WEST MILTON — The Milton-Union High School was the site of the 135th Annual Alumni Banquet on May 20, with almost 300 in attendance.
The program opened with remarks by Joe Blackburn, class of 1998, who was the emcee for the evening. He then led the Pledge of Allegiance, offered an invocation, and invited everyone to enjoy their meal.
Following the meal, each class was recognized by year and the names of those in attendance were read. The oldest alumni in attendance was Gerald Ingram from the Class of 1946. Three members of the Class of 1948 were also in attendance along with one member from the Class of 1949, four members from the Class of 1950, three members from the Class of 1951, and one member from the Class of 1952. The roll call addressed every class through the Class of 2022.
All in attendance then observed a moment of silence to remember the 83 deceased classmates from Feb. 1, 2022 through Jan. 31, 2023.
Ron Berner (1961) introduced the Athletic Hall of Fame honorees. These honorees will receive their awards at the Induction Banquet on Feb. 10, 2024, at the MUHS cafetorium. More details of all of their accomplishments will be shared at that time. The honorees include the following individuals:
• Tim Goings, Class of 1972: He lettered three years in tennis and basketball. In basketball, he was MVP as a junior and senior and holds the single game record of 50 points.
• Alycia Helman Penny, Class of 2009: She lettered four years in soccer, basketball and track. She was a basketball MVP twice and was in the All Southwest Buckeye League three times.
• Jennifer Bataille Kosfeld, Class of 1993: She lettered four years in cross country and track. She was a cross country MV runner as a junior and senior. She held the record for the 1600 meter run, the 3200 meter run, and points in a season and career at the time of her graduation.
• Mark Lane, Class of 2001: He lettered four years in football and wrestling, and earned several football honors. He went on to be a four year starter at Wilmington College. In wrestling, he was captain and MVP for two years. Three times he was an SRC Champion and State runner-up. He has been a Milton-Union football coach and athletic director and will assume the responsibilities of Milton Union High School Assistant Principle on July 1.
Yvonne Martindale Kochersperger (1971) introduced Hall of Honor honoree Gary Studebaker, Class of 1959. Gary grew up on a working farm near West Milton. During high school he played football and ran track and field. His senior year he represented the school at the Ohio State Track and Field Finals in the pole vault event. After college he worked for International Voluntary Services in Laos working sustainable agriculture and construction projects in a hilltribe community. Upon his return he began teaching while earning his Master’s Degree. He also met and married Susan, a teacher colleague. With her support he completed his doctorate in special education, and began teaching in public schools and special education courses at National University. He designed and manufactured furniture products that contribute to motor stability of children with cerebral palsy, three of his designs have been used across the country. Studebaker has written a number of books. One “Autism Spectrum Realities”, sharing their experience with their daughter. Another is an autobiography of his brother, Ted Studebaker, a martyr for peace and justice, whose life is portrayed at the International Peace Museum in Dayton. Following his introduction, Studebaker gave a heartwarming and inspiring speech geared towards all those present and especially toward those graduating seniors who were present.
Blackburn recognized the M-U Alumni Committee for all of their dedication and hard work. He then called the Alumni Association business meeting to order. The 2022 minutes were approved. David Wion, Class of 1976, gave the Treasurer’s Report. Megan Bryson, Class of 2002, and co-advisors Jessica Baisden and Rochelle Brazina, introduced the seniors who were present. David Wion presented a total of seventeen scholarships. Blackburn made his closing remarks and reminded everyone that the 136th banquet will be held on May 18, 2024.
A special thanks go to Expressions Photo Studio (Tracy Kelly, Class of 1982), ARF Printing of Troy, Starry Dreams Catering, Dana Dickison (Class of 1980) and his students for setting up tables and chairs, and to the sophomore class for serving and clean up.