Withrow High School Celebrates 100 Years of Excellence in Epic Fashion

by NICHELLE BOLDEN ’84

After several years of heartfelt, painstaking organization, meetings, planning and execution, the once-in-a-lifetime Withrow Centennial Celebration took place from Wednesday, September 4th  through September 8th , 2019. Presented by the Withrow Alumni Association, the five-day celebration marked our 100 years of providing excellence in education, civic and athletic accomplishments. Additionally, long-standing community and corporate partners, Western & Southern Financial Group, the Cincinnati Herald, Frost, Brown and Todd Legal Firm, and Xavier University, joined the Alumni Association in presenting this grand affair.

Kicking off a host of events was the legendary “ORANGE OUT” on Fountain Square, where closse to 1,000 Tigers descended upon the city to commemorate our birthday. Withrow High School was honored by city, county and state officials with proclamations officially declaring “Withrow Weekend” throughout the city. City councilman Jeff Pastor (2002) delivered an official proclamation from the Mayor’s office, followed by Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus and State Representatives Brigid Kelly and Sedrick Denson. Finally, legendary Tiger alumnus, State Senator Cecil Thomas (’71), presented the Alumni Association with proclamations from the Ohio Senate as well as an official gubernatorial proclamation from Governor Mike DeWine. Former Ohio State Representative and Class of 1989 President Alicia Reece served as the Mistress of Ceremonies, as four of Cincinnati’s legendary DJ’s—Da’Mon George (’88), Perry Simmons (’85), Guy Westmoreland (’91) and David Hankerson (’78) — were on the “wheels of steel” capturing and elevating the Tiger party spirit exemplified over the weekend.

The epic weekend continued with the Centennial Golf Outing at Reeves Golf Course at Lunken Airport on September 7th. At this event, planned by Rich Eby (’59), Terrance Sherrer (’84) and Daniel Hobbs (’82), over 65 alums teed off to raise funds for the Major R. McNeal Scholarship Fund. Many noted Tiger alumni who participated included basketball and golf legends, Denny Duermit (’68), John Apgar (’68), Rick Calloway (’85) and Coach George Jackson (’74), photo right. More Golf Outing photos may be found HERE

September 8th, marked a historic day filled with a host of events, activities and reunions Tigers will remember for years to come. The day kicked off with the Centennial Crosstown Hoop Showdown featuring Withrow’s millennial basketball all-stars vs. the Woodward H.S. Bulldogs. Coached by Steve Gentry (’89), and led by Chris Knight (’05), Anthony McBride (’08) and Josh Reid (’09), the Tiger All-Stars put away the always scrappy Bulldog rivals. Also featured was a halftime Slam Dunk Contest, led by our young Tiger Cubs, Simon Edwards (’20) and Ivan Mason (’20), who respectively placed first and second. Special Kudos to Ass’t. A.D. Regina Williams ’84 and her planning committee. More Alumni Basketball Game photos may be found HERE


Later in the evening, over 800 Tiger Alumni descended upon JACK Casino Grand Ballroom for the soiree of the year—the Centennial Gala and After Party. Guests were treated to a sumptuous surf and turf dinner, as well as celebrated our storied history and traditions through songs and speeches from numerous revered alumni and Laura Mitchell, CPS Superintendent and keynote speaker. Serving as the Gala Mistress of Ceremonies, former WCPO anchor Jenell Walton (’89) regaled the crowd with hilarious stories about her time spent at Withrow as a member of the Withrow Voice of Communications. Alumni entertainers, jazz artist Kathy Wade (’73) and nationally renowned gospel artist, Darwin Hobbs (’85), delivered powerful, standing ovation worthy solo performances, as well as a moving collective rendition of our Alma Mater to close the evening program.  Rich Eby (’59) and Emily Spicer (’44) were crowned Mr. and Mrs. Centennial. “As a Tiger, I can RRROAR,” quipped Mrs. Spicer in her acceptance speech. “And you TOO Tigers, can RRRROOAR!” The Alumni Assn. honored Jack Cover (’59) for his over 20 years of work with the Alumni Assn. More Gala Dinner and After Party photos can be found HERE.

Closing out the grand weekend, 150 alumni dined around the iconic clock tower at the Centennial Brunch on Sunday morning. Guests enjoyed a delectable variety of brunch selections and a spirited ambiance of great music, and connections with classmates. DJ Da’Mon George succinctly echoed the sentiments of many alumni. “Anyone who walked the halls of Withrow High School knew it was a special place,” said George. “Our centennial celebrations allowed us to show Cincinnati and the world our generations of bonds, our Tiger Love, and our Tiger Pride. Withrow forever!” Special historical tours of Withrow were also available. More Brunch Around the Tower photos may be found HERE.

Overall, the Withrow High School Centennial Weekend set an amazing precedent in terms of how we honor our history, legendary campus and the overall love and Tiger Pride we have for our school. We thank all those Tigers who attended, donated, supported, and volunteered time, funds, and effort into making this spectacular event one of the most memorable times in our rich history. And remember— ONCE A TIGER…. ALWAYS A TIGER!

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