Center Grove Alumni and Friends Establishes Hall of Fame

Writer / Jennifer Rakow
Photography Provided

Throughout their history, Center Grove schools have produced people who have left an impact on the community, the state and the world. Now, officials want to recognize those extraordinary Trojans in the newly formed Hall of Fame. Center Grove Alumni

Center Grove Alumni and Friends has created a Hall of Fame to honor graduates and community members for their professional achievements and personal contributions to the lives of others and society. By publicly putting a spotlight on these people, their example will hopefully serve to inspire future graduates to perform and serve in the same spirit, said Jennifer Rakow, executive director of the Center Grove Education Foundation.

“We have alumni who are doing amazing, amazing things, and we’re excited to be able to showcase that,” said Rakow. “We have alumni and community members who have done a lot to give back to the community and the school corporation.”

The inaugural class of 2024 includes three outstanding representatives.

Center Grove Alumni

The first inductee is the late Dr. Helen B. Barnes. She was one of five founding doctors of Johnson Memorial Hospital in 1946. She was also one of five members elected to Center Grove’s first school board. She was committed to attracting top-notch teachers and coaches to enhance the reputation of Center Grove schools in a growing community.

The next inductee is Jeff Beck. He is a 1967 graduate of Center Grove High School and is retired from Eli Lilly. Beck is passionate about preserving the history of Center Grove and Johnson County. In 2004 he wrote a book titled “Center Grove: Unveiling the Past,” which provides a historical look at our school corporation and the community.

The final inductee is retired Major General R. Martin Umbarger. He is the past adjutant general of Indiana – having led the Indiana Army and Air National Guard. He is also president and chief executive officer of Roy Umbarger and Sons, Inc., an agricultural wholesale and retail business located in Bargersville. He has received numerous military awards and has been active in his community with numerous organizations.

All three inductees will be honored at the Center Grove Education Foundation’s Gala for the Grove on Saturday, April 13. You can purchase tickets for that event at

Do you know someone who should be considered for the Hall of Fame? Visit the Hall of Fame page on the foundation website to view the eligibility criteria and learn more about the selection process. Center Grove Alumni

Center Grove Alumni

Comments 1

  1. David Britton says:

    Vandy, OJ and many of our teachers need to be inducted too!

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