Campion Jesuit High School alumni are seeking a place to house a Campion Hall of Fame. Alumnus Dr. Michael Garrity of Prairie du Chien said Monday that
the alumni have been talking to a subcommittee of the Fort Crawford Museum Board of Directors about possibly having the Hall of Fame on the Fort Crawford Museum grounds.
"It is only in the discussion stage, but we’re hoping to get something underway by next June," said Garrity. "A Campion Hall of Fame would be a way
preserving the memories and history of Campion."
Garrity said that a Campion Hall of Fame would encompass all standouts from Campion, including those who excelled in science, politics, academics, sports
and numerous other noteworthy endeavors.
Campion Jesuit High School was a Jesuit-run boarding school for boys in Prairie du Chien named for the Jesuit martyr Edmund Campion. The school operated
from its founding in 1880 until closing in 1975, and educated several notable figures during its existence. The former school’s campus now houses Prairie du Chien
Correctional Institution. The school operated independent of the Roman Catholic Diocese of La Crosse. Campion Jesuit High School was founded in 1880 as the College of the
Sacred Heart. Established on property donated by Prairie du Chien philanthropist John Lawler, the school was originally operated as a college by Jesuits from the Buffalo,
New York, mission of the German Province of the Society of Jesus. Its first president was Rev. William Becker, S.J. The school continued as a college until 1888, when it was
closed to lay students and became a house of formation for Jesuit priests. Ten years later, in 1898, the school was reopened to the public, as both a high school and
One building that was formerly part of the Campion High School campus, Hoffman Hall, remains outside of the prison and is currently operated as a public
recreational facility by the city of Prairie du Chien. In fact, a tour of Hoffman Hall in September by some Campion alumni helped to spark discussion of a possible Campion
Hall of Fame.
"Campion has numerous notable alumni," said Dr. Garrity. "Certainly, in teaching and science they are legion."
Some of the notable alumni include:
•George Blaha, sportscaster
•David Doyle, actor (best known as "Bosley" on Charlie’s Angels)
•Vicente Fox, president of Mexico (2000-2006)
•Walter Halloran, American Jesuit priest (assisted Father Bowdern in a 1949 exorcism)
•John Henebry, United States Air Force general
•Patrick Lucey, governor of Wisconsin (1971-1977)
•Kevin McCarthy, actor (Invasion of the Body Snatchers et al)
•Leo Ryan, congressman from California (1973-1978 — killed at Jones Town mass suicide)
•Dick Tuck, politician
•George Wendt, actor (best known as "Norm" on the television show Cheers)
•Garry Wills, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Lincoln at Gettysburg
•William Joseph McDonough, president of Federal Reserve Bank, NY
•Allan Scholls, inherited Dr. Scholls
•John "Jack" Rockne, son of Knute Rockne
•Patrick J. Nugent, married president LBJ’s daughter Luci
•Dr. James West, performed world’s first human organ transplant in 1950 along with Dr. Richard Lawler
•Col. Gregory J. Kessenich, inventor of the bazooka
•John P. Powers, Steelers tight end in the 1960s
•Patrick Bowlen, Denver Broncos’ owner
•Tony Cline, played nine years in the NFL
Garrity said that the grounds of the Fort Crawford Museum would be a good site for a Campion Hall of Fame because the museum already has a Campion
"Campion alumni who have seen the Campion exhibit at the museum have been impressed," said Garrity.