Alumni reunion spans five decades of CM School pride
Every summer, former senior class presidents from schools in every town perform the duty of organizing their class reunion. Alumni who attend their class reunions find it enjoyable to pick out and recognize their former classmates and to catch up on what everyone is doing and where they now call home. Itís difficult for some living out of town to attend their class reunions and with graduating class sizes in many rural school districts, including Caledonia-Mumford, ranging from as few as 40 to as many as 100, attendance at reunions can be slim.
Connie Englerth Steedman, CM class of 1950, organized an alumni reunion, a gathering that spanned over five decades of Caledonia High and Caledonia-Mumford High School graduates. On Saturday, June 9, over 180 alumni attended the reunion held at J.W. Jones Hall in Caledonia, representing fifty years of Cal-Mum High School graduates.
"Iím always the oldest alumni attending these things," said Sally Flynn of the Class of 1938. "Iím 87 years old, still driving, feeling good and doing what I want to do," she added with the exuberance of a person half her age. Later in the evening, Ollie Stewart from the Class of 1934 arrived, making Flynn a mere freshman.
William Fisher of the Class of 1939 and Mary Byam, Class of 1940, also attended the alumni reunion. The three hugged and exchanged laughs but vowed to keep their school secrets of the past in a lock box!
The alumni representing the class of 1948 were all men while the alumni representing the class of 1949 were all women. One of them, Maureen Skivington Reeves of Caledonia, is not only an alumnus, but a former Cal-Mum High School history teacher. She was one of two history teachers, the other, her late husband, Robert Reeves.
"I had no plans to come to Caledonia, but I met Dr. Frederick Hinsdale, (then school superintendent) and he said he needed a high school history teacher and asked me to take the job," she recalled.
She taught history at Caledonia from 1957 to 1963, at one having her first cousin as a student. To avoid having close relatives in their classes, the two history teachers would switch classes from time to time.
After church on Sunday, a group of alumni who attended the reunion the night before, gathered at the Cozy Kitchen for coffee and to discuss the fun of the night before.
"Sometimes itís very surprising when a person introduced themselves," Reeves said her friends agreed over coffee.
The Cal-Mum Class of 1963 was the smallest graduating class represented. With just 46 total classmates, they had the largest number attending the reunion. Eleven from the Class of í63 enjoyed recalling old times and exchanging a few laughs. All 11 of the alumni still reside in the immediate Caledonia area.
Steedman plans to hold the alumni reunion again next year but says it has become so large that she will need to have help from others.
"We had more people this year than we did the first year and everyone seemed to really be having a good time. All the comments were positive," she said.
1st Annual Cal-Mum Alumni Reunion