Members of the Class of 1954 who recently attended a reunion at North Manchester High School (L to R) front center is: Jerry Purdy, distinguished alumni; first row: Ann Ambridge Kreider, Carol Tracy Haw, Cynthia Findley Stewart, Karin Loeser Press, German exchange student; back row: Sally Johnson Cosby, Wendell Dilling, Sue Lindzy England, Dick Holderman, Carolyn Schuler Eppley and Carol Moore Walker-Dick. Photo Provided
Members of the Class of 1954 who recently attended a reunion at North Manchester High School (L to R) front center is: Jerry Purdy, distinguished alumni; first row: Ann Ambridge Kreider, Carol Tracy Haw, Cynthia Findley Stewart, Karin Loeser Press, German exchange student; back row: Sally Johnson Cosby, Wendell Dilling, Sue Lindzy England, Dick Holderman, Carolyn Schuler Eppley and Carol Moore Walker-Dick. Photo Provided
NORTH MANCHESTER – Alumni of four high schools gathered June 28 at Manchester High School for their fifth reunion, scheduled annually for the fourth Saturday in June.
Graduates of Central, Chester, Laketon and Manchester high schools were joined by a guest from Hamlin, Germany. Karin Press was an exchange student, and joined her former classmates in celebration of the 60th anniversary of their 1954 graduation. Press resided with the Noffsinger family while studying in North Manchester.
According to a press release, it was fortuitous that an exchange student was present. Teacher David Zinsmeister and Principal Nancy Alspaugh presented the program “Beyond the Classroom, Beyond Our Borders,” a description of the Manchester-Bergsstedt student exchange program. Ten to 12 North Manchester students, along with accompanying teachers, spent three weeks in Bergstedt, Germany, absorbing the culture and sites. They returned home to host students and teachers from the school in Bergstedt for three weeks in North Manchester and places of interest in Wabash County.
This student exchange program is expected to be ongoing and is partially sponsored by the Community Foundation. The presentation generated enthusiastic reviews from attendees with some wistfulness of missed opportunties.
The Distinguished Alumni Awards has become one of the highlights of this annual affair, according the release. Recipients, nominated anonymously, for this year were Phil Enyeart, Thelma Butler, Jerry Purdy, Karl Merritt, and Jane Spencer Craney.
Nancy Alspaugh kept the evening moving from the “Welcome” to the “Closing Remarks.” Special recognition was given the 50th Anniversary Class (1964) as well as the 45th (1969), 55th (1959) and 60th (1954) anniversary classes. Introductions of administration and former teachers followed the “Celebration of Life,” recognizing currently deceased alumni.
Group singing included “I’m Proud to Be an American,” preceded by recognition of all veterans in attendance, and the traditional singing of the four school songs.
Rousing applause for Becky Landes, head cook, echoed through the gym. Billed as “the best cook and most accommodating lady you will ever meet” Landes’ menu is enough to make non-Manchester alumni regret their lack of credentials for invitation to Manchester’s big event.
According to the release, Leo Judy should qualify for the “Fearless Award” as he serves on the alumni committee with seven “get-r-done” women including Jane Ann Airgood, Beverly Cook, Janene Dawes, Donna Harman, Jackie Ihnen, Brenda Landis and Lois Scott. Dedication, organizational skills and selflessness typifies these eight people, according to the release, with their only compensation being the satisfaction of increased attendance from year to year.
The next reunion will be June 27, 2015.