‘Iconic’ local high school alumni group marks 130 years, oldest in U.S.

When Miamisburg bicentennial organizers were looking at dates for their eight-day celebration, the third Saturday in June was always in the conversation.

Traditionally, that’s the night of the annual dinner/dance held by the Miamisburg High School Alumni Association, which recently marked 130 years and touts itself as the oldest continuously active organization of its kind in the United States.

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The alumni association “is really iconic in Miamisburg,” bicentennial committee member Kimm Mote said. “For many people going to alumni (functions) is a longstanding, multi-generational tradition.

“People plan their vacations around coming home” for alumni weekend, she added. “When deciding on dates for the bicentennial celebration, it was an easy decision to piggy back with alumni. The idea was for people to come in for alumni and stay the week for the bicentennial.”

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Miamisburg Mayor Dick Church Jr., who heads the bicentennial committee, expressed similar thoughts.

“Since they bring so many people into town, we thought that some of them would stay the whole week,” he said. “And when we approached the alumni association, they were all for it.”

Miamisburg’s alumni association was formed by 47 graduates on June 11, 1888, 15 years after its first graduating class of nine, according to its website.

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The group has 22 officers and executive committee members, said Cheryl Page, president of the organization. The executive committee spans more than six decades of graduates, from 1947 to 2009, according to its website.

The oldest member of the association is Lois Masters, a 1944 grad who will be 92 in September, according to Page.

The association held a social gathering visiting downtown establishments Thursday night before holding a dinner/dance on Saturday. The weekend attracted more than 300 MHS alums, Page said.

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“It is extremely exciting that the bicentennial weekend coincides with our alumni dinner/dance,” the 1981 alum said. “I believe it is a huge responsibility for my generation to keep the alumni event going.”

Page said all 22 alumni association executive committee members live in Miamisburg, That’s not surprising, Church said, because many Miamisburg grads choose to stay in town for decades.

“It’s a tight-knit community,” said the longtime mayor, a 1959 Miamisburg grad.

“Miamisburg’s a special place and we’ve got a lot of traditions,” Church said Tuesday as he shared time with former classmates. “And the alumni association is one of them. People just enjoy coming back and seeing their high school classmates.”

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