President’s Messages – Fall 2022

by Dave Blocksom ’68

Academic News
I am pleased to announce that Withrow Alumni, Inc. has been selected to manage a $50,000 donation from a private family foundation which prefers to remain anonymous. The grant is for $10,000 per year for five years. The funds are being used to pay for music tutors for our five band classes, which include beginning band, intermediate band, and orchestra. There are four tutors (oboe, brass, percussion, and woodwinds) who work with our 70 band students one day per week. The program started last year, and the results have been amazing! Some of the students will give up their study halls to come to the band room to practice with the tutors. Our oboe student is now looking into majoring in music in college. This is quite a turnaround for our band program.

We have included a page in this edition of Tower News informing you of the Mathais Fund. This is a scholarship program for a Withrow student who will attend UC, has two working parents, and is not eligible for the standard Pell grant. This scholarship was established by former Alumni Board of Trustees member Ike Misali ’50.

There are two other scholarships specifically for Withrow grads; both are managed by the Cincinnati Scholarship Foundation. One of the scholarships honors former principal Major McNeil, while the other was established by retired health and physical fitness instructor Mike Finnegan; this scholarship is for a Withrow grad who intends to major in a health-related field or education.

Sports News
Withrow is starting a 7th and 8th grade (Jr. High) tennis club after more than 40 years without any tennis programs at the school. The club includes not only Withrow students, but also students from other CPS schools that do not have a tennis program. The club uses the refurbished Withrow tennis courts. Former Withrow tennis player Jerry Howard ’75 (state runner-up in doubles) is an adviser and coach to the program. He is partnering with the Cincinnati Tennis Foundation for funding. Jerry has been a teaching tennis pro his entire career, and we are fortunate that he is giving back to our students.

The 2023 Withrow Athletic Hall of Fame inductees are Joe Dehner ’66, Jeffrey Graves ’81, Rashaun O’Neal ’16, Doneasha Brewer ’17 and Albert Kalala ’17. The induction ceremony will be held Saturday, February 4, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. in the Withrow gym. Last year’s induction ceremony was not a part of a boys’ basketball game for the first time, and it went over so well that we are going to continue to have the ceremony separate from a basketball game. Honestly, the noise at the games was very distracting to the ceremony. The ceremony is free and open to the public, so please feel free to attend.

Withrow – The first 50 Years: Coaches John Huheey, Norman Kusel and Virgil Scardina
Bob Linnenberg ’63 continues his excellent research into Withrow’s rich history with “Withrow-the first 50 years: Coaches John Huheey, Norman Kusel and Virgil Scardina. You can read this article by clicking HERE.

We are still looking for annuals for our alumni archives collection. We need years 1973, 1974, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1993 and 1995. If you have any that you would like to donate, please contact me at We don’t need any annuals prior to 1972. The Cincinnati Public Library has scanned 60 of our 90 annuals. There is a link on our alumni website to view the library’s collection. The rest of our annuals will be on the site by the end of the year.

Thank You For Your Help
Lastly, your donations are crucial in helping us support all our volunteer efforts to maintain our beautiful campus and support our students and staff. If you are taking taxable IRA deductions, don’t forget about using tax-free qualified charitable distributions instead. It also looks like Congress might extend the up-to-$600 (married filing jointly) tax deduction for charitable contributions again this year (even if you itemize). We sincerely appreciate any donation you can make by clicking HERE

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