Last Saturday in Milwaukee, my Alma Mater of John Marshall High School turned 50 years old, and opened a new chapter in the life of the school. Nostalgic, yes. Lots of history share, most definitely. This was the first time that the school had an All-Class Gathering like this ever. Hopefully, it shouldn’t be the last. The day started with the tour in which the common places around Marshall were reflective: Ranging from the Auditorium dedication of Clifford George, who was the longest serving principal in the school’s history. Another area was the cafeteria, no not to remember the Mock Chicken Legs or the milk pouches! There were many merchandise items on sale ranging from yearbooks (both print and electronic versions) T-Shirts and Hats, and plus the Alumni Association table where three proclamations from the city and county of Milwaukee were displayed along with another from the State of Wisconsin. (And by the way, those were my ideas. Telling the truth).

The Library was another area of the tour, which has changed slightly. The mural was featured in which it was displayed to show the various symbolism of past Alums of the school. Plus it was dedicated around 1995 before my graduation. And in speaking of that, the now Library Media Center was formed during my years at Marshall. And also my class and other mid 90’s classes were alive when the internet was becoming mainstream.

During the Clifford George Dedication, (and later at the evening event) Dr. Eric Gallien who is the principal of the now Samuel Morse John Marshall School for the Gifted and Talented, indicated to us Alums that the legacies and many other symbols of Marshall will not be phased out. The students of the school will continue to carry out the legacies, and traditions that we alums remember. Including the Columbia Blue and Scarlet colors. And yes, they are learning the pep song of “Hey Look Me Over” and the Alma Mater; only difference is, it would be slightly different, lyrically.  In addition, several former Marshall teachers did appeared, ranging from John Schissler, to Thomas Marx, Carol Abraham, and Jacque Sommers.
In addition former administrators such as Richard Tolefson made an appearance as well.

The interaction between the classes was funny. When the older classes approached me about the class I represented (1995) they often replied, “does your mommy know you’re here?” “did you drove here?! or “this young whipper snapper”.  I found it hilarious and weak. But all in all, it was in good fun. Meeting the classes of the 70’s were cool, especially the class of ’76 which were nice folks. Some also told me that they were around when Marshall was starting to bus minorities in Milwaukee.  Didn’t know that. Also I had to tickle them that the year they graduated, I was born! Yes, I am a 1976 baby of course. The majority of the alums attended were indeed the 70’s because of the history they knew with the school when, in their words was a “junior-senior high school”. That’s like saying a combined Middle-High School in one. And the largest attendance record over 3,000 students at the time. Marshall was one of the first schools in the state to have this honor when it was opened since 1961, and at the time, President John F. Kennedy was in the White House, and our first African-American President Barack Obama was just born. Alums came near and far, especially from Hawaii also.

John Marshall HIgh School Library Mural

In addition to the 70’s in attendance, there were other classes of the 60’s appeared, as well as the 80’s. Even yes, my decade 90’s and the 2000’s were there also. Yes, all five decades of Marshall made their representation. (I had to state that on Facebook recently) The Evening portion was filled with music, food, an appreciation to John Schissler, silent auctions and also I had a chance to do some dj’ing of the music between the 80’s and 2000’s. And also, I shouldn’t say this but I did danced with the class of ’76. Again, nice folks. I also met folks from the 80’s, especially from the class of 1981 who were celebrating their 30th. And plus, I had the chance to meet a member of their class that made history, Barbara Duffy, Wisconsin’s first female firefighter. In addition I had to take pics.

Overall, the Centerpiece celebration was a success. Yes there some issues, but overall it was decent. I wish alot more would come and appreciate. Especially more in my 90’s classes! But that’s OK. At least they knew what was going on. There will be more events and activities following this towards 2012 with Mentoring programs for the Alumni and others. Including the Membership of the Alumni Association. It’s $25.00 per year and it’s tax deductible. I also think that now that the “Marshall Alumni Universe” or the Marshall Nation, or the blue & scarlet, or the Marsh-house crew should display their Alum side with pride like the mascot it has: the eagle. Talk about reviving. This was indeed a chance to be revived with the school I once bragged about. Even if it is 16 years later. No matter it was the infamous Eagle’s Nest, or the famed “Marsh-House”.  All the same.

Go Eagles!

Class of ’95 is still in the building!!!!!

The Milwaukee John Marshall High School Alumni Association is online at www.milwaukeemarshallalumni.com

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