Below are the inductees into the Great Bend High School Hall of Fame:
2008 – Skip Yowell, Jack Kilby and John Keller
2009 – Jack Bowman, Sean Murphy and Tim Weiser
2010 – Jenny Allford and Glenn Opie
2011 – Don Halbower and Dan McGovern
2012 – Karla (Bender) Leibham and Bill McKown
2013 – Allen Keiswetter and Celia LaBranche
There is still a chance to attend the Great Bend High School Hall of Fame luncheon Friday, Feb. 28. Tickets are $15 each and may be purchased at the GBHS Activities Office, 19th and Morton. Those interested can also call the office at 620-793-1560.
Honored will be Allen Keiswetter and Celia LaBranche.
The Hall of Fame ceremony induction ceremony will take place between the girls’ and boys’ basketball games in the GBHS gym that night. A reception will follow the games in the Jack Kilby Commons and the public is invited.
This marks the sixth year for the HOF. Past inductees include globe-trotting JanSport founder Skip Yowell and microchip inventor Jack Kilby.
Keiswetter is a 1962 GBHS grad and resident of Arlington, Va. He is a retired senior foreign service officer, is a senior consultant at the international law firm of Dentons, a scholar at the Middle East Institute, and an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland.
In his 36 years in the Department of State, he served as deputy assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs, senior advisor to the US Delegation to the UN General Assembly on Middle East Issues, director of Arabian Peninsula Affairs, director of the Office of Intelligence Liaison, and NATO deputy assistant secretary general for political affairs.
He received BA from Dartmouth College in 1966, a certificate from Johns Hopkins School of International Studies, Bologna, Italy, 1967, and his MPA degree from Harvard University in 1973.
LaBranche was born in Winner, S.D., the youngest of the four children to Rev. Melvin B. and Doris K. Crane. By way of Iowa and Wisconsin, she landed in Great Bend in January of 1975, entering into Great Bend High School as a second semester sophomore. While at GBHS, she was captain of the Pantherettes drill team in the marching band, and won second place in the Parnassus piano competition. Dividing her time relatively equally between music and other academic subjects, she graduated valedictorian of her class in 1977 with a 4.0 GPA.
LaBranche entered the field if nutrition and chemistry. In 1984, when HIV was discovered, Celia was part of the DuPont team that developed one of the first commercial tests for the detection of antibodies to HIV in human blood, and the first commercial test for the detection of the HIV protein p24. In 1987, she left DuPont to pursue a PhD in Immunology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA.
While there, her interest in HIV and its effects on the human immune system deepened into what would be her life-long passion. She later identified genetic signatures of HIV responsible for critical steps in the viral lifecycle and the effects of mutations on the biology and infectivity of the virus.