CHS Ultimate Frisbee Founders, Bernard “Buzzy” Hellring, Jr. (CHS ‘70), Joel Silver (CHS ‘70) and Jonathan H. “Jonny” Hines (CHS ‘70); and former Vogue, Editor-in-Chief, Grace Mirabella (CHS ‘46) to Join the Hall of Fame
The CHS “Hall of Fame” Committee will be hosting the 2022 Columbia High School (CHS) Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Wednesday, June 8 in the CHS Auditorium starting at 9am.
This year the Hall of Fame Committee will induct four more alumni to their illustrious list. The recipients of this year’s honor are the trio of students who brought Ultimate Frisbee to CHS and the world, Joel Silver (CHS ‘70), Jonathan H. “Jonny” Hines (‘70) and Bernard “Buzzy” Hellring, Jr. (CHS ‘70, passed in 1971); and Grace Mirabella (CHS ‘46), former Editor in Chief, Vogue magazine (passed in 2021).
As noted in the USA Ultimate website “In the summer of 1968, Joel Silver was introduced to a “frisbee football” type game while participating in an educational enrichment program at the Mount Hermon School in Northfield, Mass. After returning to Columbia High School in Maplewood, N.J., that fall, he got a motion passed at the student council to introduce Frisbee into the curriculum. Together with his friends Bernard “Buzzy” Hellring and Jonathan “Jonny” Hines, they got other students to play their new game and refined the rules, producing a written “first edition” of the rules for the sport Joel dubbed “Ultimate Frisbee” and naming their group the “Columbia High School Varsity Frisbee Squad” in early 1970″ where the game was played in the CHS student parking lot.
The three classmates laid the foundation required to permit the transformation of a recreational activity into a sport over the following years. Ultimate Frisbee today is still played largely according to the rules developed by Joel, Buzzy, and Jonny and is now eligible as an Olympic sport as of the 2028 in Los Angeles, CA. The bios of the founders of the CHS Ultimate Frisbee team:
- Joel Silver is currently an accomplished Hollywood producer, producing dozens of films including the Lethal Weapon series, the first two Die Hard films, and The Matrix series.
- Jonathan “Jonny” Hines, who founded the Princeton team and played in the first college game ever — the Rutgers-Princeton match-up played before more than 1,000 spectators in 1972, is now an international attorney splitting time between New York and Moscow.
- Tragically, Bernard “Buzzy” Hellring, Jr. died in an automobile accident while returning to college at Princeton University in the spring of 1971. He was the son of Bernard Hellring and Sally Horner Hellring of South Orange, New Jersey, part of the South Orange-Maplewood School District. He was posthumously elected into the Ultimate Hall of Fame.
Grace Mirabella was born in Newark, NJ on June 10, 1929 to the parents of Italian immigrants. When she was in Junior High they moved to Maplewood where she attended Maplewood Junior High School and Columbia HS, graduating in 1946. She was editor in chief of Vogue magazine from 1971-1988. During her time there she took the magazine from a circulation falling towards 400,000 in 1971 to rising above a million and half in 1988. Ms. Mirabella went on to found Mirabella, a magazine for women as interested in culture and travel as in clothes and interior design. Ms. Mirabella passed away at the age of 92 on December 23, 2021.
In the mid-1980s, the CHS “Hall of Fame” Committee was established as part of the Student Council, to recognize the vast accomplishments of its graduates. In 1985, the Hall of Fame inducted its first two alumni – Senior U.S. Circuit Judge, Amalya Kearse, and world-renowned actor, Roy Scheider. Since then, every year, the committee has inducted anywhere from 1-4 former students who had demonstrated academic excellence during their time at CHS and have gone on to influence the world around them in positively meaningful ways. This yearly event is open to all CHS students, faculty, staff, and members of the Board of Education.