Hall of Fame Inductees

See our latest inductees listed below! Click on any inductee's name to learn more.

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James H. Napier (Business & Commerce)

1889 – 1960

James H. Napier was born in Martinsburg, New York in 1889. Educated at Groton, Mercersburg and the University of Pennsylvania, he graduated from the latter at the age of 19.

He became associated with the Napier Company in Meriden in 1914, becoming its president in 1920. In the next four decades James H. Napier piloted the company bearing his family name into becoming an internationally recognized producer, manufacturer, and design leader of high-quality jewelry and related items. The Napier Company, which today employs some 1,000 persons and is expanding its facilities at home and abroad, will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 1990.

James H. Napier was also a benefactor and supporter of numerous charitable causes in Meriden and the surrounding region. He created the Napier Foundation that supports numerous scholarships, social-service agencies, and other charitable and cultural causes in Meriden. Upon his death in 1960, James H. Napier was hailed not only as a business leader but also as a caring and compassionate community servant.

Max Muravnick (Sports)

1904 – 2007

Max Muravnick, born on August 15, 1904, made his mark early in the field of boxing. He became a prominent featherweight fighter with 54 amateur bouts and 65 professional fights to his credit. In them be was never knocked out or "tko'd." Muravnick, who trained under Denny McMahon (the manager of Louis "Kid" Kaplan), retired from boxing in 1929, after having won state and national boxing honors. His second career spanned the next 18 years, serving as a licensed State of Connecticut boxing referee. Then came his appointment as Deputy Commissioner with the state's Athletic Commission, a division of the Connecticut Consumer Protection Agency.

In 1979, the Connecticut Boxing Guild named him its "Man of the Year.” This honor was bestowed especially in recognition of his successful efforts in bringing boxing back to the Nutmeg State and to Meriden, specifically the promotion of Boxing Night at the State Armory on East Main Street.

A third career spotlights Muravnick's tireless efforts on behalf of senior citizens, especially activities related to physical fitness. In recent years, he has served as physical fitness instructor at the Adult Day Care Center, as well as a leader of exercise classes at the Senior Citizen Center. For the last 15 years he chaired or co-chaired the "Special Day for Special People," an annual event for the 60-or-older set.

Muravnick has received numerous honors and awards, including the Probus Club award for community service in 1981 and special recognition from Congressman John Rowland in 1988 for his work on behalf of senior citizens. He has also served on the City Council and has been active in Meriden Boys Club programs and at the former Connecticut School for Boys.

Robert J. Cyr (Performing Arts)

1921 – 2004

Robert Joseph Cyr, musician and educator, was born in Taunton, Massachusetts, November 2, 1921. A graduate of New England Conservatory of Music and Yale University-New Haven Teachers College, Cyr began his professional career in Meriden in 1947. His expertise in both choral and instrumental music soon became evident as his talents as teacher, musician, and Conductor unfolded within the city's public schools and the community at large.

For a period of over 40 years, students, parents, and the general public enjoyed outstanding musical performances under his leadership. Great school choruses, bands, and orchestras in Meriden and surrounding communities led to productions of major Broadway musicals. In 1967, Meriden's Probus Club and the Meriden Board of Education jointly recognized Cyr's musical successes by naming him "Educator of the Year."

Cyr's appointment as Music Supervisor in 1972 allowed him to extend his creative talents to the adult community. Some highlights of this period include: founder of a citywide Boy Soprano Choir; founder and music director of The Meriden Community Chorus; violist and guest conductor of the Meriden Symphony; creator of the widely acclaimed "Singing Christmas Tree"; conductor of major oratorios; organizer of artistic programs for the community; founder and first president of The Rosa Ponselle Fund of Meriden; founder and teacher of "Exploring Opera" within the Meriden Adult Evening School Program.

Throughout his career, Cyr has received numerous recognitions and citations from local and state agencies for his continuing contributions to the artistic and cultural life of the region.

Warren F. Gardner (Media)

1909 – 2003

Warren F. Gardner, born in Meriden on January 20, 1909, graduated from Meriden High School and the St. Lawrence University. He began his career in newspaper work as a reporter for the Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times in 1932 and later worked for the Troy (N.Y.) Record, before returning to Meriden as assistant to Thomas H. Warnock, the first editor of The Morning Record. Upon Warnock's death, Gardner succeeded to the editorship of The Record, a position he held for 24 years until his retirement in 1979.

As a journalist and editor, Gardner received recognition from a number of professional organizations, among them the prestigious New England Society of Newspaper Editors, of which he was a charter member, and the Associated Press. A series of articles that he wrote in 1954 on the 185-mile hike along the historic Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpath with U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas won the Justice's commendation and the praise of many readers. Since 1977, Gardner's twice-a-week column in The Record-Journal has attracted a wide and dedicated readership. The title of the essay-type column "Of All Things" suggests its scope; many of the pieces relate to aspects of the history of Meriden and the Meriden area. Gardner is considered Meriden's premier historian and scholar.