Dr. Joe Scherger, Class of 1968
Joseph Scherger, M.D., M.P.H., has received numerous accolades for his professional accomplishments, but he says none are more special than being inducted into the St. John’s Hall of Fame for Professional Achievement.
“What a great honor. I have such fond memories of growing up in Delphos that to receive this seems more special than if it were some national award,” he said.
Scherger graduated from St. John’s in 1968. He went on to graduate from the University of Dayton in 1971, then the UCLA School of Medicine in 1975. He completed a family Practice Residency and received his Masters of Public Health from the University of Washington in 1978 and then served in the National Health Service Corps in Dixon, Calif., as a migrant health physician.
Dr. Scherger served as the President of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and has worked on numerous professional boards. He was named the Outstanding Clinical Instructor in the School of Medicine at the University of California, Davis, three times. In 1989, he was named Family Physician of the Year by the American Academy of Family Physicians and the California Academy of Family Physicians. In 1994, he received the Thomas W. Johnson Award for Family Practice Education from the American Academy of Family Physicians. In 2000, the UC Irvine medical students nominated him for the AAMC Humanism in Medicine Award.
From 1988-91, he was a Fellow in the Kellogg National Fellowship Program, a part-time leadership development fellowship in which he focused on health care reform and quality of life. From 1992-1996, he was Vice President for Family Practice and Primary Care Education at Sharp HealthCare in San Diego. From 1996-2001, he was the Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and the Associate Dean for Primary Care at the University of California Irvine, College of Medicine.
Currently, Dr. Scherger is Clinical Professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine (UCSD). He is Director of the San Diego Center for Patient Safety, and Director of Quality Improvement in Correctional Medicine at UCSD. From 2001-2003, he served as founding dean of the Florida State University College of Medicine. He is a member of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Health Care Delivery Policy Project. His main focus is on the redesign of office practice using the tools of information technology and quality improvement.
Dr. Scherger was Editor-in-Chief of Hippocrates, published by the Massachusetts Medical Society, from 1999-2001. He was the first Medical Editor of Family Practice Management. He has authored more than 300 medical publications and has given over 700 invited presentations.
“St. John's, along with my parents and the Delphos environment, made me who I am,” Scherger said. “At St. John's you feel like you are capable of doing and becoming anything and anyone. Everyone is so supportive. I was in high school from 1964 to ’68, a turbulent time for young people in America and the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, such as the Beatles. In Delphos, it all seemed fun and innocent.”
He and his wife Carol live in Del Mar, Calif., and have two sons, Adrian and Gabriel. He has completed 18 marathons.
Tom Nomina, Class of 1959
The 2005 recipient of the Hall of Fame honor for Athletic Achievement played football at the college and professional level after leaving the halls of St. John’s in 1959.
Tom Nomina played Blue Jay football from 1955 through 1958. After graduation, he played tackle for Miami University in Oxford, where he was First Team All-MAC in 1961 and 1962. He was Co-Captain of the 1962 team, which went 8-2-1, including a 10-7 win over Purdue, and gained a victory in the Tangerine Bowl over Houston. He was a member of the 1963 College All-Stars.
Nomina played professional football for the Denver Broncos in 1963 through 1965 and the Miami Dolphins from 1966 until 1968.
His college career was recognized in 1987 when he was inducted into the Miami University Hall of Fame.
Nomina said he was surprised about the most recent nomination.
“There have been numerous excellent athletes who graduated from St. John's and to be chosen to be inducted into the St. John's Hall of Fame is a tremendous honor,” he said.
Following his football career, he spent 30 years in the communications construction business before retiring in 2000.
“The guidance and discipline I received while attending St. John's instilled a good and stable moral and religious background, one that remains with me through all phases of my life,” he said. “I could go on forever with mentioning all of my teachers and coaches at St. John's who influenced my life. Thanks to all.”
Nomina lives in Estero, Florida, with his wife, Liz (Beecher) Nomina. They have been married for 43 years and have three children and eight grandchildren. They spend the summer months in Colorado where they spend time with their family and Tom helps with his son’s tree farm.
Service to Mankind
Mike Wilson, Class of 1962
Mike Wilson says all of the success he has had in his life can be traced back to the foundation that was built while he attended St. John’s. That sentiment is great praise from a former senior executive in the Department of Defense. However, it’s because of his work with the migrants near Plant City, Florida, that he enters the St. John’s Hall of Fame as the recipient of the Service to Mankind award.
Following graduation in 1962, Wilson graduated from the University of Dayton with a degree in business administration and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He earned his MBA from Bowling Green State University in 1968 and received a teaching fellowship. He later worked for the Haskin & Sells CPA firm for two years in Detroit and Dayton.
Wilson left the private sector and served in the Army for three years, nine months and one day, achieving the rank of Major. He worked for the Department of Defense for 30 years and was named a senior executive in 1989. He worked with former Presidents George H. Bush and Bill Clinton before retiring.
Wilson was working as an adjunct professor at a community college in Nevada when he felt the call to do something more. He and his wife moved to Plant City and Wilson entered the deacon program at a nearby church. He has been praised for his involvement with the Legion of Mary and he evangelizes to the Spanish community. His primary work includes getting basic necessities to families at a local Mission.
“Although I didn’t immediately understand or know how to apply all the lessons that I learned at St. John’s, I began to realize the many gifts of knowledge and of positive influences given to me. In some cases, it took several years for me to realize the great foundation that I got at St. John’s,” Wilson said.
Former principal Fr. Kuhn was a tremendous influence for Wilson.
“Fr. Kuhn called me into his office to tell me that I was destined to be a leader and he was going to mentor me,” Wilson recalls. “Thirty-eight years later I was in the West Wing of the White House being sworn in as a senior executive. Fr. Kuhn was right, and I thank God for his insight, encouragement and friendship.”
Wilson says Plant City is much like his hometown, and he is using the principles he learned in Delphos to help his community in Florida.
Last year, Wilson rallied 60 volunteers to visit migrant families and deliver 530 pair of children’s shoes. He also led a campaign to find household goods for farm-working families.
“Fr. Ottenweller’s religious lesson about our migrant farm workers being our brothers and sisters in Christ is another memory I have of St. John’s,” Wilson said. “I never imagined fifty years later my life would be dedicated to their spiritual and temporal well-being.”
Wilson lives in Florida with his wife, Joyce (Turnwald) Wilson, who he describes as “the love of his life.” They have eight children and 10 grandchildren.
Service to St. John's
Bob Arnzen, Honorary Class of 2000
The 2005 recipient of the Service to St. John’s award may be one of the best-known Blue Jays in history. Former teacher and boys basketball coach Bob Arnzen is being honored for his devotion to the school he called home for more than 40 years.
Born in Newport, Kentucky, Bob came to St. John’s after getting his own education from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati and the University of Dayton. His first teaching experience was at St. John’s. He was one of two lay teachers in the school at that time.
“Principal Fr. Herr and Pastor Monsignor Reineck kept a close eye on me and taught me how much time was needed to put into teaching and coaching to be successful,” Arnzen said. “Fr. Ottenweller, an associate pastor at the time, helped me tremendously with basketball. They taught me that if you want to be successful, you must work hard to accomplish it.”
Most people who know Bob call him coach. The title is one of endearment and is well deserved.
Arnzen was head baseball coach from 1950 to 1962. He was the first head football coach in 1955 when the program was started at the high school. He remained the assistant football coach from 1956 until 1965. He was the first head cross country coach in 1972 and stayed at the post until 1976. He coached that sport again in 1979 and 1980. He also served as athletic director in 1969 and 1970.
While he influenced many sports at the school, he is most remembered for his decades-long leadership on the basketball court. While at the helm of the boys basketball team from 1950 through 1993, Bob notched 676 wins and 291 losses and titles that included: 11 conference championships, five state tournament berths, two runner-up finishes and one Ohio High School Athletic Association Class A Championship.
“Any success I’ve had in teaching and coaching is due to being surrounded with good staff and good players. The kids learned to play as a team and always played hard,” Arnzen says. “I will never forget how hard the basketball players always played. No teams in the area had players who played that hard. It was our trademark.”
Being inducted into the St. John’s Hall of Fame is the most recent of many honors bestowed on Arnzen. He became an honorary graduate of St. John’s in 2001; his high school alma matter inducted him into its Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000; he was enshrined into the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1995; and into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame in Colorado in 1998; he was given the University of Dayton Sports Achievement Award in 1984; and Newport inducted Arnzen into its Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame in 1988. He was selected Ohio Coach of the Year twice and was named National Catholic Coach of the Year in 1976. The OHS Basketball Coaches Association presents the Bob Arnzen Longevity Award annually to a person who has coached at the same school for more than 20 years.
When he wasn’t leading his players, Bob was teaching driver’s education, a position he held for more than 40 years. He was also instrumental in initiating many recreational programs at the city parks while he served as Recreation Director from 1951 until 1986. He also started the St. John’s basketball camps and organized the District 8 Coaches Association in 1966.
After 42 years of teaching and 43 years of coaching, Bob retired in 1993. St. John’s honored him by naming the gym the Robert A. Arnzen Gymnasium.
He still lives in Delphos with his wife, Alice. They have five children and nine grandchildren.