(07/02/2016)
By Bob Weaver

Over 450 attend CHS Alumni Day

July 7, 2001

Over 450 attended the 14th annual Alumni Reunion at Calhoun High School yesterday. Calhoun Superintendent of Schools Ron Blankenship welcomed the visitors to the Mt. Zion campus. He spoke of the many changes in education over the years. "In 1940 there were 77 schools in the county, and today there are five," he said.

Ila Grey Snider, long-time organizer of the event and Ron Blankenship, Superintendent of Schools welcomes visitors

Two of the oldest graduates attending: Jack Ferguson, age 94, of Class of '28 and Alma Offutt Fowler, age 93, of Class of '27

Blankenship expressed concern over last years 8% loss of student population. He felt the losses had bottomed-out. "The system has excellent teachers and service personnel," he said, and expressed gratitude for the $3 million extra dollars raised through grants.

"We welcome you to our wonderful facility, and particularly the anniversary classes," said Roger Propst, Principal of Facilities and Sports. Propst called attention to Alumni Hall at the school and the new championship banners which have been hung in the gyms.

He said all class sports championships have now been recognized, including the school's State Academic Championship in 1999. He said the banners have been financed with "faith" that alumni and others will donate to help pay for the $100 banners.

Propst said the new athletic complex is moving ahead with new roof joists being placed on the facilities building and progress made on the press box. He said the Calhoun County Athletic Complex Committee has recommended a return to Wayne Underwood Field for the fall football season.

"It is doubtful if we play our first game (August 24) on the new field," he said. He acknowledged a major anonymous contribution toward the purchase of bleachers. "We really need a lot of financial help to make it happen," he concluded.

Master of Ceremonies William L. Ice presented the alumni scholarship to John M. Sampson, Class of 2001. Louise Cox of the anniversary class of 1966 extended a special welcome to alumni and guests.

John Sampson 2001 receives alumni scholarship

Participating in ceremonies (L to R) William Ice (1948) master of ceremonies, Louise Cox (1966), Ivy Von Yoak (1941), Loretta Poling Godfrey (1951)

Loretta Poling Godfrey, speaking for the anniversary class of 1951, said about 35 of her classmates returned to the special event. "We had about 101 in our class, and 20 are deceased." She acknowledged the enormous financial contributions of over $100,000 made to the school from the Kitty Leggett Trust, in addition to the library and scholarship funds.

Ivy Von Yoak, representing the anniversary class of 1941, acknowledged the hard work of Ila Grey Snider and her associates over the years in organizing Alumni Day. "How swiftly the sands have run," said Yoak, speaking about the past 60 years and his class of 97 pupils.

He recalled the Class of '41 was the only class that had ever won a football game by the impossible score of 1-0. "It was a forfeit," he said. He recognized former principal and educator Don McGlothlin who "had the guts and stood his ground" to later get fired. McGlothlin was told by the school board he must make a student pledge allegiance to the United States of America, and he declined.

The case went "all the way to the United States Supreme Court who decided in McGlothlin's favor," and became one of the major landmark decisions of the American court system. McGlothlin had to leave Calhoun County, but became a leading educator and author.

Yoak said "Don wanted an education so badly he put a clean shirt in a paper bag, went up the river to Glenvile college, prepared to sleep in the woods."

A luncheon was served in the "commons area" of the still new Calhoun Middle/High School at Mt. Zion, with mini-reunions, picture taking and school tours.

Mt. Zion U. M. Church serves luncheon in "commons"

The alumni event is a favorite of older alumni, since no graduate from any class during the past thirty years registered.

Well-known teachers Elva Yoak (L) and Eloise Gunn Divers (R)

Old friends from the past (L to R) Mary Louise Smith, Eloise Howard Bower, Jean Shock, Betty Ross and Freda Yoak

Class of 1932: Arnold Yoak, Lucille Gainer, Paul Brannon, Wesley and Stella Chenoweth

Returning to share old memories


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