Taft High School Foundation - Chicago, Illinois

William Howard Taft Hall of Fame

Please consider making a donation to the Taft High School Foundation - CLICK HERE

Click here to register to receive TAFT HS Foundation News & Updates

Please visit www.VoteTaft.org to nominate graduate alumni and retired teacher alumni
for the 2017 William Howard Taft Hall of Fame Ceremony - CLICK HERE

Mark Grishaber - Taft High School Principal

In the past week Taft Principal, Mark Grishaber has been diagnosed with Leukemia.  He will be on medical leave for up to four weeks as he undergoes chemo treatments.  There are many types of Leukemia and sometimes people can live for years with it but the cancer may lead to other health problems.

If you can please send Mark a get well card or message of some type.  You don't have to personally know him to send him a thoughtful and kind word.  He's the Principal of our Alma mater and has done many very good and great things for Taft.

His address is:
Mark Grishaber
Taft High School
6530 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue
Chicago, IL 60631

All letters and cards will be delivered to his home

It would be lovely if he received hundreds of cards and letters from alumni and friends.

Thank you.

Richard Winge
Taft High School Foundation

In Memoriam: Norman Bakall, Taft Teacher and Assistant Principal

2016 William Howard Taft Hall of Fame Inductee

Beloved Taft High School retired Teacher and Assistant Principal, Norm Bakall passed away on November 16th after an extended illness. He was 82 years old.

Mr. Bakall was a faculty member at Taft High School his entire career and began teaching at Taft in the early 1960's as a social studies teacher, most notably U.S. History. Throughout his teaching career he taught thousands of Taft students American history, government and the social development and changes of our country.

He became Assistant Principal in the 1980's and was responsible for much at Taft including programing for thousands of students and class planning and assignments for Taft teachers. He also was the chief administrative advisor for annual Taft High School graduations in addition to his responsibilities in the Program Office.

Mr. Bakall retired in the early 1990's and is survived by his wife, Liz who resides in Chicago.

In memoriam: Dr. Robert Forney - Taft High School 1944 graduate

2015 William Howard Taft Hall of Fame Member

Dr. Robert C. Forney passed away at the age of 89 on August 3, 2016. Dr. Forney was a chemical engineer and a senior executive for the DuPont Company for many years. He was instrumental in the development of several important textiles most notably, Dacron, which he claimed was his luckiest project. During his career he was responsible for dozens of plants, projects and developments of products that improved the lives of Americans and people around the world. His career included leading all research activities at DuPont and he served on the company’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors until his retirement in 1989.

Dr. Forney was recognized and honored for his work with NASA after the Challenger Space shuttle tragedy in 1986 and most notably was a consultant to the federal government for a series of studies on radioactive disposal and the eastern European transition from socialism to capitalism.

Robert Forney graduated from Taft High School in 1944 and entered Purdue University graduating in 1950 with a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering, a Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering and a PhD in Chemical Engineering. He was a brilliant student indeed. The Chemical Engineering building at Purdue University is named in his name in recognition for his talent, success and support of the University.

Robert was married to his beloved wife, Marilyn, for 69 years which will always be a beautiful love story featuring four children and ten grandchildren that blessed their lives.

Dr. Robert Forney was truly one of Taft High School's most brilliant, talented and wonderful graduates. We honor his life and his memory and hope that others are inspired by the talent and career of this marvelous man and Taft alumnus.

The Foundation is pleased to announce its most recent completed project at Taft High School.  The refurbishment of the so-called BLACK BOX THEATER is located in the "new" addition of Taft High School completed in 1975, over 40 years ago.  The wood floor had never been refinished and our team of specialists completed the work over the Christmas break in late December. 

Photos of the renovated Black Box Theater







Taft Students in the "New" Black Box Theater




The Foundation Board of Directors:

Denine Hermesdorf-Anderson (1988 alumna)
Lynn Halicki Arnold (1970 alumna)
Rich Bolinder (1970 alumnus)
Art Ellingsen (1968 alumnus)
Michelle Falco (2006 alumna)
Carol Gerhardt Horschke (1944 alumna) Honorary Director
Penni Eichen Isaacson (1959 alumna)
Frank Klimala (1973 alumnus)
Dr. Art Tarvardian (Emeritus Principal of Taft High School)
Rick Winge (1970 alumnus)
Bob Zaun (1958 alumnus)

Note: This is the foundation website for William Howard Taft High School located in Chicago, Illinois