The East High Alumni Page presents:
|Reunion Plans and Reviews
Class of 1955
East High School, Memphis, Tennessee
|2005 Report||2005 Photos||2015 Reunion Photos||Class Quarterly Dinners||Ladies Monthly Luncheon||Periodic Dinner/Lunchen|
[last updated June 6, 2005]
East High School Class of 1955
celebrated their 50th Reunion the weekend of June 3-5th. More than 100
classmates and guests from twelve states, which included California,
Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma and
Pennsylvania, returned to Memphis for the first reunion since 1975.
Sara Chumney and Allan Ledbetter worked for a year to locate classmates
and all but six members of the class were found. Some of the members of
the class had attended East High in sixth grade when it first opened in
The classmates met for the Friday night event at Jeanne and Henry Varnell’s home overlooking the Mississippi River for BBQ and enjoyed the magnificent view of the setting sun on the river as they visited together and renewed their friendships.
Saturday morning was a golf game at Galloway Golf Course and East High School was opened for a classmate tour of their Alma Mater. Sara and Jim Chumney displayed colorful maroon and gray posters on school library tables with school history memobilia, pictures and seven Mustang Roundup school newspapers from the senior year. They provided a competitive school fun quiz for the “Smartest in the Class Award.” A guided tour to view classrooms, the old gym locker room, school trophies, the nurse’s room where one classmate met her husband, the cafeteria that was used recently in a movie, and a peep through the auditorium doors (that is under renovation) to see where they had been the first class to graduate on the auditorium stage fifty years ago renewed fond memories for the classmates. As one Mustang toured the school she recalled all the lost words of the original East High School Fight Song of the 1950s. At the end of the tour the group stepped out to see a classmate’s restored 1955 Bel Air convertible.
Each classmate registered for the weekend was given a Welcome Packet with Memphis brochures for afternoon and free time site seeing. On Saturday evening The University of Memphis Holiday Inn Ballroom was the scene of the Reunion Dinner Dance. Red roses and miniature toy Mustangs decorated the dinner tables, banners and posters lined the walls and side tables displaying pendants, teacher and students pictures. A special poster recognized the 25 deceased members of the class with their individual class photo.
The dinner event began with a program featuring a DVD presentation created by Sara Chumney entitled “Memphis Memories 1954 -55” shown on a large screen. Many forgotten images of Memphis in 1955 and classmates’ pictures were viewed as they listened to the music they all remembered. The production was enthusiastically received and at special request it was shown several times more during dinner.
The 1955 faculty members were invited for the event. Special recognition and gifts were presented by Pelda Stringer for the three 1955 faculty members present: George Toney (band teacher), Lilburne Vollmer (Secretarial Science teacher), and Katherine Hinds Smythe (English teacher). East High Foundation founder Charles McVean presented a framed #43 Football Jersey for retirement to classmate Jim Butler, who was “All Memphis Football Fullback in 1955.” Tim Malkin announced humorous Award Certificates for classmates and Rene Koopman’s Trio provided live dance music for the remainder of the evening.
Jack Rice hosted a lovely Brunch Sunday at The Woodlands Clubhouse for the classmates and guests before their departure from Memphis. Thanks was given to the Reunion Planning Committee Members: Allan and Toni Ledbetter, Jim and June Russell, Sara Chumney, Jeanne Varnell, Jack Rice, Laura Patteson, Mickey English, Joe Shearer, Carol Ann Rockett, Ethelda and Brant McKeever, and Tim Malkin for planning the weekend. Many suggested another reunion in five years.
by the editor, The East High Alumni Page
June 6, 2005 - The Class of 1955 completed a very successful, well organized reunion yesterday with a well attended brunch. That followed a full weekend of activities, including a Friday evening reception overlooking the Mississippi River, a golf outing, tour of East High School, and a Saturday night dinner and dance. The gathering also included very interesting displays of memorabilia and a audio-video presentation of class members and memories.
Final counts of attendees were not immediately available, but it approximated the number who had registered in advance, 108 for the Saturday night event. About sixty of those attending the reunion were class members, out of a class of about 160. There are about 25 members of the class who are known to have died.
Special guests attending the festivities included three teachers who were members of the East High faculty during the tenure there of the class: Mrs. Lilburn Vollmer (Commercial Work), Ms. Katherine Hinds (English), and Mr. George Toney (Band).
Snapshots of the Friday night event were posted on The East High Alumni Page on Saturday. Pictures of the school tour were posted on Sunday. More photos are expected to be posted later in the week. Attendees with pictures they'd like to share by having them posted on The East High Alumni Page are encouraged to let us know at editor@EastHigh.org.
Our alumni page will also be happy to post reports of the reunion by class memebers should they wish to submit them.
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