The 2017 Dayton Region’s Walk of Fame honorees will be announced at the Walk the Walk event in the Wright Dunbar Historic Business District on May 12, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. Wright Dunbar, Inc. sponsors the Dayton Region’s Walk of Fame, and the memorial stones are on West Third Street in the Wright Dunbar Historic Business District between Broadway and Shannon and along Williams Street.
The 2017 honorees are:
Oscar and Marjorie Boonshoft lent their names to many charitable projects and organizations that they supported. Oscar Boonshoft was a mechanical engineer with a career spanning over 30 years, including time at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, before his retirement in 1970. Marjorie Boonshoft was a partner in the family’s philanthropic and community activities.
The couple’s numerous philanthropic endeavors in the city of Dayton included: the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, Boonshoft Center for Medical Sciences at Kettering College, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, and the Marjorie and Oscar Boonshoft Center for Jewish Culture and Education, to name only a few. The Chronicle of Philanthropy, who ranked them 41th on a list of national donors, recognized their charitable gifts in 2006. Oscar and Marjorie Boonshoft’s philanthropic work is legendary in the forever grateful Dayton community.
Brigadier General Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. was the first African American promoted to the rank of General in the U.S. Armed Forces in 1940, a significant achievement within the segregated military of his day. He was born in Washington, D.C. and was graduated from Washington’s M Street High School, the predecessor to today’s Dunbar High School, where he received his first military training through the school’s cadet program.
In July of 1889 he joined the racially segregated 8th U.S. Volunteer Infantry service for the Spanish-American War and was appointed temporary First Lieutenant. In 1905, General Davis was appointed to his first tenure as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Wilberforce University where he became well known in the area. Over time and assignments, he spent almost 25 years there. General Davis, Sr. retired from the U.S. Armed Forces in 1948 with over 50 years of service. He passed away on November 26, 1970 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Cathy Guisewite was a pioneer in the media of cartooning, a field dominated by men. She was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1950. In her youth, Guisewite would draw funny pictures, which she considered to be “emotional coping mechanisms” to events in her life and work. Her mother relentlessly urged her to send her comics to a publisher, thus beginning her career. Copley News Service for Early Cartoonists syndicated her first comic strip, Roxbury, from 1963 to 1973.
Guisewite began working on her most popular Cathy in 1976, which was syndicated in 66 newspapers at the time. By 1980, she was working on her comic strips full time as Cathy was syndicated in over 150 daily newspapers. Cathy appealed to many women of her generation with both humor and social significance. The popularity of her comic strip increased rapidly and by the mid-1990s it appeared in approximately 1,400 newspapers, including the Dayton Daily News. In 1992, Guisewite received the Ruben Award for Cartoonist of the Year.
When he was an elected official, David L. Hobson always listened to his constituents, was mindful of their needs, and worked in a nonpartisan fashion in the Ohio State Senate and the U.S. Congress representing the Greater Dayton area. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and earned a law degree from The Ohio State University, while also serving in the Ohio Air National Guard. Hobson was elected to the Ohio Senate representing the 10th District in 1982 and was President Pro Tempore of the Ohio Senate during the 1988 to 1990 session.
Hobson was then elected to Congress to represent the 7th Congressional District and served from 1991 to 2009. During this time he was chairman of the Military Construction and Appropriations Subcommittee and a senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. He paid particular attention to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and helped to secure and expand activities within the Base. While a member of Congress he co-sponsored the legislation that created the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. Hobson also ensured that local institutions of higher learning received appropriate funding for improvements that would allow students throughout the region to have the best opportunities to learn.
During the course of her extraordinary career, Allison Janney has demonstrated versatility on stage and in television and films. She currently stars in the CBS/Chuck Lorre sitcom, Mom, which earned her two of her seven Emmy awards. In 2014, Janney won Emmy awards for her roles on both Mom and Masters of Sex in the same year, a feat that has rarely been accomplished in Emmy history. She was also recently honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Prior to Mom, Janney is perhaps best known for her role as C.J. Cregg on the popular NBC series, The West Wing, for which she received four Emmy awards and four Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards. She has also had roles in many features, including the Academy Award-nominated film The Help, for which the cast won ensemble awards from the SAG, National Board of Review, and the Broadcast Film Critics. Additional film credits include The Girl on the Train, Minions; Spy; Juno; The Way, Way Back; The Hours, and American Beauty to name a few.
A native of Oakwood, Ohio and a graduate of Kenyon College, Janney’s pivotal moment came when Kenyon alumnus Paul Newman selected her for a role in a campus play he was producing. After graduating, she moved to New York to study at The Neighborhood Playhouse; in 1984, she was awarded a fellowship to study at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She made her Broadway debut in the 1996 revival of Present Laughter. She won Drama Desk Awards and Tony Award nominations for the 1997 Broadway revival of A View From the Bridge and the 2009 original Broadway production of the musical 9 to 5. Most recently she starred as ‘Ouisa’ in the Broadway revival of John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation. Through it all, Janney has continued to maintain ties with her hometown.
Shawnee Chief Tecumseh is considered one of the greatest indigenous leaders in the early history of the United States. He possessed outstanding military, political and oratory skills that allowed him to forge alliances of many American Indian tribes. He grew up and lived in various Shawnee towns in the greater Dayton area including, Old Chillicothe, Peckuwe (Piqua), and further north near Wapakoneta, Bellefontaine, and Greenfield. Tecumseh rose to become the principal leader of the American Indian groups opposed to expansion of European-American settlements in the old Northwest.
Tecumseh participated as a warrior in the Northwest Indian War in 1785 to 1795. During this time he accompanied his brother, Chiksika, in the Chickamauga raids in Tennessee. This trip allowed Tecumseh to broaden his experience in forging alliances with other tribes and he took on a greater leadership role within the Shawnee war parties. He became one of the primary leaders opposing a series of treaties negotiated between chiefs and William Henry Harrison. These treaties would give over three million acres of land for white settlement, but Tecumseh believed land was not a commodity. He led the American Indian allies of the British during the War of 1812.
Tecumseh died at the battle at River Themes on October 5, 1813. He is the first American Indian to be inducted into the Dayton Region’s Walk of Fame.
The honorees will be celebrated at a luncheon on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at the Sinclair Conference Centre. Since 1996, over 160 outstanding individuals and groups and their contributions to the Miami Valley have been memorialized at the September event and with granite stones on West Third Street in Dayton.
Wright Dunbar, Inc., 1139 West Third Street, Dayton, Ohio, a non-profit organization, is the catalyst and facilitator for urban community and economic revitalization of the Wright D