Distinguished alumni have brought distinction or notoriety to the Academy through their personal, community, or professional achievements. Since 2002 the Academy has honored those who helped define both the school's history, and events beyond the campus. Nominations are made through the Office of Alumni Affairs and approved by the Alumni members of the Board of Trustees. To nominate someone whom you feel qualifies, please e-mail your nomination to Gayle Hurd, Administrative Assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benjamin Rush - Student of Rev. Samuel Finley, 1754-1759
1746 - 1813
Benjamin Rush was one of the most prominent Americans of the Colonial era. Best known today for his role as a signer of the Declaration of Independence and as Pennsylvania’s delegate to the Continental Congress, this graduate of Finley’s school was most famous in his own era as a physician and medical pioneer. Sometimes called the Father of American Psychology, Rush performed ground-breaking work in treating the mentally ill. He was the first professor of chemistry in America, and held a long-time appointment as professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. During the American Revolution, he served as a surgeon general to the Continental Army.
Rush was an early and influential voice opposing slavery, serving as president of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery. He was founder of Dickinson College and the American Philosophical Society.
Richard Stockton - Student of Rev. Samuel Finley, c. 1748
Richard Stockton was a well-known New Jersey attorney in Colonial America, respected enough to represent his state in the Continental Congress and to add his signature to the Declaration of Independence. His legal reputation led to his appointment as a justice in New Jersey’s Supreme Court and, eventually, to his role as its Chief Justice. Assigned by General Washington to inspect the Northern Armies during the American Revolution, Stockton was captured by the British and treated harshly as a prisoner of war. He never fully recovered from the ordeal, and died shortly thereafter, in 1781.
Richard R. Hallock - Class of 1937
1919 - 1999
Richard Hallock was a highly decorated Army hero of World War II and the Korean War, counting among his awards the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, five Bronze Stars, and a Purple Heart. A Paratrooper, Hallock’s greatest achievements were away from the battlefield. This graduate was General Lucius D. Clay’s personal aide for Intelligence during the Berlin Airlift and throughout the post-World War II reconstruction of Germany. He later led a ten-year, behind-the-scenes battle for the Army to adopt as its standard rifle the M-16, which he knew from his extensive experiences and field testing to be the most advantageous weapon for American infantrymen. After retiring from the Army at the rank of Colonel in 1967, Hallock found entrepreneurial success with his Intrec and Quaestor corporations. He served Secretary of Defense Schlesinger as his personal representative to the Shah of Iran during the Nixon and Ford administrations.
Elected a West Nottingham Trustee in 1988, Colonel Hallock made visionary thinking the highest priority and later supported the Academy’s long-range plan by contributing its first $1,000,000 gift, a challenge that was matched by other Trustees.
Eric K. Fischl - Class of 1966
Eric Fischl is a world-renowned artist whose unique vision changed contemporary art in America. He rose to prominence in the early 1980s with his paintings of suburban family life and interpersonal politics that made the human figure relevant again. He has remained a vital force ever since, creating work that compels people to confront difficult realities in their culture or their personal lives. His 2002 sculpture, Tumbling Woman, sparked national debate about memorializing the World Trade Center attacks and the role art plays in our society.
Fischl’s work can be found in the world’s most important museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Musée National d’Arte Moderne in Paris, the National Gallery in Washington DC, and dozens of others. Books have been written about his work, and he is regularly featured in publications dealing with American art or cultural commentary.
He says “What West Nottingham did for me was believe in me long before I could do that for myself.” A dormitory proctor and head waiter in his student days, Eric remains committed to the Academy and its students. In 2006, Eric served as Commencement speaker, and provided a unique educational opportunity by allowing the school to present an exhibit of his prints and drawings at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts.
Robert S. Brookings - Class of 1868
A prominent manufacturer, merchant, and philanthropist, Robert Brookings contributed to the making of national policy in the early years of the twentieth century. President of Washington University in St. Louis from 1897 – 1917, Brookings was one of three men initially drafted by President Woodrow Wilson to mobilize the economy in preparation for World War I. He founded the Brookings Institution in 1927, a public policy organization devoted to public service through research and training in economics and government. Today, it remains one of the nation’s most notable and relied upon think-tanks. Brookings’ vision for the institution was that it combined academia and public policy “without regard to the special interest of any group.” Brookings left West Nottingham before graduating, his work here remaining the highest formal education he was to receive.
John Archer - Student of Rev. Samuel Finley, c. 1756
1741 - 1810
John Archer made remarkable contributions to medicine, the Revolution, and politics in the Colonial era. In 1768, he became the first individual in the New World to receive a medical degree, graduating from what later became the University of Pennsylvania. Six years later, when rumblings of revolution were being heard, Dr. Archer served as captain of militia, and was present at the Maryland Constitutional Convention. A Congressman from 1801 to 1807, Archer returned to his medical practice after his years in the nation’s capital.
Austin L. Crothers - Class of 1875
1860 - 1912
Within a year of his graduation from law school at University of Maryland, Austin L. Crothers was named State’s Attorney for Cecil County. One contemporary noted that during this time “Crime walked with more stealthy steps and hid in deeper darkness, fearing the able and eloquent arguments of the prosecutor.”
In 1897, he was elected to the State Senate to succeed his brother, the late Charles C. Crothers. He served one term. In 1906, he was appointed the Bench of the Second Judicial Circuit, but later declined the Judgeship, not finding the work congenial. A Democrat, Crothers was elected Governor of Maryland in 1907 despite being too ill to take an active role in his campaign. Governor Crothers gave his entire time and energy to his duties, but chose not to seek re-election in 1911. His single term is noted for its economy of administration. Crothers is often seen as the father of the good roads movement in Maryland, for it was he who envisioned and committed the State to its current system of State roads.
Known to always remember his friends, Governor Crothers demonstrated loyalty to his alma mater by hosting a fund-raising banquet at the Executive Mansion for West Nottingham Academy alumni.
Harry Anderson - Class of 1950
1931 – 1998
Harry Anderson’s prowess in basketball and baseball while at West Nottingham promised him a bright future in athletics. Indeed, his baseball ability led him to a major league career. After four years of minor league ball, he was promoted to the majors where he quickly made his presence known in the Phillies starting outfield. Anderson’s best major league season was his sophomore year, 1958, when he batted .301, belted 23 home runs and batted in 97 runs. During his days at West Nottingham Academy, Anderson was very involved in athletics and student government, captaining baseball and basketball and serving as President of the Student Senate, President of the Spartan Club, and President of his Senior Class.
Alexander Martin - Student of Rev. Samuel Finley, c. 1752
1740 – 1807
Following his education at West Nottingham and the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University), Alexander Martin settled in North Carolina, where he was a merchant, and, later, a judge. A master of the art of conciliation, he was a member of the Continental Congress, and was appointed colonel of the Second North Carolina Regiment, with which he served at Charleston, Germantown and Brandywine. He served the North Carolina State Senate, 1778 – 1782, 1785, and 1787-88, serving as speaker at every session except his first two. He was acting governor of North Carolina 1781 – 1782, and was elected to the post 1782 – 1785, then again from 1789 – 1792. Having maximized the constitutional term limit for a governor, Alexander Martin was elected to the United States Senate in 1793. Defeated in 1799, he returned to the State Senate, 1804 – 1805, serving as speaker during the session of 1805.
A strong proponent of education throughout his unusually long public career, Martin received his LL.D from Princeton University in 1793. He was Trustee of the University of North Carolina, including a term as its president, from 1790 to his death in 1807.
John Henry - Student of Rev. Samuel Finley, c. 1765
John Henry was a noted Maryland statesman in the 1700s. Graduated from the college of New Jersey (later Princeton University) in 1769, he studied law in London, England, before returning to Maryland to establish his law practice. He was a member of the Maryland General Assembly, the Continental Congress, and the committee to prepare the ordinance for the government of the Northwest Territory. He was elected as one of Maryland’s inaugural members of the United States Senate in 1788, and was re-elected to the position in 1795. He resigned in 1707 to become Governor.