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FROM STAFF REPORTS
Aurora -- The Aurora High Alumni Association welcomed three more alumni into its Hall of Fame at ceremonies Sept. 30 which corresponded with Homecoming weekend.
Dr. Edward D. Hall (class of 1968) was named a distinguished alumnus, and Phil Quinn (class of 1987) and James Sjostrom (class of 2000) were recognized as Hall of Fame athletes.
The school's Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 1982, and the Distinguished Alumni division was initiated in 2001.
Hall of Fame candidates are initially nominated by AHS alumni, former teachers, coaches, present and former administrators and community members. Inductees are selected by a committee of the Alumni Association's board of directors in conjunction with administrators, coaches and retired staff.
DR. EDWARD HALL
Following graduation from AHS in 1968, Hall earned a bachelor of science degree in biology in 1972. He and his wife Marilyn moved to New York City, where he earned his Ph.D. in pharmacology from Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in 1976.
After completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Cornell, he returned to Portage County in 1978 as one of the first faculty members in the newly developed Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine in Rootstown, rising to the rank of tenured associate professor of pharmacology in 1982.
Later that year, he moved into the pharmaceutical industry at the Upjohn Co. in Kalamazoo, Mich., where he initiated and led an effort over the next 15 years to discover drugs for the treatment of traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke and the neurodegenerative diseases ALS and Parkinson's Disease.
He was promoted to the top rank of distinguished scientist.
Then in 1997, he joined Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research in Ann Arbor as director of neurological drug discovery.
In 2000 after Parke Davis merged with Pfizer, Hall became senior director of central nervous system pharmacology at Pfizer Global Research and Development in Ann Arbor.
In 2002, he joined the University of Kentucky Medical Center, where until 2012 he was director of the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center, which became one of the leading centers for neurotrauma research in the U.S.
Hall is an international authority on the pathophysiology of TBI and SCI and the design and development of "neuroprotective" drugs that limit the secondary damage to the injured brain or spinal cord.
He played a leading role in the discovery of high dose methylprednisolone therapy, the only treatment to date shown in clinical trials to improve neurological recovery in SCI patients which has been used for the past 25 years worldwide.
For this work, he received the Upjohn Achievement in Science and Medicine Award in 1991 and was elected in 2008 to the National Spinal Cord Injury Association Hall of Fame.
He was a multi-sport letter earner for AHS. Teachers, classmates and coaches of the mid 1980s remember him as a colorful, engaging and larger than life individual who overcame challenging personal obstacles to find success in athletics.
Despite a serious knee injury his junior year, he made contributions in three sports and earned notable recognition in all of them.
Former Athletic Director Dick Bliss describes him as "a great football player, state champion wrestler and exceptional baseball player."
He earned three varsity letters in football and was voted All-East Suburban Conference from 1984 to 1986. He earned two varsity letters in baseball, where he also earned all-conference recognition. He also earned a varsity letter letter in track and field.
As a wrestler, Quinn earned two varsity letters and was an undefeated state champion in 1987. After graduation, he attended Allan Hancock College in California on a football scholarship.
He moved back to Aurora to raise his family. He has spent his adult life volunteering and contributing to his hometown's youth athletic programs as a coach for the Aurora Baseball League, JAWS and Aurora Youth Football Association.
He has further had the honor of seeing one of his sons participate in Aurora athletics and go on to excel on the football field at the University of Toledo.
Perhaps no Aurora athlete has dominated a sport, both as a student and as an adult, as James Sjostrom.
As a high school student, he earned four letters in cross country and four in track, and was the 200 state champion in cross country and the 1600 and 3200 meters. He still holds Aurora records in the 1600 and 3200.
Sjostrom earned a degree in business administration from Kent State University, where he was a member of the 2004 MAC Championship cross country team and an NCAA qualifier. He set KSU's record in the 5K, which still stands.
He has continued to be active in running in USA Track and Field competitions and a host of events in Northeast Ohio. He trains with a goal of qualifying for the Olympic Trials marathon.
He resides in Stow, and when not training or competing, he is a business startup specialist and delivery driver in Aurora.