2013-12-06 / Columns

Your Owen County Community Foundation

Our Alma Maters
by Mark Rogers
Executive Director

This week, I traveled to my alma mater, Carmel High School, to watch my grandson perform in his first production at the high school level as he participated in the school’s Holiday Spectacular. And it was spectacular, by the way.

My old school has grown up a lot since I graduated... a few years ago. Carmel High School now has the largest enrollment in Indiana, coming in at over 4,400 students. The spectacular finale featured all 540 choral students on stage in the 1,500-seat auditorium. It was a wonderful performance and we enjoyed it tremendously. But we mostly enjoyed seeing our Chuck.

I spent the time, when our “star” wasn’t onstage, considering the massive campus that now makes up the school and comparing it to the simple, smallish school I attended back in the day. I realized after a few minutes that we were sitting in one of the upper areas of the auditorium that used to be partitioned into lecture halls during the school week. This particular area was my Biology lecture hall from my sophomore year, and now I was paying twelve bucks to sit in a seat I used to get for free (not counting the parents’ property taxes) so I could listen to Mrs. Stennett talk about mitochondrial RNA.

A realization finally set in that while I have not felt much kinship to my old school and its change of character and huge growth since I left, I still have a warm spot for old CHS, my alma mater.

I suppose it’s true for most of us. We’ve moved far beyond high school in years and experience and don’t dwell much on the memories. But when they come up, they’re mostly nice. And for many, those high school years were some of the best years of our lives and we cherish them.

The folks in Owen County definitely love their old high schools. Your Owen County Community Foundation now holds scholarship funds for all of the pre-consolidation schools in the county. The alums of Quincy, Spencer, Coal City, Freedom, Patricksburg, and Gosport high schools have all permanently memorialized their schools with permanent funds here. I hear some wonderful memories about these schools from the reunion groups I’ve talked to through the years.

The alumni of our current Owen Valley High School are just getting started on their scholarship fund. But we just received a wonderful gift from the Owen Valley High School Class of 2012 to add almost $1,000 to the Owen Valley Alumni Scholarship Fund (They beat the Class of 2010 by $78.73 if anyone is keeping score). As Patriot alumni look back with fondness at their years at OVHS and look for ways to help education in our community, I’m sure this fund will continue to grow.

Awarding a young student with a scholarship now is a great way to honor the past and our alma maters. Big, small, or giant, our high schools represent good memories of our formative years and simpler times. It’s good to go back, at least once in a while.

If you would like to know more about how you can work with your Owen County Community Foundation to help honor the memories of your Owen County high school, give me a call at 829-1725, email me at mark@owencountycf.org, visit us online at www.owencountycf.org, or stop by and visit us in person at 201 West Morgan Street in Spencer (second floor of the Owen County State Bank building).

Remember, graduating high school seniors, your scholarship applications are due to the OCCF office by 4:00 p.m. next Wednesday, December 11th. Don’t wait any longer!

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