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Nominees for the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Class of 2015 will be accepted through Saturday, February 28, 2015, to recognize those who have made a significant contribution toward establishing and maintaining the approximately 2,186 mile footpath that passes through 14 states from Maine to Georgia.
"The fifth class to the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame will be inducted in 2015, and nominations are open for Hall of Fame nominees," said Larry Luxenberg, president of the Appalachian Trail Museum Society - the organization that oversees the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame. "Nominees should be people who have made a significant positive contribution to the Appalachian Trail and who have unselfishly devoted their time, energy and resources toward making the Appalachian Trail a national treasure."
The 20 Hall of Fame inductees named in the first four years include Myron Avery, Gene Espy, Ed Garvey, Benton MacKaye, Arthur Perkins, Earl Shaffer, Emma "Grandma" Gatewood, David A Richie, J. Frank Schairer, Jean Stephenson, William Adams Welch, Ruth Blackburn, David Field, David Sherman, David Startzell, Everett (Eddie) Stone, A. Rufus Morgan, Charles R. Rinaldi, Clarence S. Stein and Pamela Underhill. These pioneers played critical roles in building, maintaining and publicizing the Appalachian Trail, Luxenberg said.
2014 Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame honorees and representatives. From left, Ronald J. Tipton, representing Clarence S. Stein; Larry and Doris Jelley, representing A. Rufus Morgan; Pamela Underhill; and Donald Owen, representing Charles R. Rinaldi.
Nomination criteria and the nominating and selection processes for the 2015 Hall of Fame are:
Criteria - Those eligible for inclusion include anyone who has made an exceptional and positive contribution to the Appalachian Trail or Appalachian Trail community. This could be by leadership, inspiration, service, achievement or innovation. This includes, without limitation, pioneers who conceived of and developed the trail; those who organized or directed major trail organizations like the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Appalachian Trail clubs; maintaining clubs; longtime trail maintainers; leaders who promoted and protected the A.T.; hikers who have made significant accomplishments, and other persons who have enriched the culture or community of the Appalachian Trail by their association with it. Eligible persons can be living or deceased. The emphasis will be on persons who have made their contribution to the A.T. over a long period, whether or not they are still active. Six individuals were elected in the first year. The sizes of the succeeding classes will be gradually reduced to create the maximum degree of honor and exclusivity. The first few classes will be comprised primarily of important historical figures (living or deceased) rather than contemporary figures. Eligibility and selection will be determined without regard to race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin.
Nominations - Nominations will be solicited from throughout the hiking and trails community. The easiest way to submit a nomination is by using the online site https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BXNSFS3 Nominations also may be submitted using the paper nomination form. Copies of the form can be obtained at http://tinyurl.com/ouxqnzd or by requesting one from the museum. A nominator need not be a member of any hiking organization to submit a nomination. A nominator may only make one nomination per election cycle. Nominators will be asked to justify their nomination in a brief statement not exceeding 200 words that describes the nominee and why he or she fits the criteria.
Deadline for nominations - Saturday, February 28, 2015.
Hall of Fame Committee; Election - An Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Committee has been selected by the Appalachian Trail Museum Society Board of Directors to supervise the election process and to submit the finalists to the board. That committee is chaired by Jim Foster, a museum volunteer and 2007 thru-hiker of the Appalachian Trail. Other members of the committee are Noel DeCavalcante, Tom Johnson, Brian King, Gwen Loose, Larry Luxenberg, Bill O'Brien and David Sherman (a 2013 Hall of Fame inductee). The Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Committee will deliver the slate of finalists to the museum board by March 15, 2015, for subsequent review and elections. The Appalachian Trail Museum Society Board elected six people to the 2011 Charter Class, five to the 2012 Class, five to the 2013 Class, and four to the 2014 Class. Up to four inductees may be elected to the 2015 Class.
Announcement and recognition of inductees - Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame inductees will be announced in early May and the induction ceremony will be on Friday, June 5, 2015, at the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Banquet at the Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. The inductees will be enshrined on an Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Wall of Honor at the Appalachian Trail Museum. Located in Pine Grove Furnace State Park and at the midway point of the Appalachian Trail, the museum is across from the Pine Grove General Store on Pennsylvania Route 233.