HAMMOND │ Three distinguished individuals who have roots in Lake County and “have changed the world” were inducted Thursday as 2012 South Shore Legends.
The induction ceremony at the Indiana Welcome Center honored Avery Brooks, an accomplished actor from Gary best known for his role as Benjamin Sisko in “Star Trek”; John Edward “Jack” Chevigny, who attended Hammond High School and whose touchdown for Notre Dame inspired a famous quote; and Sue Hendrickson, who left Munster High School before graduating but would discover the bones of the largest T-Rex dinosaur ever.
Their plaques will join others from Northwest Indiana on the Wall of Legends at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond. South Shore Legends have demonstrated innovation, exploration, courage and creativity.
John Davies, Wall of Legends project coordinator, said the induction ceremony was a reminder “of the greatness in Northwest Indiana and the great people we have.”
“Greatness starts with an individual who just doesn’t give up,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of Avery Brooks’ family was Mark Spencer, director of the West Side Theatre Guild, who said Brooks’ story is a unique and impactful one. Brooks was chosen in part for his desire to be a role model for children, especially boys, that “anything is possible in their lives.
Chevigny, who scored the touchdown for Notre Dame that inspired Ronald Reagan to adopt the line "Win one for the Gipper," was killed in action while serving as a Marine during the early days of the invasion of Iwo Jima.
Chevigny’s story was told by his nephew, John Edward Chevigny, and retired Marine Corps Gen. Dean Sangalis.
The T-Rex that Hendrickson discovered, which is known as “Sue,” is displayed at the Field Museum of Chicago. In an email to Davies, Hendrickson said she was deeply appreciative of being honored as a South Shore Legend.
“She has fond memories of growing up in Munster,” Davies said.
The ceremony also awarded its Legends Scholarship, administered by the Legacy Foundation, to Calumet College of St. Joseph student Cosetta Irma Black.
Davies said the scholarship is awarded to someone who not only distinguished themselves with high grades but who had the tenacity to get a college education.
Black, who has a son of her own in college, said she was overwhelmed and recalled the day when she was once told she “wasn’t college material.”
Black, who grew up in Gary, earned a degree in education and is close to earning her master’s.
“I overcame a lot of obstacles,” she said.