Mt. Pleasant High School Class of 1959 Legacy Scholarship Fund
In 1959, amid Alaska being admitted as the 50th state, the Cold War, and Eisenhower’s Presidency, there was a group of students at Mt. Pleasant High School busy with senior year festivities, Friday night plans, and preparing for graduation. “We were a fun class who enjoyed being where we were, enjoyed the moments,” said class member Janice Brien Huffman. “We are the same group of people now, we just accomplished more than anyone of us would have expected.”
The graduating class of 1959 included those students first to attend the then new circular high school, where the current, though much updated, high school is located in Mt. Pleasant. Their shared experiences, for some from elementary through the old high school on Fancher Street, left them with roots in the Mt. Pleasant Public Schools and led them to create this scholarship fund partially in memory of 40 classmates with the Foundation. Together, the class shared attending school for only half the day because of a tight budget. They helped one another through the loss of a classmate due to an auto accident. They took the opportunities they were offered by the faculty and staff and found out the “learning and application were more important than tests.” Miss Montague, a math teacher, remarked in later years as she remembered the class of 1959, that they were the most cohesive class in her experience.
The days of prank playing in the circle courtyard may be long gone, but the individuals have stayed in touch throughout the years, meeting regularly every five years. Huffman described the class as unpredictable and unwilling to let go of the friendships and bonds they formed so long ago. “Our class members really developed into leaders, no matter what field individuals chose.” It is as though the graduates acted on advice given at their senior ceremony so long ago. “Today’s young person must be like a thermostat, controlling his actions, [rather] than a thermometer which merely reflects what “everyone else” is doing,” yearbook editor, Kay Krapohl, quoted Rev. Robert C Smith as saying in their senior yearbook.
As their 50th class reunion approached, the Mt. Pleasant High School Class of 1959 reunion planning committee set up this fund with the Foundation to make a permanent impact on the Mt. Pleasant Community and Mt. Pleasant High School. The committee was formed at the class’ 45th reunion in 2005 and chaired by Connie Wittekind Conley with members located throughout the United States, and met periodically to plan for the weekend reunion.
The planning committee hopes that their scholarships benefit students who possess dreams or hope of going on in school, but lack the support, finances, or confidence to make it possible. Huffman describes their ideal candidates, as students who may have a unique family situation, or may have been overlooked in school or initially thought they were not smart enough to pursue education after high school. The Mt. Pleasant High School “Class of 1959” Legacy Fund provides scholarships for tuition, books and supplies. This scholarship does not preclude descendants of the MPHS Class of 1959 from consideration.
Scholarships are awarded for a two-year period. Students must remain enrolled and in good standing with the college or university to receive the second year scholarship.
Scholarship Eligibility Criteria:
- Be a graduating senior from Mt. Pleasant High School, Mt. Pleasant Area Technical Center or Oasis High School.
- Have maintained a 2.5 minimum grade point average.
- Preference should be given to applicants planning to attend a vocational/technical school or a community college.
- A written portion of the applicant's scholarship application that describes the applicant's desire for his or her career choice.
- Financial need: Applicants have been requested to write a short essay stating in their own words, why this scholarship would be helpful in allowing them to achieve their career goals.
2016 Scholarship Award: 2 - $1,000 ($500 per year for 2 years)
Application Deadline: March 4, 2016