On April 1, 1997 the long time dream of Dick Albaugh began to become a reality. Dick Albaugh, teacher, coach and athletic director for 38 years at Anthony Wayne had often talked about forming an alumni association. Although Dick grew up and attended high school in Northeastern Ohio he was a General through and through. As a result of his organizing efforts, he formed a group of fifteen trustees representing the five decades of existence for Anthony Wayne. They first met in the cafeteria on April 1st of 1997. Dick had developed a model Constitution and By-Laws for the organization and that was the beginning of the Anthony Wayne Alumni Association.
A slate of officers was elected that evening to lead the group in its infancy. They were President Larry Morrison (’54), Vice President Don Schaller (’56), Secretary Joanne Brahier Baer (’71) and Treasurer Peggy Winslow Whalen( ’65). Dick Albaugh was the Executive Secretary. Other trustees included Ron Disher (’51), Carol Knapp Roach (’58), Vicky Trapp Ryan( ’64), Ralph Whalen (’65), Jane Imes (’66), Leslie Schaller Riker (’72), Gary Hagemeyer (’73), Cathy Wagner Kronman (’80), Bill Gase (’86), Ken Nolder (’89) and Jason Moser (’91). Since Dick Albaugh’s death in September of 1997, Mark Knerr had been the Executive Secretary. Former High School Principal, Bob Slykhuis is a Trustee assisting with the Hall of Fame program.
The Alumni Association was formed with three basic goals. They were and still are:
Better communications with graduates
Support of the AW Education Foundation and Scholarship Program and
Spnsorship of an Anthony Wayne Alumni Hall of Fame.
In the 17 years of its existence, the Association has worked toward the above goals and has made strides to meet them.
The Association has sent 3 newsletters per year to dues paying members. These newsletters include information on current happenings at Anthony Wayne, news about alumni and bios on the Hall of Fame inductees.
Each year, the Association grants scholarships to graduating seniors. The Association’s goal is to increase the number of scholarships over the years and to increase the amount when funds are available.
In February of 1999, the first ten inductees to the Anthony Wayne Hall of Fame were inducted at a basketball game. The inductees receive a plaque and a picture plaque of each inductee is placed in the lobby of the Dick Albaugh Memorial Gymnasium. Inductees include alumni, faculty, staff, coaches, administrators and community members.
Other activities the Alumni Association has undertaken include commissioning a bust of Dick Albaugh that is on display in the lobby of the gymnasium and purchasing the lettering that is on the north end of the gymnasium that carries Dick Albaugh’s name.
In 2002 the Alumni Association worked with a publisher to produce the first Anthony Wayne Alumni Directory. Although this was a huge task, the feedback on the result has been very gratifying. The publication has been very valuable in locating former friends, in organizing reunions and just for bringing back memories of high school years.
The last undertaking of the association was the planning of the 50 + 1 reunion. This activity was an attempt to bring back to the high school, to renew friendships and to have the alumni see the ever expanding facilities at our alma mater.
In its short 17 year existence, the Alumni Association has made great strides. However, we have only scratched the surface of our potential. With the help of all alumni, the Association can move on to much greater service to the school and to the alumni.