryville across the Susquehanna River. Mr. Hatem, who died in 1985, was a Harford County commissioner, a state delegate, Maryland's insurance commissioner and chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission, a longtime leader in the Harford Democratic Party. He graduated from HHS in 1943. The bridge, completed in 1940, was named in his honor posthumously.

His siblings, Dr. Rose Mary Hatem Bonsack and the late Dr. Frederick J. Hatem, were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011. Bonsack graduated from HHS in 1951, and Dr. Hatem graduated in 1943.

The other 2016 inductees are:

• Christopher Scott "Scotty" Hurst, of the HHS Class of 1990, is chief of the Susquehanna Hose Company, the volunteer fire company serving Havre de Grace and the surrounding areas.

• Catherine W. Burks, who graduated from Havre de Grace Colored School in 1946, is a former educator, as well as a mathematician at Aberdeen Proving Ground. She has also been a long-serving volunteer in the community.

• Jolie Cizewski, who graduated from HHS in 1969, is a distinguished professor of physics at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

• Valeria Culotta, of the HHS Class of 1975, is a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

The seven-member HOF committee, which includes school faculty and alumni, selected the five inductees in early August, according to Hauf.

They will be honored Oct. 7 as part of the HHS homecoming celebration. The inductees will be recognized during a morning assembly at the high school, Hauf said.

Inductees have been recognized in past years during the homecoming football game in the evening, but organizers have limited the honors to the assembly recently, since some of the inductees come from out of state.

"We realize it's just hard for them to commit to that night," Hauf said.

Twenty-eight people have been inducted into the Hall of Fame since the first class in 2010.

Prior inductees include former Harford County Executive, and Havre de Grace mayor, David Craig, the late U.S. Sen. Millard Tydings and former NFL player Earl Christy, who played for the New York Jets when they defeated the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.