Bend High School will honor three distinguished alumni during Homecoming events Friday, October 24. This year’s honorees are Robert Foley, Class of 1929, a World War II veteran and original member of the Oregon Court of Appeals (Foley, who died in 1997, will be represented by sons Tom and Terry); Ryan Longwell, Class of 1992, a former National Football League kicker and Special Olympics advocate and Craig Walker, Class of 1974, a former teacher, longtime football coach and athletic director for Bend High School
“This group of outstanding former students showcases the rich contributions Bend High grads make to our community and nation,” said Principal Christopher Reese. “We are proud to honor them.”
The alumni will be recognized during events throughout the day on October 24. The honorees will attend a student assembly emceed by Bob Shaw at 11:10am in the Bend High School gym. The former students and their families will be escorted to Punk Hunnell Stadium by Principal Reese and will be recognized at 6:30pm announced by emcee Bob Shaw. The Homecoming game between Bend High School and Summit High School begins at 7:05pm.
Plaques honoring these distinguished alumni will be hung in Bend High School near other former recipients.
Biographies for Distinguished Alumni 2014
Robert Foley • Class of 1929
Robert (Bob) Foley was born in Bend in 1911. His dad was the manager of Bend Water Power and Light Company. Bobís dad died in an automobile accident when Bob was just 15. His father’s death was such a big blow to the community that his business partners, who owned the land around Pilot Butte, donated all of the acreage to the State of Oregon, and Pilot Butte State Park was created. A plaque honoring Bob and his father has been placed on the summit of Pilot Butte.
Bob took a year off from high school following his father’s death, but graduated from BSH in 1929. At Bend High, he was editor-in-chief of the Bend yearbook. His special hobby was ham radio. At age 12 he built his own small transmitter and receiver and taught himself Morse Code. The year after high school, Bob obtained a Commercial Radio Operators License and worked as a radio officer on various ships in the Pacific, traveling to Alaska, Australia, China, Japan, the Philippines and South Sea Islands.
In the fall of 1930, he enrolled at the University of Oregon. He completed his studies and earned his law degree in 1935. Mr. Foley served as the district attorney for Bend prior to his enlistment in the Army during WW II. He served as a JAG legal division during the war, serving in the South Pacific Theatre (Australia, New Guinea and the Philippines).
Upon his return from the war, Mr. Foley worked as an attorney before being appointed in 1959 by Oregon Governor Mark Hatfield to be a circuit court judge. In 1969, Governor Tom McCall appointed him as one of the original members of the Oregon Court of Appeals. Mr. Foley contributed to the community of Bend during his entire life. Upon retirement, he served in the Baptist Church Missionary Assistance Corps. He died in 1997. Photography was his life-long hobby. During his latter years, he was known as the man in Bend who was “always carrying the camera.”
Ryan Longwell • Class of 1992
Ryan Longwell was born in Seattle and moved to Bend in 1989 at the beginning of his sophomore year. At BSH, Ryan excelled in football and baseball, playing both sports year-round. He was the Lava Bears punter and kicker and earned all-league honors in both football and baseball his senior year. Throughout high school, Ryan was active in Christian ministry activities and was a leader in Bend High’s Young Life club.
Upon graduation from BSH, he enrolled at the University of California Berkeley, where he was the Bears punter and kicker, earning first team all Pac 10 honors as a punter and 2nd team all Pac 10 recognition as a kicker. While at Berkeley, he earned a bachelor’s degree in English, following in his mom’s footsteps, as she was an English teacher.
In 1997, he began a long and successful career in the National Football League, trying out as an undrafted free agent initially, then playing for Green Bay, Minnesota and Seattle over a stellar fifteen-year career. As the kicker for Green Bay he played in the 1997 Super Bowl. In 2013, the Packer organization and Green Bay community honored Ryan for his career as a Packer.
Ryan has been involved in community service activities throughout his career as a professional football player. The Longwell Family has actively supported Special Olympics, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Athletes in Action and other faith-based organizations in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Oregon. Ryan and his wife Sara were instrumental in establishing the Young Life ministry in Green Bay.
Craig Walker • Class of 1974
Craig Walker was born and raised in Bend. He attended four different elementary schools, Pilot Butte Junior High and then Bend High. In high school Craig was active in drama, letterman’s club and played both football and baseball. After graduation he matriculated to Oregon College of Education (OCE) where he played tackle on the football team. He graduated from OCE in 1979 with a degree in education. After graduation he taught English, PE and health in Baker, Oregon for two years. In 1981, Craig accepted a coaching and teaching position at Bend High, where he taught PE and health. He also began his long coaching career at BSH, accepting the head-coaching job in 1988. During his career as head coach, Craig became one of the most successful and respected high school football coaches in Oregon. Craig was the head coach from 1988 to 2011. He also served as the school’s athletic director from 2009 to 2014.
Craig Walker’s fingerprints can be found across the entire campus of Bend High. From the athletic facilities, to the classroom, to the culture of the school, his impact has been dynamic, selfless and positive. His greatest gift to the school has been the ability to build coalitions that have connected Bend High with the greater Bend community for the benefit of our school.