Alumni gather in Gothenburg

Old diploma surfaces, oldest graduate honored.

A framed diploma belonging to Robert Henry Brestel, a 1912 Gothenburg High School graduate, found its way to the GHS alumni banquet Saturday night.

Superintendent Mike Teahon said it represented the long line of graduates who have worn scarlet and cream.

Teahon welcomed 226 graduates and their spouses in the Community Building following a day filled with tours of the school and town and a tea for alumni.


The superintendent also presented a Top 10 list of the most surnames found in lists of GHS graduates since the first class was recorded in 1897.


“Each of you has changed the world in some little way,” Teahon said, reminding alumni to return to their alma mater often and support the Gothenburg School Foundation.

Dale Gronewold, of the class of 1970, gave the invocation. Britt Anderson, who also graduated with the Class of 1970, served as master of ceremonies.

Anderson recognized the honored classes which included 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980 and 1990 and talked about what was happening in the world during each decade from information gathered by 1960 graduate Jane Sheets.

For example during the 1930s, Hitler was rising to power as ferocious dust storms blackened the skies across the Plains.

That was when the oldest alumni in attendance—Lois Atkinson—was growing up in Gothenburg, graduating with the Class of 1935.

Atkinson, who was honored for being the oldest alumni in attendance, grew up near the little red schoolhouse south of town. She later drove a school bus route.

During his speech to alumni, 1967 GHS graduate Matt Williams asked the audience to remember a teacher who took the time and effort to make a difference.

Williams also talked about an ethics and leadership class he teaches in which core values measure success.

First of all, he said it’s important to recognize the importance of people since it’s difficult to achieve much as an individual.

When Williams said he thinks of teamwork, he remembers Ernie and Ethel Van Wey who owned and operated the Sun Theatre in Gothenburg for years.

Conducting oneself with a sense of responsibility is another core value.

“You can’t blame things on others,” he said.

Thirdly, striving to teach one’s potential is paramount regardless of age, physical limitations or other things.

Williams told alumni to dream big and in color.

“And don’t forget to dream in cardinal and white,” he said.

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