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Muncie Central stays strong ...

... because Alumni help in so many ways

The Muncie Central High School Alumni Association owes its existence to several very faithful and dedicated Bearcat boosters. Bernard Freund, Class of 1929, provided the impetus behind the Alumni Association.

In 1995, Freund visited with Muncie Central's principal, Joe Kinnett, who was a 1958 graduate of Central. Kinnett was impressed with the idea and was integrally involved with putting the plan into action.

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The story behind the Alumni Association

Kinnett contacted Linda Hollis and Charlotte Shepperd, both 1964 Central graduates, and invited them to participate with Freund in a series of meetings. At that time, Hollis was chairwoman of the Math Department at Central, and Charlotte Shepperd had taught English and been the publications adviser at Central for nine years. Shepperd's current job, however, was the communications director of the Ball State University Alumni Association.

By the end of 1996, a full plan was in place. Members of representative classes were contacted via a phone bank. Newspaper articles, letters and word-of-mouth informed the school's graduates that such an organization was being formed. The result was 225 charter members.

Hurley Goodall, Class of 1945, was on the charter board of the Alumni Association and encouraged the board to seek a grant from the Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County. The Alumni Association's first grant was secured in July 1996. Additional seed money for the Alumni Association was secured from class contributions and membership dues.

In the fall of 1997, the Alumni Association conducted its first business meeting and dinner. Freund was honored as the Alumni Association's brain child. Although Freund passed away before all of his aspirations were fully realized, he will be remembered for bringing his dream of a Muncie Central Alumni Association to reality. The Alumni Association continues its work to plan and direct programs and activities that connect alumni, enhance learning opportunities at Muncie Central and promote the historical significance of the school.

Programs Alumni Association

and its members support

Ella Piche received the Alumni Association’s $2,000 scholarship for 2023-24.

Piche is attending Ball State and plans to obtain a teaching degree, with a goal of teaching secondary math education. In a reference letter for Piche, her teacher and class sponsor described her as a dedicated member of the student body, a born leader who “has gone above and beyond to make the high school experience great for students of Muncie Central.”

Academically, she ranked sixth in her class while taking part in a variety of diverse extracurricular activities. She served on the Prom Committee; was involved with choir and theater; and was a member of National Honor Society, serving as vice president for two years. She also was active with student government.

An athlete, Piche was on the swim and track teams and participated in soccer. She lettered in all three sports. In her application for the scholarship,

 

Piche wrote that she would like to return as a teacher at Muncie Central after she obtains her degree and applauds Central for having a strong community. “I cannot wait to support the next generation of learners,” she said.

 

An application to apply for the scholarship is available from the Guidance Office. Scholarship applications need to be submitted no later than April 30 of each year.

The scholarship recipient is invited to attend as a guest at the Alumni Association Annual Meeting in November.

Annual $2,000 student scholarship

Delaney Strange was selected as the Harris-Jones scholarship recipient for 2023-24.

Strange has begun studies at Purdue University and plans to obtain a civil engineering degree with a concentration in transportation and a minor in Spanish. Strange’s ultimate professional goal includes working on projects in underserved communities, both in the United States and abroad.

While at Central, she was in National Honor Society, participated in Hoosier Girls State, and served as a page with the Indiana General Assembly. She was selected for an Outstanding in Chemistry Award and received other academic honors.

Strange was an accomplished athlete, lettering in cross country, swimming, and track and field. Team captain in both cross country and swimming, she was team MVP in both sports. An All-Academic North Central Conference athlete, she was a cross country regional qualifier.

The Harris-Jones Scholarship, valued at $5,000, was established by 1962 Muncie Central graduate Sherry Harris Jones and her husband, Ralph T. Jones.

The first recipient of the scholarship is Megan Clifford, who was a nursing major at Ball State University, graduate in 2023.

To apply for the scholarship, which will be available for the 2024-25 school year, contact Tom Foote, '65, tomfoote@comcast.net, 765-289-1946.

Harris-Jones
Scholarship

$2,000 annually

in teacher grants

Teacher grants were first awarded in 1998. As of 2023, the Alumni Association has awarded more than $38,900 to at least 80 teachers. Grants awarded have ranged from $97 to $1,900. 

Teachers apply for grants by securing an application from the associate principal, who also sends the application to faculty via email. The deadline is Dec. 1 of each year. The grants are awarded to recipients by the beginning of the start of the new semester.

Daniel Sager, far right, is the band director at Muncie Central and was a 2021 and 2023 recipient of a teacher grant. Sager said, "[In 2021}We used the grant to purchase equipment [audio mega vox] that helped us win the State Fair Band Day [summer 2021]!" 

In 2023, the grant was used to replace 15 plus-year-old folders for sheet music the band uses.

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Student Assistance
Fund

The fund exists to help deserving students who are unable to participate fully in Muncie Central activities because they do not have the finances needed.

The Class of 1963 in honor of its 40th anniversary established the fund with a gift of $1,800. Since then, the fund has grown through individual donations.

Teachers and coaches are encouraged to make a request on a student's behalf by securing a Muncie Central Alumni Association Student Assistance Fund request form from the Guidance Office.

The Alumni Association contributed funds to purchase and maintain a washer and dryer for the school. Students use the equipment to do personal laundry, if necessary, and to clean clothing donated to the in-house clothing bank.

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Teacher
Appreciation
Week

At Alumni Association Board meetings, the achievements of teachers and students are routinely discussed with pride.

 

And for a number of years, the Alumni Association demonstrates its appreciation for the achievements and commitment of Muncie Central teachers and staff to the students at the high school by sponsoring a week-long celebration.

 

Special attention is given Muncie Central teachers and staff the first week of May, which has been set aside nationally since 1984 as Teacher Appreciation Week.

Wednesday is always the day the Alumni Association provides coffee and doughnuts.

Gum, candy bars, bottled water, mints and other items – each with a special message attached to them – are given as appreciation gifts the other four days of the week.

Right: Carol Daugherty, an art teacher at Muncie Central

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Distinguished Alumni Awards Program

The Alumni Association started the Distinguished Alumni Awards program in 1998. As of 2021, 36 alumni have been honored. One to three alumni are selected annually to be honored. 

The Alumni Association welcomes nominations on an ongoing basis. Complete the nomination form below. Mail it to Forrest Bowers, '57, chairman of the Distinguished Alumni Selection Committee, 1205 N. Brentwood Lane, Muncie, IN 47304.

Left: Rick Rowray, '81, was named a distinguished alumnus in 2017. He played for the legendary Bearcat coach, Bill Harrell. Right: Hurley Goodall, '45, was honored with a bronze statue the summer of 2019. He is a founding member of the Alumni Association and a 2000 Distinguished Alumnus, first of two black men to be Muncie firefighters, first black person to serve on the Muncie Community Schools School Board, as well as being the first and only black person to represent the community in the Indiana House of Representatives from 1978 until 1992. 

 

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MCHS Alumni Association
Memorabilia
Room

To visit the MCHS Alumni Association Memorabilia Room, contact Steve Cartwright, '66. scartwright2@yahoo.com, 765-228-1505.

 

Visits are available by appointment.

 

As of January 1, 2022, any donations made to the Memorabilia Room will be the sole property of the Muncie Central Alumni Association Memorabilia Room. The program will no longer accept items on loan.

Far left: A Bearcat mascot greets visitors as they enter the Memoralia Room. Left: One of the favorite places in the room is where the Magician yearbooks are available for viewing.

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Annual meeting
set
for November
2024 ...
... You're invited!

Each year in November, the Alumni Association sponsors an annual get-together for all alumni and interested people in the Muncie Central High School cafeteria.

 

At the event, which includes a dinner, the Alumni Association honors its distinguished alumni recipients, arranges for a speaker to highlight some aspect of Muncie Central's rich history and conducts its annual business meeting.

All members of the Muncie Central High School Alumni Association, graduates of Muncie Central and the public are invited to attend the event.

Dave Wilson, '66, is the incoming president of the Alumni Association. The blanket was a gift from Tim White, nephew of the 2022 distinguished alumnus, Raymond O. White Jr., '56, who was a former chief of the Miami Nation of Indians of the State of Indiana. Below are pictures from the 2022 annual meeting and awards program. Matt Martin, executive director for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in New Castle was the guest speaker.

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