Author Archive for Withrow Alumni

Alumni Association to Treat Withrow Retirees

Christy McTigue Backley
by Christy Backley ’66

As part of Withrow’s Centennial Celebration during the 2018-19 school year, we’re planning a new twist on the annual retiree luncheon, and we’d like your input to help us with details. 

We want everyone to be able to see the improvements in the building and around the campus, so this year’s special celebratory luncheon will be held at Withrow. Since logistics will be simpler to manage when the school isn’t filled with students, it will take place on Saturday, September 1, 2018. And… it’s our treat! At this time, we’re simply assessing your interest. Once we have an idea of how many people are interested, we’ll start on the details. Read More →

Alumni Association Projects in 2017


By Dave Blockson

Please check out a great article by Bob Linnenberg ’63 “Withrow Tower News – The First 50 Years” by clicking HERE.

In 2017, Withrow Alumni Inc. (WAI) allocated Alumni resources for important improvements to the buildings and campus, for student extra curricular activities, and for teacher, staff, and student support.

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Withrow Tower News – The First 50 Years

By BOB LINNENBERG ’63 

“If it happened—it’s here” was the winning slogan submitted by sophomore Jeanne LeFeber ’50 in a contest held by Tower News in the fall of 1947. She was awarded a $10.00 prize for her entry, which was to appear in the Tower News masthead for the next 30 years.

The first edition of East High School’s The Tower News was issued April 22, 1921. Printed at school, the newspaper contained no advertising and cost 5 cents. Student Horace Wersel was given credit for suggesting the name for the paper. The students at East High had chosen to have a newspaper instead of a magazine; and in this regard, Tower News remained the first and only public school newspaper in Cincinnati for almost a decade.

Published bi-weekly, the paper consisted of club news, stories, poems, essays, cartoons, and humor. All aspects of sports news, both male and female, were prominent. In the ensuing years, alumni news and events were heavily featured. By the late 1920’s, the paper expanded into a weekly publication and added more cartoons and gossip.

In 1929, it became necessary to print Tower News out of school, and the business staff was expanded to bring in advertising.

By the early 1930’s, with the depression at its worst, the paper was scaled back to bi-weekly and fears were evident that, due to lack of sales and advertising, Tower News would have to cease publication altogether. The student body rallied, and the paper continued throughout the Depression.

World War II brought the paper back to a weekly publication. War news and stories of alumni and former students in service were prominent along with the usual sports, clubs and activities, and gossip. Instructions for air raid drills, and the sometimes humorous results of air raid drills, were featured along with articles about the Victory Corps and similar war time activities. Times may have been difficult but the most copy was given over to the popular “swing” bands of the time. What the hit songs were and where and when the bands were playing in the Cincinnati area helped relieve the stress of wartime life. Weekly casualty lists were published on the first page throughout the war.

In 1944, Tower News held a contest for new school songs. Suggesting that “On Withrow” was a “parody” of “On Wisconsin”, the Editors wanted to replace it with something specific to Withrow. With the school name changed from East High to Withrow High in 1924, Tower News had sponsored the same  contest to get rid of the “On Wisconsin” tune. Both contests were unsuccessful. However, the 1944 contest for an Alma Mater had a winner. With Sigma Gamma awarding a $25.00 prize, junior Rowena Hezlep’s words remain the Alma Mater to this day. The song, with music by choral director Leo Grether, was presented on Class Day 1945.

Over the ensuing years, the Tower News remained a weekly paper. For special occasions, and for the year 1956, a six-page paper was possible. Special sports issues were common in the fall as was the Minstrel/Sounds of Withrow issue in the spring; an April Fool issue highlighted the wit of the Tower News staff. The Class Day issue at the end of the school year was prepared by the departing seniors, and the underclassmen took over the assignments for the next school year.

In the fall of 1965, the Board of Education bought Withrow a printing press; and the Tower News once again was printed in-house. It was reduced to a bi-weekly publication, but because advertising was no longer necessary, the content remained the same.

During most of its run, Tower News enjoyed an All-American or a First-Class rating from the National Scholastic Press Association. Withrow students knew they had good reason to be proud of their paper, and the national recognition was icing on the cake. And, after 50 years, the price may have doubled—but was still only 10 cents.

Withrow’s Roland West, Denny Duermit and Tom Chambers in CPS Hall of Fame

Three Withrow Tigers—athletes Roland West ’62 and Denny Duermit ’69 and coach Tom Chambers are members of the ninth class inducted in April into the CPS Athletic Hall of Fame. Induction is based solely on High School athletic accomplishments in sports officially recognized by the Ohio State Athletic Association.

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Withrow Centennial Update – Spring 2018

By Carol Mitchell Lawrence ’84

The Withrow Alumni Association has established a Withrow Centennial Group to coordinate Centennial activities in 2019 that celebrate our school’s 100th year and its long history of education in our communities. The Withrow Centennial Group includes Board members, other alumni and friends of Withrow who are interested in participating in this historic event. If you’re interested in joining one of the planning committees below, please fill out the Volunteer Form by clicking HERE or by leaving a message with the alumni office (513-363-9085).

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