2013 AHS Distinguished Alumni announced

Published 6:33 pm Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy

An artist and an accomplished Navy pilot will be honored as this year’s distinguished Austin High School alumni.

Jocelyn “Joy” (Morgan) Dey, class of 1963; and Thomas J. Murphy, class of 1976 have been selected by the Austin High School Alumni & Friends Association as the 2013 Distinguished Alumni. Dey and Murphy plan to travel to Austin for a reception and dinner on Thursday, Sept. 26, along with taking in AHS Homecoming festivities Friday, Sept. 27.

Dey, of Duluth, Minn., is a career graphic designer, musician and water color artist who for many years served as an art director for Pfeiffer Hamilton Publishing. During this time, Dey, a 1963 valedictorian, designed many award-winning books, including “Old Turtle,” and “The Quilt Maker’s Gift,” which both won the American Booksellers Book of the Year award.

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For many years, Dey was a member of the Duluth Community Orchestra and she remains a member of The Vermilion Strings Quartet. She’s also a member of the Lake Superior Watercolor Society.

Her book “Agate: What Good is a Moose?” won the Midwest Booksellers Association’s “Choice Award for Best Children’s Book” in 2008 and the Independent Publishers Gold Award for Children’s Picture Book in 2008.

Dey encourages students to always do their best, give their best performance or make the best product they can make.

“Really take pride in what you do and let the money follow, if it will,” Dey said. “Build a good reputation as the go-to person in your field.”

Murphy, of Owings, Md., has had a long career in the Navy as a Navy pilot and test pilot. In recent years, Murphy served as the program manager and principal assistant program manager for PMS-415 Naval Sea Systems Command. His career includes receiving two Meritorious Service medals, the “V” (valor and heroism in aerial combat) Air Medal Award and the “Strike Flight” Air Medal Award, among many other achievements and awards. Murphy also flew 41 total combat missions in the first Gulf War, and accumulated more than 3,000 flight hours and 300 carrier landings.Murphy, who also participates in various fundraising activities and supports his local food bank, advises students to be leaders, not followers and to set both long- and short-term goals. Your work ethic means everything, he added.

Joy Dey

Joy Dey

“Do not only know the ‘how’ but know the ‘why’,” Murphy said. “Learn continually – learn something new every day. Embrace education, then put it to use.”

The public is invited to attend the Sept. 26 reception and dinner for this year’s Distinguished Alumni at the Hormel Historic Home in Austin. Tickets must be purchased Sept. 24 for the 6 p.m. dinner by calling the Austin Public Education Foundation office at 460-1938.

A school assembly is set for the morning of Sept. 26 at Austin High’s Knowlton Auditorium to honor Dey and Murphy, who each will speak to the AHS student body.