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Vienna-Mathews High School Alumni Association

The Vienna High School Alumni Association was constituted of graduates of Vienna High School between 1917 and 1961. In 2012, the Association changed its name to the Vienna-Mathews Alumni Association to include graduates of Mathews High School.

The Association holds an annual dinner in Memorial Auditorium of Mathews High School.

Association History

The first official record of minutes is dated May 11, 1929. The Association met in the high school's auditorium and elected officers for 1930: Margaret Beachler, President, and Harry Scott, Secretary-Treasurer. The Vienna Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) served supper for $1.00 per person.

In 1933 Donna Buckley Landis was elected president and Frances Hayes Waters secretary-treasurer for the next year. Respected teacher I. F. Mathews was elected an honorary member of the Association.

The office of vice president was added in 1934. John Pennell was elected president, Paul Shoff vice president, and Louis Tidd Dray secretary-treasurer. The meeting closed with the attendees singling old school songs.

The year 1935 marked another shift in the Association's governance. In addition to the election of Louis Taiclet as president, Harry Scott as vice president, and Margaret Beachler Mealy as secretary-treasurer, a five-member board of directors was also named: Aubrey Hayes, William Mealy, Lyle Hull, John Pennell, and Robert Knauff. On August 3, 1935, the Association sponsored a Homecoming Dance, netting a profit of $14.83. Mothers prepared the supper, served by the junior class members of 1938. The cost was 50 cents a plate.

The demands and sacrifices of World War II (1939-1945) were keenly felt in Vienna. The 1943 meeting was held as a covered dish dinner with 82 members and friends in attendance. The minutes note 66 alumni were then serving in the armed forces. Meetings in 1944 and in 1945 were suspended. Members in the service then numbered 113.

Annual meetings resumed at the War's end and a big celebration was held on Sunday, June 1, 1946. Welcoming the returning servicemen were 158 Association members and friends. A plaque commemorating Vienna High School alumni who had paid the supreme sacrifice during the War was presented to the school and accepted by Superintendent J. H. Wanamaker. The plaque displays the following names: Francis Hayes (Class of 1934), Ray Beachler (Class of 1940), John Terlecky (Class of 1941), Edwin Davis (Class of 1942), and Alwin Curry (Class of 1944).

Association governance changed after the War. In 1948 the Association voted to place automatically the outgoing president on the Board of Directors, thus providing continuity. The cost of the annual dinner rose from $1.00 in 1946 to $1.25 in 1948. Due to increased membership and thus heavier responsibilities, the office of secretary-treasurer was separated in 1950. The next year the Association voted that the secretary and the treasurer each would serve two-year terms. Beginning in 1952, the annual meeting was held in the new high school auditorium, but by 1956 the Vienna Music Boosters began serving the annual dinner and the banquet was moved from the auditorium to the cafeteria.

In 1954, the Association honored the Class of 1929, thus beginning a tradition of noting a class's 25th anniversary.

The end of the Vienna Township Rural School District came in the fall of 1961, when the townships of Fowler and Vienna consolidated into the Fowler-Vienna School District. The Vienna High School building was renamed Mathews High School, in honor of I. F. Mathews.

The Alumni Association in 1965 decided to award an annual scholarship. In 1967 a $50 savings bond was presented to William Butler. The scholarship fund, however, did not grow as anticipated and was discontinued in 1968.

The 50th anniversary of Vienna High School's first graduating class was observed in 1967. A permanent date for the annual meeting, the last Saturday in April, was set in 1968 and in 1969 the tradition of honoring classes commemorating their 50th-year anniversary commenced.

Dorothy Gibson served as Secretary for 29 years. Grace Waldorf McMullen, elected as Treasurer in 1966, was serving in this capacity in 1999.


This entry is adapted from "Vienna High School Alumni Association," in Vienna, Ohio, "Where We Live and Let Live": Town 4, Range 2 of the Connecticut Western Reserve (Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 1999), pp. 209-210.