PioneerTheAlumni NewsletterFor alumni and friends of University High School, College of Education, Illinois State UniversityVol. 10 No. 1 Winter 2005Homecoming 2004: A Celebration of AlumniContinuing the tradition of a true homecoming for alumni, theUniversity High School Alumni Association (UHSAA) sponsoredthe annual social prior to the football game. Hundreds of alumni,boosters, and students mingled in the north gym of HortonFieldhouse eating Gondolas and reconnecting with old friends.Door prizes were drawn to the delight of the crowd. The U-HighMarching Pioneers wrapped up the event by parading through thecrowd and playing the school song just prior to kick-off.Several classes marked milestone reunions. The Class of 1984had a terrific turnout. The Classes of 1943, 1944, 1969, and 1994also celebrated and each had a strong showing of classmates.Earlier in the day, UHSAA award recipients spoke at an allschool assembly. Jeff Fritzen ’70 encouraged students to lookbeyond their self-interests and to value each day and leave something of value behind. Neil Hermanowicz ’71 brought severalchuckles from the students with his slide showthat emphasized that1you should believein yourself even ifyou’re a late bloomer, that high school friends are friends for life,and that there is life after high school if you stay alert and surround yourself with education and family. Sam Mungo ’81, unableto attend in person, sent a video of one his performances. His parents accepted the award on his behalf. Sandra Koepke Savignon ’57reminisced about the limitations that girls confronted in the 1950s.She challenged students to think about what they will be doing in50 years and the changes that will occur during that time.Once again Homecoming proved to be an opportunity toreconnect with familiar faces and happy memories. Mark your calendars! Next year’s Homecoming is set for September 30, 2005.32A Big PioneerThank You4Many thanks to our generousHomecoming door-prize donors:51.) 50-year royalty Dean Sears ’54 and Glen Plotner ’54 ride in the convertible caravan at halftime.2.) Walter Fox ’84 and Tom Jacob ’84.3.) Dan Kraft ’84 displays his gratitude to Gary Wilcox ’84 for traveling the greatest distance to their 20th-year reunion.4.) Dan Kraft ’84, Angie Kath Coughlin ’84, and Tracy Semmler Schuler ’84 cheer on the fighting Pioneers.5.) Kris Albert Burke ’79, Jill Wainscott Yek ’79, and Cathy Blunk Lais ’79.See page 9 for more 2004 Homecoming photos!Casey’s Garden Shop, Casey Lartz ’75The Garlic Press, Sarah BushnellMcMangus ’84Angelica’s Heaven on Earth, NicoleBourne Durham ’85Jean’s Flower BasketThe Coffee HoundThe Gingerbread HouseFairlakes Golf CourseIllinois State University AthleticsU-High Athletic DepartmentU-High Theatre Department
President’s LetterBy Marty Kiesewetter ’76This is my first letter as president of the UHSAA to my fellow distinguished alums of University High School. Please be kind and try notto be too critical of my grammar and literary style. The last time I waspublished was in the 1976 Clarion that was secretly edited by our yearbook sponsor—the eternally youthful Peggy Scott.I will not use this forum to ask you to volunteer or pledge donations. It is obvious that these elements are very important to the continued success of our association in promoting alumni relations, bringing together old classmates at Homecoming, helping organize classreunions, publishing this outstanding newsletter twice a year, maintaining our Web site, recognizing our accomplished alums, and highlighting the need to support the lab school system through your generousdonations. Okay, that message has been duly delivered to appease thoseto whom I am accountable, so let’s reconnect.As I approach the 30th anniversary of my graduation, I can’t helpbut think about the experiences and relationships of my high schoolyears. From the emotional and educational, to the trite and trivial, Iseem to remember high school experiences better than any other periodof my life. My recollection of names and events has been clouded, butnot eliminated with the passage of time. And of course I’m fairly certain that the memories are actually better than the reality of thosetimes.Each era of graduates has their music, movies, hangouts, fads, andpastimes. For my class, eight-track players blared out the tunes of theRolling Stones, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Foreigner, Hall & Oates,KISS, Jackson Browne, REO Speedwagon, Todd Rundgren, and PurePrairie League, to name a few. The lounge had a jukebox that seemedto alternate between Mick Jagger’s “Angie” and the oldie-but-goodie“Blue Suede Shoes.”We hung out at the Union Rec Center and played pinball. Hightech arcade games such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders had not yetarrived. We played Strat-O-Matic, the precursor to fantasy baseball, inone of my friend’s attics, or we just lounged around the basement ofanother friend and listened to him teach himself guitar while singing,“Amie, whatcha goin’ do?” On Sunday nights, we would seldom missan episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus on PBS very educational!We wore bell-bottoms with platform shoes, played basketball invery short shorts, and had very BIG hair. Many co-eds wore bib overalls. I also recall the handmade “chokers” adorning many classmates’necks.We ate pizza at Ragusa’s, Mr. Kelly’s, and Tobin’s. We witnessedthe opening of Avanti’s. Our era was the tail-end of the phenomenonknown as “The Gag”—the route from the original Steak-n-Shake onMain to the other Steak-n-Shake on Hannah. My older brother insiststhat Dog-n-Suds on Morrisey was also a part of the loop in the ’60s.It wasn’t unusual to register nearly 100 miles on your car’s odometerin an evening without leaving the Twin Cities.“Streaking” and “mooning” were introduced and rejuvenated inour era by the Rites of Spring on Illinois State’s Quad and the releaseof the nostalgic movie, American Graffiti, respectively. One of my classmates is still famous, at least in my class, for his appearance on theCapen Auditorium stage during the screening of The PoseidonAdventure. In fact, there was a ballad written in the University studentpaper, the Vidette, shortly after “the sighting.”2I recall the snowstorm of the winter of ’75-’76 that paralyzed theTwin Cities and stalled virtually all vehicular traffic, with the exceptionof my red ’63 Impala. Equipped with—now illegal—studded tires andweighted down with at least eight friends, we easily navigated the vacated roadways taunting the waist-deep snowdrifts. In polar contrast, Iremember one hot summer night when we bought several large blocksof ice and went “cubing” down the hills of Highland Golf Course.During my first year on the UHSAA board, there has been muchheated debate regarding our mascot, “Petey” the Pioneer. I had nevereven heard the Pioneer mascot called Petey. However, I do have vividmemories of two bare-chested classmates sporting coonskin caps andfake beards making a classic entrance to a home basketball game. Thecrowd went crazy. But please recall that we lost nearly 20 straight gamesour senior year, so we needed something to cheer about. Besides, whyall the fuss about Petey the Pioneer—whatever happened to the“Human Letters”?Going to U-High can also be a great family tradition. My fathersold his farm and moved to Normal in 1960 to work for Jim McKee onIllinois State’s experimental farm in order to send his children to goodschools. Merlin did his student teaching at U-High, Marvin graduatedin 1961, Myron graduated in 1963, and Marion (Chip) graduated in1973. The next generation spanned the ’80s and ’90s. I also think ofother U-High family names that span the decades including theGannaways, Chiodos, Karrakers, Lartzs, Hubbards, Cottones, andHages.Finally, I remember when Mrs. Barbara Lichty Blunk, our classsponsor and a current fellow UHSAA board member, wanted us towear red, white, and blue robes to commemorate our nation’s bicentennial. Just as the class was preparing to vote, three classmates paraded infront of the group on the Stroud stage dressed in borrowed traditionalgreen garb. The rest is history.High school is a time of many “firsts”—first kiss, first job, first car,first university parking ticket. It’s the time of your life when you beginto dream of all the possibilities for the future. Maybe you and yourfriends did not listen to the music that I did and maybe you hung outat different places. Nonetheless, everyone reading this newsletter spentsignificant, instrumental, four years of our lives that shaped and influenced our characters in the institution known as University HighSchool. During those formidable years, all of us forged friendshipsand created memories to last a lifetime.I encourage you—no, I challenge you—to take every opportunityto reconnect with friends and keep those memories alive. Who knows?You may even create some new memories!PioneerTheAlumni NewsletterVolume 10 Number 1Winter 2005Published SemiannuallyIllinois State UniversityUniversity High SchoolCampus Box 7100Normal, IL 61790-7100
Reunion PlannerClass of 1950Monthly get-togethersFirst Wednesday of the month8:30 a.m. at CJ’s Restaurant, BloomingtonContact Donna Mae Geske Jordan at (309) 662-9345 orGordon Schroeder at (309) 452-287255-year ReunionSeptember 30, 2005Contact Donna Mae Geske Jordon at (309) 662-9345 or bye-mail at [email protected] of 195550-year ReunionSeptember 30, 2005Contact Margie Freed Abbott at (309) 827-2638 or by e-mailat [email protected] of 1973“Let’s Celebrate Turning 50 Together”July 15, 2005—Social/Cocktail HourJuly 16, 2005—DinnerContact Cathy Girardi Fogler at (309) 829-7870 or KathyAlwes Petri at (309) 452-4288Mail: 212 Cambridge Drive, Normal, IL 61761E-mail: [email protected] (accessible onU-High Web site)Class of 1995Contact Mike Hronek by e-mail at [email protected] Homecoming DatesSeptember 30, 2005September 22, 2006September 28, 2007Is this your milestone year?Contact the UHSAA for aid in organizing and planning yourclass reunion. Now is the time to get the ball rolling to reconnect classmates for a rewarding gathering. Don’t be shy!University High School Alumni AssociationIllinois State UniversityCampus Box 7100Normal, IL 61790-7100Telephone: (309) 438-8346Web site: www.uhigh.ilstu.eduBoard MembersAwards CommitteePresidentMarty Kiesewetter ’76Renee Steigerwald Kelch ’86,co-chairPresident ElectPaul Heller ’85Tracey Steigerwald Burke’88, co-chairSecretaryAngie Kath Coughlin ’84Doris Stoddard Cropp ’54TreasurerJessica Sparks Chambers ’89Alumni RelationsCoordinatorBarbara Lichty Blunk ’53Dixie Smith Lewis ’64Su Eckert Dessa ’75Julie Gannaway Golliday ’76Bruce Harris ’76Gail Lamb, consultantDatabase CoordinatorYvonne Maxey Hougham ’46Newsletter EditorKathy Coyle ’81HistorianMarc Feaster ’75Web site CoordinatorBob Fitzgerald ’92Awards Committee ChairsRenee Steigerwald Kelch ’86Tracey Steigerwald Burke ’88Open positions to serveAwards Committee: two 1940s Pioneers one 1950s Pioneer one 1960s Pioneer two 1990s Pioneers two 2000s PioneersHomecoming CommitteeHomecoming ChairsDanny Elmore ’76Doug Shaw ’83Jennifer Eaton Peifer ’86Board ConsultantsDirector of LaboratorySchoolsRobert DeanDirector of DevelopmentGail LambSupport Our TroopsThank you to all of our University High School alumniwho are bravely serving inour armed services duringOperation EnduringFreedom and OperationIraqi Freedom.Assistant Director ofAlumni ServicesJulie GoodlickInterim Principal ofUniversity High SchoolJerry Christensen3
Why Engage in Fund-raising?By Robert Dean, Director of Laboratory SchoolsU-High alums occasionally ask me, “Why are the laboratoryschools involved in fund-raising? Can’t the state and the Universitysupport these schools?” The short answer is they do, but not at alevel that permits the laboratory schools to keep pace with thecompetition. Allow me to explain.The University recognizes the value of the laboratory schoolsand has been very supportive, even though the state dollars flowingto the University have been reduced for three consecutive years.Through appropriated funding from the Board of HigherEducation, Illinois State University provides 14 percent of the revenue for the laboratory schools—a little over 1 million for thecurrent fiscal year. The University also maintains the facilities andprovides employee benefits through CMS (Central ManagementServices for the State of Illinois). Since state dollars only constitute37 percent of the University’s budget, the University must look toother sources of revenue such as tution, fees, and grants to fund itsoperations. And of course, the University also relies heavily uponfund-raising to maintain the level of servicesthat students expect to find on a large university campus. In short, the University’s fiscal condition limits the amount of supportit can provide for renovation projects in theschools.There’s not much new to report aboutthe financial challenges facing the state ofIllinois. The economy has not recoveredas quickly as some thought it might.Consequently, the flow of revenue continuesto lag behind anticipated expenditures forcing state legislators to make difficult budgetdecisions. Schools, like many other publicservice entities, continue to struggle financially despite the best efforts of the GeneralAssembly. In fact, the financial hardshipsencountered by some schools in Illinois aresevere enough to force local decision-makersto question the viability of continuing to operate. In this kind ofenvironment, many K-12 public school systems have turned tofund-raising. The laboratory schools are not alone in looking toalumni and friends for support.One of the things that is unique about the laboratory schools istheir status. As “other funded public schools,” the schools receiveGeneral State Aid dollars (connected to pupil count), but theschools are not considered a school district and thus have no taxing authority. Without the ability to tax, the schools do not havea way to generate the additional dollars needed to finance majorprojects. This is especially troublesome as Metcalf and U-High arebeginning to show major wear, having opened in 1957 and 1965,respectively.Another unique aspect of the laboratory schools is the fact thatthey are schools of choice. Students and their families have manygood schooling options from which to choose in the BloomingtonNormal community. Consequently, the laboratory schools findthemselves in competition with other schools and facilities areoften one of the determining factors in this competition. New4schools have been built in recent years at Normal Community andNormal West, Central Catholic, Cornerstone Christian Academy,and Trinity Lutheran. Calvary Baptist built a new addition andseveral new elementary schools have also been built in Unit #5.University High School, a state-of-the-art facility when it opened,is now the oldest high school in town. Although newer buildingsdo not always equate with better educational programs, facilities domake a difference in a competitive marketplace, especially the newtechnology that comes standard in new buildings.Your Contributions are Making a DifferenceFor being somewhat new to fund-raising, the laboratory schoolsare enjoying some early successes. From the time we joined theUniversity campaign (three years ago), our generous alumni andfriends have donated just over 560,000. These gifts have comein a variety of forms—cash, equipment, planned gifts, corporatematching gifts, bequests, and endowments. Several of the giftshave been earmarked for specific projects. Consequently, themoney is being held in a specific account until there is enoughmoney to proceed with the project. Ourfirst-annual fund drive, during 2003, raisedover 23,000, and the second raised over 25,000.Your gifts have already helped fundfour different projects that have made a hugedifference in our schools.Last year, the flooring and seats in HaydenAuditorium were replaced. Part of this project included the removal of asbestos from theceiling. Even though the seats were donatedby the Unit #5 School District, the laboratory schools invested 50,000 in this project.The lighting and sound systems still need tobe upgraded and the stage area also needssome work.Students at Metcalf are now enjoyinga new gym floor (new bleachers will beinstalled soon). The original floor had deteriorated to the point where screws were used tokeep the floor from buckling. Needless to say, folks at Metcalf waited many years for this floor to be replaced as it was part of theoriginal building which opened in 1957. We’re still waiting to seethe final tab for this project.The University has acquired approximately 1.2 million in capital improvement funds to renovate Stroud Auditorium. The projectincludes asbestos removal, installation of a new catwalk system toaccess mechanical systems, installation of a new ceiling and houselights, a new floor covering, new seating, and general painting. Wewould like to raise another 150,000– 200,000 to upgrade ourlighting and sound systems and to make stage improvements. It’sextremely exciting to think that this wonderful auditorium willonce again become a showplace space!On the technology front, a new computer lab has been installedat Thomas Metcalf School and two labs have been replaced atUniversity High School.As you can see, we are clearly making progress on some of ourstated priorities. So thank you for your continuing support!
In the Halls of U-High Catherine Butts participated in the state tennis tournament. The Clarion 2004 yearbook was distributed in late November. Josh Fowler finished 15th in Impromptu Speaking and AlyssaHuff 8th in Original Oratory at the 2004 IHSA Speech StateTournament. The Clarionette is available on the U-High Web site. Boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams won their regionaltournaments. Boys’ golf won the state tournament setting a new record witha score of 596. This breaks a 33-year-old record of 604. Girls’ golf won second place in their state tournament. MarisaMilligan earned the first-ever medal byfinishing tied for 6th with a 161. The girls’ swim team won the intercitytournament. The fall play Into the Woods was produced in October. Over 60students participated. Patrick Turner and Samantha Vazquez were crowned royalty ofHomecoming 2004. Rebekah Clay won the intercity girlscross-country meet. Girls’ volleyball won the Corn BeltConference Championship with a recordof 12-2 in the conference. Megan Sage, Patrick Turner, and Sarah Halltaped a public service announcement forWJBC promoting anti-drug Red Ribbon Week. The following students were successful in their IMEA auditions:1st violin—Kayla Comerford; 2nd violin—Julie Parsons, MeganBall, and Weikang Sun; viola—Phil Kramp, Addison Elble, andMolly Brown. The following chorus members were chosen in their IMEAauditions: senior chorus—Melissa Basolo, Megan Sage, HilaryBaboukis, Lane Miller, Patrick Turner, and Alex Preller; jazzchoir—Hilary Baboukis, Alex Preller, and Quentin Hursey. Robin Berryman scored in the top 5 percent of more than 120,000black Americans and has been named to the NationalAchievement Scholarship Program. Kerry Stewart, Patrick Turner, and Jessica Huntwere named to the CommendedNational Merit ScholarshipProgram. Alex Preller was named a finalist tothe national Merit ScholarshipProgram. All the choirs and orchestra are looking forward to traveling toToronto March 29-April 3 to compete in a festival, attend musicaltheatre and symphonic performances, and visit sites. Spanish students will be traveling to Puerto Rico over springbreak. There are over 70 U-High students enrolled in Illinois VirtualHigh School classes (online courses). Teachers Cory Culbertson and Brad Dearing have been namedto participate in a 10 million engineering and technologygrant funded by the National Science Foundation. The U-High robotics team, led by captain Lori Nichols,advanced to the semifinal rounds of the Eastern Nationalcompetition a