City of Chandler honors several inductees at Celebration Plaza Monument

Jan. 9, 2023
Photo of Celebration Plaza monument at Tumbleweed Park in Chandler, AZ

CHANDLER, Ariz. – The 2022 Celebration Plaza honorees will be recognized Saturday, Jan. 28 at 9 a.m. at Celebration Plaza inside Tumbleweed Park.

Celebration Plaza, a permanent water feature and monument wall near the center of Tumbleweed Park, is a place where the Chandler City Council recognizes organizations or individuals for their civic leadership, public outreach and outstanding personal service and commitment to the community. Nominations are open to members of the public each year. After nominations are made, the Chandler Museum Foundation forwards recommendations to the Chandler City Council for final selection.

This year’s honorees include:

  • Willie Arbuckle, Robert Turner, Artie Mae Turner, Joella Arbuckle, Ernestine Jackson, Willie Ruth Payne, J. L. Payne and Nina Loftan

These eight Black students integrated Chandler High School in 1949, five years before the Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education integrated schools nationwide.  After attending segregated schools in Mesa, Phoenix and Chandler’s Goodyear School, these groundbreaking students opened the school year as juniors, sophomores and freshmen at Chandler High.  Willie Arbuckle and Robert Turner became the first Black students to graduate from the school in 1951.

  • Major General Jackson and Barbara Bogle

Arriving in Chandler to run the Pecos Valley Alfalfa Mill, the Bogles also operated a feed lot and vast farmland. General Bogle was adjutant general of the Arizona National Guard and served on the CUSD governing board. Barbara, known for her philanthropic service, led organizations including PTAs, Chandler Historical Society, Chandler Service Club and Philanthropic Education Organization. Bogle Junior High and a theater at Chandler Center for the Arts are named in their honor.

  • Reverend Joseph Patterson

Few faith leaders have had as large an impact on the Chandler community as Reverend Joseph Patterson. A pastor at the original St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Father Patterson believed in the importance of education.  During his time in Chandler, he helped to establish St. Mary-Basha School and Seton Catholic High School.  Father Patterson also supported Chandler’s youth by establishing sports leagues, notably organizing Chandler’s first little league baseball teams.

Celebration Plaza is at the center of Tumbleweed Park, which is located at 2250 S. McQueen Road, on the southwest corner.

Chandler Museum is an innovative learning environment where the community comes together to share our stories, store our cultural heritage, and experience Chandler as a people and place. The vision of the Museum is to be the community’s principal resource to explore its people’s history, culture, and place in a rapidly changing world of today – within and without the walls of a building. More information can be found at Chandler Museum.

Media Contact:
Jody Crago
Chandler Museum