Alumni and guests met at the Emmitsburg Ambulance Building on October 21, 2023, to renew friendships and share memories. Approximately 130 people were present. Dinner was served by Keystone Restaurant. Bill Wivell offered the blessing.
The program began with prayer and the pledge. President Alan Brauer recognized Veterans and public service personnel. Secretary Connie Baker Fisher’s minutes and treasurer Sam Valentine’s report were approved.
Assistant Secretary Vickie Valentine Frushour shared the names of the five scholarship winners: Lily Clare Bingman, Rianna Chaney, Sheridan Chaney, Savannah Morris, and Mackenizie Orndorff. She introduced Savannah and Mackenize to the groups. A short introduction was shared on each of the scholars.
During the business meeting, President Brauer brought up the possibility of moving an evening dinner banquet to a luncheon, so the aging group would not have to drive after dark. The audience was asked to think about it, and the topic would be revisited at next year’s banquet.
Three copies of “Emmitsburg High School in The Emmitsburg Chronicle” were given as a result of a drawing.
Historian Joyce Meadows Bruchey acknowledged the honor classes: 1948, 1953, 1958, 1963, and 1968. Each graduate introduced themselves. A drawing for each class resulted in a person from that class winning a $25.00 gift card. Bruchey then shared information about the class and its year.
There was no one present from the class of 1948, the last class to only attend 11 years. Mrs. Leary, a favorite first-grade teacher, began her teaching career. Future Farmers of America had 33 members, reflecting the strong agricultural community.
Class of 1953 graduated the year when WFMD radio station came on the air, and Route 15, between Emmitsburg and Thurmont, began improvements. Emmitsburg Community Show was held on October 31. This class was the first class to graduate in the new auditorium. Currently, the old school auditorium was being converted to two classrooms where town offices are located today. Discussion began on the need for a kindergarten.
The class of 1958 was the smallest of the honored classes—11 students, with 3 boys and 8 girls. The girls’ basketball team had a successful season. Christmas break ran from December 20 to January 6. That winter saw two big snow storms. The one in mid-February closed school for most of the week for rural children. The mid-March storm was reported as one of the worst in a quarter century. All power lines were down and no help was available from surrounding areas because the blizzard impacted those states as well.
The class of 1963 saw the introduction of zip codes and polio vaccinations. Land negotiations began for the new Catoctin High School. Christmas assembly presented the Prince of Peace, with caroling in the main hall to start the school day.
The last class to graduate from Emmitsburg High was the class of 1968. It was also the largest class. The junior and senior classes were so large they were divided into two sections. Seven new teachers joined the faculty. The class recognized the custodian, cafeteria staff, and bus drivers who had served the school through the years. The boards of education were debating introducing sex education.
At the end of her presentation, Bruchey shared that the class of 1928 had only eight members, and not only had they created a 40-page yearbook, but they printed an entire issue of The Chronicle. At the class’ 54th reunion, seven of the eight attended. Next year, the alumni will celebrate its 100th anniversary, and may the class of 1928 be an inspiration for attendance.
The meeting was closed with a reading of the current year’s obituaries by Phyliss Chatlos Kelly, and a moment of silence was observed. President Brauer closed the evening by thanking all who helped make the evening successful.
The last and largest class to graduate from Emmitsburg High School was the class of 1968: (from left) Lena Wastler Stull, George Baker, Dennis Valentine, Robert Saylor, Wanda Meadows Valentine, Terry Maddox, Frances Wagerman Black, and Dale Valentine.
George Kuhn, who was the last boys’ coach at Emmitsburg High School, shared his enjoyable experience while coaching there for five years.
2023 Colorfest’s remarkable turnout; Photo by Helen Xia