WEST MILTON — Milton Union High School was the site of the 130th consecutive Alumni Banquet on May 19.
The evening opened with remarks by Liza Kochersperger Curee, class of 1992, followed by the “Pledge of Allegiance” led by Melissa Marshall Vance, class of 1993, and the invocation by Mandy Brown Hartlage, class of 1993.
Following the meal, Curee recognized guests and led the Roll Call of Classes, with special recognition of milestone years. Three ladies, Marie Fine, Phyllis Hess and Jane Staver, represented their class of 1943 (that’s right — 75 years). The Class of 1953 celebrated 65 years.
Representatives shared comments, remembrances and accomplishments of their classes. Kent Brown introduced the class of 1958, celebrating 60 years. The class representative for 1968 was Jane Gordon James. She shared many “firsts” her class accomplished, plus they faced the draft for Vietnam and civil unrest at home. Also celebrating 50 years: Laugh In, 60 Minutes and the lava lamp.
Scott Hinkle represented the 40 year class of 1978, the year of the blizzard. The football team was undefeated, Watt Farrar was the coach. They had a great band, drill team and flag corp. They marched down Disney World Main St. in Orlando to celebrate Mickey Mouse’s birthday.
Jason Tinnerman represented the class of 1993, celebrating 25 years. They were, and still are, great friends, he said. They used chalk boards, took typing and industrial arts classes, had A-bomb drills. You could buy a car for $1,300 and you could take a year of classes at The Ohio State University for $1,257, which included your athletic tickets and student insurance. He advised this year’s seniors to slow down and enjoy the ride as those 25 years go by very quickly. And he declared “it’s great to be a Bulldog!”
Travis Lowry, class of 1993, presented the memorial tribute by reading the names of the 66 alumni and one teacher who have passed away since the 2017 banquet.
During the event, the 2018 Hall of Honor inductees were recognized. They included Jack Williams, a former Milton-Union superintendent and Max Lair, the high school’s first drum major and local business owner.
Williams, a native of Lima, Army veteran and graduate of Wittenberg University, took a teaching job in West Milton in 1949. He later became principal of the high school and then superintendent, serving until his retirement in 1980.
Lair was a 1934 graduate of Milton-Union and is remembered as one of the kindest West Milton residents. He served in the Army during World War II. He opened a grocery store in 1960 called Lair’s Market, which he later sold and eventually became Mr. Deal’s. He served as Commander of American Legion Post 487, in the rotary, as a Mason and a supporter of 4-H.
Ron Berner, class of 1961, recognized those being inducted into the M-U Athletic Hall of Fame.
From the class of 1967 was Mark Vagedes. In 1966, he led the M-U football team to a 9-0-1 record and Coach Wat Farrar’s first SWBL Championship. In baseball, his 1967 team also won the SWBL Championship. He went on to excel in baseball at Earlham College.
From the Class of 1995: Jessica Herkins Brumbaugh. She won 10 varsity letters in volleyball, basketball and track. In basketball she was twice All-SRC, in volleyball she was twice her team’s MVP and three times All-SRC. She was 1995’s Outstanding Senior Female Athlete.
From the Class of 2000 was Jennifer Wright. She earned six varsity “M’s” in soccer and basketball. In soccer she was a two-time All-SRC honoree. Her abilities earned her a full athletic scholarship to Ohio University where she was captain of the Bobcat Soccer Team her senior year. She played in more soccer matches than any player in Bobcat history.
From the class of 2005 was Ryan Paul. He earned a 12 varsity letters in golf, basketball, baseball and tennis for the Bulldogs. In golf he was SWBL Player of the Year in 2005. In tennis, he was First Team All-league four consecutive seasons and qualified for district and state. He ended his tennis career at Milton as the Buldog’s career victories leader and continued his tennis career at Ohio Northern University, where he was twice team MVP and an All-Ohio Conference selection three times.
They will be officially inducted, and a description of their many more achievements described, during an awards ceremony to be held preceding and during half time of a basketball game in January.
Following the business meeting, M-U Class Adviser Melissa Harlow introduced those present from the class of 2018. Each one shared their name and their plans for the future. David Wion, class of 1976, then presented the M-U Alumni Scholarships for 2018. Thirteen scholarships were awarded totally $49,000.
Thanks was offered to Dana Dickison, class of 1980, and the MUHS student volunteers who set up and took down the tables and chairs for the evening. Also thanks were offered to the MUHS sophomore class who served drinks and meals to the most senior classes. The buffet style dinner was prepared by Stillwater Valley Catering.