Sister Francesca Onley, CSFN, President of Holy Family University, and Dennis M. O’Brien, Philadelphia City Councilman At-Large, announced the 2012 inductees into the Northeast Philadelphia Hall of Fame at a press conference April 26, 2012 at Holy Family University.
The 2012 inductees – two historical figures, two living individuals, and one group of institutions – include Inventor and Solar Power Pioneer Frank Shuman (1862-1918), Civil Rights Leader and Anti-apartheid Activist Reverend Leon Sullivan (1922-2001), Business and Community Leader Ed Kelly, Astronaut Chris Ferguson, and seven Northeast Philadelphia houses of worship at least 200 years old, to be inducted as a group: Unity Monthly Meeting Frankford, founded 1682, and Byberry Monthly Meeting, founded 1683, both among the earliest Quaker meetings in Pennsylvania; Pennepack Baptist Church, Bustleton, founded in 1688, Pennsylvania’s oldest Baptist Church; Trinity Church Oxford, Lawndale, in existence since at least 1698 and one of the oldest Episcopal churches in Pennsylvania; Presbyterian Church of Frankford, founded 1770; All Saints Episcopal Church, Torresdale, founded 1772; and Campbell AME Church, Frankford, founded 1807, the nation’s second oldest African Methodist Episcopal Church.
The inductees were chosen by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee, an eight-member panel of experts in various aspects of Northeast Philadelphia life. The committee is chaired by Sister Francesca Onley. The public participated in the selection process by suggesting candidates for the committee’s consideration.
The inductees will be honored at a ceremony to be held Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 1:00 PM in the Education & Technology Center building at Holy Family University, 9801 Grant Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19114.
Inductees into the Northeast Philadelphia Hall of Fame must be Northeast Philadelphia residents past or present whose lives or careers have been marked by high achievement, or individuals or organizations that have had a lasting, significant, and positive impact on the Northeast Philadelphia community. Past inductees have included Pennsylvania’s first Surveyor General Thomas Holme, Signer of the Declaration of Independence Benjamin Rush, Abolitionist Robert Purvis, Industrialist & Philanthropists Henry and Mary Disston, Humanitarian & Catholic Saint Katharine Drexel, Educator & Historian Harry Silcox, Jazz Drummer Butch Ballard, NBA Hall of Famer & Elected Official Tom Gola, Former Philadelphia City Councilwoman Joan Krajewski, Homeless Advocate Sister Mary Scullion, and social service agencies Aid For Friends and SPIN (Special People in the Northeast).
The goal of the Northeast Philadelphia Hall of Fame is to foster civic values and a sense of community in Northeast Philadelphia, along with a greater awareness and appreciation of the area’s rich history, by honoring the lives and accomplishments of its most distinguished citizens.