Carl E. Bilderback

Distinguished Alumni

Class of 1954


Carl E. Bilderback, Distinguished Alumni, was a member of the last class to graduate from the “old” Denison High School in 1954. He was born and reared in Denison and now lives in Pottsboro. He has actually had two careers, one serving churches in Texas as music, youth director and minister; and two as an Air Force Chaplain or 26 years, retiring as a Colonel. He received numerous military awards including the Legion of Merit and Meritorious Service Medal with four bronze oak leaf clusters. He and his wife, Doris, have two daughters, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.


Jerome L. "Jerry" Duggan

Sports Hall of Fame

Class of 1952


Jerome L. “Jerry” Duggan, Sports Hall of  Fame, is a 1952 graduate. He is the youngest of two brothers being honored here tonight. Jerry came here from New York and attended St. Xavier’s Academy until the eighth grade when he went to Central Ward to play football. He was an outstanding football player in high school and upon graduation received a scholarship to play for Colorado School of Mines but hurt his knee, then went to the University of North Texas. After receiving his Ph.D he later began teaching there as a full professor and is a distinguished professor and a Fellow in the American Physical Society He has four children and six grandchildren and he and his wife, Nancy live in Denton.

Joseph "Joe" Duggan

Distinguished Alumni

Class of 1949


Joseph “Joe” Duggan, Distinguished Alumni, is a 1949 graduate who excelled at SOSU then went to work for Sears to design the “store of the future,” bringing the company out of the dark ages of retail business. He worked for Sears, retiring in 1987 as planning manager for the western 21 states. He worked for a while in Dallas and Joe was active with the Lions Club and on the Richardson City Council. He was a lifetime honorary director of Goodwill Industries. Joe passed away in 2007. He and his wife, Jacquelyn were married 54 years and have three daughters, three granddaughters and one grandson.

James A. "Jim" Hightower

Distinguished Alumni

Class of 1961


James A “Jim” Hightower, Distinguished Alumni, graduated from DHS in 1961. He served as Texas Agricultural Commissioner two terms, losing to Rick Perry, who launched a statewide political career that took him to the governor’s office. Jim is a New York Times best-selling author of seven books, a radio commentator and publisher of a monthly newsletter, “The Hightower Lowdown with more than 135,000 subscribers. He is in demand as a public speaker and delivers more than 100 speeches a year. He calls him an advocate for consumers, working families, environmentalists and small business.

 Emily C. Jones

Distinguished Alumni

Class of 1967


Emily C. Jones, Distinguished Alumni, was a 1967 graduate at DHS. Until her death in 2009 she was a legal aid and civil rights lawyer for eight years, a high school teacher, a program attorney, executive director of Texas Lawyers Care, and director of the Texas Access to Justice Commission. From legal services for the poor to trade unionism, from human rights in Guatemala to freedom movements elsewhere in Central America, her lifelong dedication to help other exemplifies the very best. She and her husband, Mike Gross have one son, the light of her life.

 Drewey D. McKnight, Jr.

Distinguished Alumni

Class of 1942

Drewey D. McKnight Jr., Distinguished Alumni, was born in Denison and graduated from Terrell High in 1942. His education was achieved around serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After earning his degrees from Prairie View State Normal & Industrial College he taught math and junior shop for 19 years at Terrell School then transferred to Senior High during integration. In 1984 he became the first black principal to serve in a Denison public school, at Hyde Park Elementary, a predominantly white school. He retired in 1991 and served two years as a city councilman. He and his wife, Jewel, have two children, one grandson and two great-grandsons.


 Fred W. Taylor

Sports Hall of Fame

Class of 1938


Fred W. Taylor, Sports Hall of Fame, is a 1938 graduate of Denison High School where he was an all-around athlete and a three year letterman, making all-district two years and receiving the Most Valuable Player Award his senior year. He also was outstanding in basketball and track. He played football at Schreiner Institute and TCU, where he played in the TCU-Georgia Orange Bowl game in 1942. He passed up an offer to play professional football for Pittsburg to coach at Lubbock High, then returned to TCU, where he became head football coach and was inducted into the TCU Hall of Fame in 1984. He and his wife, Louise, now live on a ranch in Iredell, TX.