Lincoln High School Wall of Fame inducts class of ‘23
By City Times staff
The Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School Alumni Wall of Fame Class of 2023 was unveiled at commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 27.
Inductees receive a plaque and are permanently recognized on the new Alumni Wall of Fame in the lobby of the main entrance of Lincoln High School. A candidate’s career, achievement, contribution, or service must fall into one of several categories.
The 2023 honorees are Philleo Nash, Capt. William Metzger Jr., David Kievet and Andrew Stephens.
Philleo Nash, a 1926 LHS grad, was an American government official, anthropologist, and politician. His first love was music, but his curiosity led him beyond that discipline to the arts and rituals of families, communities, and tribes from around the world. For the greater part of his career, he applied the insights of anthropology to public service. In 1986, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Applied Anthropology.
Philleo graduated from the University of Wisconsin and received his Ph.D. in anthropology at the the University of Chicago in 1935.
Shortly after the US entered World War II, in 1942, he was called to Washington, D.C. to work for the Office of War Information. Soon, he became the White House liaison from that office to President Roosevelt.
When his daughters reached school age he determined to keep them out of the city’s segregated school system. He and other parents founded the progressive, parent-owned Georgetown Day School, which was the first non-segregated school in the area.
From 1946-52, Philleo served as Special Assistant to President Truman for minority affairs, where he advocated for fair employment practices, an end to segregation in the army, and solutions for communities displaced by the war in Europe.
Following Truman’s defeat, Philleo returned to Wisconsin, becoming Chair of the State Democratic Party. He served as Lieutenant Governor 1959–61. Appointed by President Kennedy as Commissioner of Indian Affairs, he returned to Washington and served there until 1966. He then went back to teaching, heading a program at American University for students with special educational needs. He returned to Wisconsin in 1977 to manage his family’s Biron Cranberry Company.
Philleo died in 1987. He is survived by one daughter, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Cpt. William J. Metzger Jr.
Captain William (Bill) J. Metzger Jr. is a 1959 graduate of Lincoln High School. He received seven varsity letters for participating in football, basketball and tennis. Bill graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in June 1964 and immediately began his 26-year Naval career.
Commissioned an Ensign in October 1964, he earned his Naval Aviator “Wings of Gold” in April 1966. After nearly 40 combat missions over North Vietnam, flying the F-8 Crusader off the carrier USS BON HOMME RICHARD, Bill was shot down near Hanoi on May 19, 1967. Captured immediately with extensive shrapnel wounds and a fractured right leg, he would remain a Prisoner of War for the next six years.
After Operation Homecoming in 1973, Bill earned a Master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School during a period that involved five major leg operations. Following that, but before retiring from the Navy in 1990, Bill flew the F-4 Phantom with Fighter Squadron 21, spent three years in the Pentagon, commanded a four-state recruiting district in the Pacific Northwest, and finally, for the last five years, served as the Comptroller of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. For his service, Bill has been awarded 15 medals including the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, three Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.
For the past 50 years, Bill has given back to his community by speaking publicly to civic, fraternal, educational, and military groups. Bill and his wife, Bonnie, a 1961 graduate of Lincoln High, have three daughters and seven grandchildren. They now reside in Gig Harbor, Wash.
Dave Kievet graduated with honors from Lincoln High School in 1979, where he was described as a “classic overachiever.”
Though math and science were not his strongest subjects, Dave focused his talent, earning a construction administration degree from UW-Madison and now leads one of the largest national construction firms in the country.
In college, Dave served as the Construction Club president and tutored Engineering Graphics students while he put himself through school. Shortly after graduating in 1984, Dave began his construction career. In 1988, he combined his hands-on knowledge of construction, a strong work ethic, and a sense of entrepreneurship and took a major leap forward by purchasing a commercial construction company where he had been working and renamed it Kievet Construction Services. A few years later, he began working as a field engineer for The Boldt Company, overtime overseeing some of the company’s most high-profile projects. He eventually achieved the position of president of the company.
Dave is active in the community, having served as a board member for United Way Portage County, the Chancellors Advisory Council for UW Stevens Point, a Rotary Club member, and an Adjunct Professor at UW-Madison. Dave is a board member for New North, Inc., and is the current Campaign Co-Chair for the United Way Fox Cities.
In 2022, he was named a Wisconsin Titan of Industry, which recognizes the top 100 CEOs and C-level executives in the state of Wisconsin for exceptional leadership, passion, and influence in their field.
Dave lives in Appleton with his wife, Teresa. He has four children and three grandchildren.
Andrew Stephens is a 1982 graduate of Lincoln High School. He was a five-time varsity letter winner. Andrew was a member of the 1980 LHS Football team that won the Wisconsin Valley Championship and was the No. 2 ranked team in the state that year.
After high school, Andrew attended UW-Madison, majoring in Economics with a Mathematics emphasis. He graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science degree.
Andrew began his work career with Strong Capital Management. He then joined Artisan Partners where he founded the Growth Investment Team and worked as a Portfolio Manager. The company grew rapidly and ultimately went public on the NYSE. He retired from Artisan in 2018 and founded his own software company, Peaksware, which was recognized as one of the 50 best Mid Size Companies in Colorado from 2019-2022.
Andrew ranked No. 1 as the portfolio manager in 2000 by Barron’s magazine. In 2011 and 2016, he and his team were chosen as the Midcap Equity Managers of the Year, based on voting from industry peers.
Andrew and his wife, Jane and their four children are actively involved in the community. He served as Chairman of the Milwaukee Big Brothers and Big Sisters agency. They have established a foundation and contribute generously to charitable organizations in the greater Milwaukee area.
Andrew is a success story of the value of education, hard work, and foundational values. Along with the example from his mother, he credits the education he received at LHS, the mentoring by his coaches and the relationships with his football teammates with giving him insight into what “right looks like.”
Inductees for the 2024 class are being sought. The committee looks for LHS grads who are role models who can “inspire students to continue the tradition of excellence which defines the Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln community.” Nomination forms are available at the district’s website at www.wrps.org. The selection committee consists of eleven current and former WRPS employees, LHS Alumni, and representatives of local non-profit organizations.