More than 200 people are expected to attend the first Union R-XI Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony Saturday, Sept. 9, honoring past figures in the school’s athletic history.

Nearly all Hall of Fame inductees will be present at the ceremony, former Union Athletic Director Chris Arand said.

A social hour will begin at 5 p.m., and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The Hall of Fame is a long time coming, Arand said.

“We want people to understand that there are some really great players, teams and coaches throughout our history,” Arand said.

A 15-member committee was formed to shape the Hall of Fame and decide its inductees.

The committee includes Superintendent Dr. Steve Weinhold, Arand, a school board member and the booster club president, as well as 11 former coaches and community members.

The group established bylaws, which are on the Union Wildcat Athletics website, http://urxi-mo.schoolloop.com/athletics/home, and set up the nomination process.

There are four categories a person may be nominated for, including:

Athlete — athletes must be a graduate of UHS and out of school for at least 10 years;

Team — eligible after 10 years;

Coach — eligible three years after retirement; and

Sports Contributor — person or group who have made outstanding contributions or have given support to the positive development of the UHS athletic program.

The booster club will help fund the hall of fame. Donations are being accepted to help offset the startup costs, particularly with the interactive display.

The first class of inductees includes 20 athletes, teams or coaches. The three teams Arand said are being inducted are the 1943 men’s basketball team, and the 1983 volleyball and football teams, all three of which are the highest finishing teams in Union athletics history.

“We feel like we need to make up for lost time,” Arand explained, noting that after the first class, induction groups will be smaller.

The inductees will be displayed at a new addition near Union High School’s gymnaisum, inside the school. A 46-inch display will rotate photos of the inductees, while two side displays provide information about the inductees.

The inductees also will be introduced at the football game Friday night.

Arand, who was at the helm of the project and retired from Union to work at St. Francis Borgia Regional High School earlier this year, said the Hall of Fame ceremony will be bittersweet.

“It’s bittersweet because this will be my last event for Union. It will be hard to give that up. I have a lot invested in it and it is my home town,” Arand said.