Mount Union Area Schools Alumni Association holds annual banquet

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Students receiving a scholarship during the Mount Union Area Schools Alumni Association Banquet 2018 and their parents are, from left, front, Andrea Eichelberger, Abigail Steward, Victoria Boozel, Katrina Bliss, Sarah Gearhart, Diana Roher, Aspen Fleming, Hannah Gladfelter, Andrew Todaro; second row, Sherry Eichelberger, Sally Steward, Amy Boozel, Jacquita Bliss, Gail Gearhart, Gina Sunderland, Penny Huntsman, Aurora Gladfelter and Stephanie Todaro; third row, Michael Steward, Martin Boozel, Tim Bliss, Dave Gearhart, Brian Fleming, Jim Huntsman, Matthew Gladfelter and Craig Todaro.

MOUNT UNION — The Mount Union Area Schools Alumni Association held its 30th annual banquet meeting at the Mount Union Area High School on May 26.

Dianne Barben recognized distinguished alumni, former and current teachers, board members, and former scholarship recipients who were present. Barbara Hartman Blair and Kenneth Long, of the Class of 1945, represented the earliest class in attendance, and the nine new scholarship recipients from the newly graduating Class of 2018 represented the most recent class.

During the business meeting, the election was held for five positions on the board of directors. Five incumbents and two new candidates appeared on the ballot. There were no nominations from the floor, and the five persons elected for three-year terms were Fred Gutshall ’64, William Shives ’62, Tracy Harman Roles ’88, Dennis Drake ’83, and Kelly Anderson Hicks ’99.

Rick Rogers ’65, Commander of the Blue Juniata VFW Post 5754 announced that the Post was making another donation of $10,000 to establish a second scholarship, this one for a student taking up a trade.

Barbara (Smith) Myers ’63, presented the treasurer’s report. She announced that Timothy and Kelly Anderson Hicks have established the Coralee Rose Hicks Memorial Scholarship Fund in memory of their infant daughter who passed on June 23, 2017, and she listed the numerous donors who have already contributed to the fund.

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Distinguished alumni honored at the banquet were Curtis Blaine Wright '73, left, and Terry Duane Clemens '60.

H. Gene Fultz ’52 passed away on July 13, 2017. Genevieve Culbertson Cutshall ’35 passed away on Nov. 30, 2017. Thomas Moreland Miller ’43 passed away on Feb. 4, 2018. The families of these individuals requested that memorial gifts be made to the Alumni Association, and Myers listed the donors who did so.

The Alumni Association was named as a beneficiary in the will of Lois Peterson, wife of Walter Peterson ’44, who was unable to attend his graduation due to service in World War II.

Contributions have been received for the Clifford F. McElrath Jr., Memorial Scholarship Fund and for the Terrizzi Family Scholarship Fund.

Dwight and Cynthia Aurand have established the Cord Aurand Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of their son who passed away on April 7, 2018. Contributions to this fund to date total $8,195.

An anonymous donor has made a contribution in honor of Fred Gutshall ’64.

Gratitude was extended to the Blue Juniata VFW Post 5754 for this evening’s announcement of their funding of a second scholarship.

Myers noted that the investments in the Wells Fargo account fluctuate with the stock market and that the interest and dividends from this account are used to fund the scholarship checks.

Deanna Wagner ’73, presented the membership report. She noted that there were reservations from 155 members and guests, including 52 who were attending a banquet for the first time. Joe Wise ’52, came from Washington state and Curtis Wright ’73, from Alabama. The current mailing list reflects members in 35 states, Canada, Italy, France and Germany. Membership has increased by 17 individuals since last year, bringing the total association membership to 1,595. The Class of 1941 still holds the distinction of having the most members of the association, while the classes of 1960 and 1973 had the most members present at the banquet.

The membership form is available at the district’s website at

Wagner expressed thanks to Neil and Dianne House Barben who once again sponsored memberships for the new scholarship recipients.

Next year’s banquet, the 31st , is scheduled for Saturday, May 25, 2019.

Dr. Benjamin Sunderland ’67, Chair of the Scholarship Committee, announced that nine scholarships were being awarded this year. Throughout the presentation, the alumni offered their gratitude to the scholarship donors who were present.

Hannah Marie Gladfelter received the A. Russell Fultz Memorial Scholarship. She has participated in Student Council, SADD and the Prom Committee. Her community activities include CHAMP (Creating Hope and Making Progress), which is a 12-hour dance marathon that raises money to help families that are facing health challenges. She has done volunteer work for the Humane Society. She has worked at Subway and as a waitress at Bello’s. Gladfelter will attend Shippensburg University to study psychology.

Katrina Ann Bliss received the Robert C. Goodman Memorial Scholarship. She has participated in Student Council, Future Business Leaders of America, Future Farmers of America, PowerSource, the Daily News Press Club, the PA Bar Association Mock Trial Competitions, the National Honor Society, Drama Club, and STEM Club. In FFA she received recognition for public speaking at events at various levels. She participated in several competitions in FBLA, in which she placed high at the state level contest and traveled to Anaheim, California, to compete at the national level. She has volunteered in numerous community organizations. Bliss will study biomedical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic University.

Abigail Jo Steward received the Park’s/Stanna Walters Scholarship. She was recognized at the Night at Troy and was chosen to participate in a college prep program at Franklin and Marshall. She studied abroad for nine days in Costa Rica. Her school activities included track, cross country, majorettes, National Honor Society, Student Council, Drama Club, Prom Committee, soccer, chorus and band. She is a member of Girl Scouts, having served as a program aide and ambassador. For her graduation project, she created a Buddy Bench for the Kistler Elementary School. Steward will study biomedical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic University.

Diana Marie Roher received the Charles Harper Memorial Scholarship. She has been simultaneously enrolled at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College and has been named to their dean’s list for the last four years. She has been catcher for the softball team and three times has been named to the all star team. She was a guard for the basketball team and twice received the Melissa Lane Award. She was an outside hitter for the volleyball team and was named to the 2017 all star team. In cross country, she placed third at the ICC meet in 2017. She has served as historian for FFA. Roher will attend the University of New England with a major in animal behavior and a minor in psychology.

Victoria Logan Boozel received the Ciampa/Harper Scholarship. Her varsity cheerleading took her to Florida to perform at the Citrus Bowl. She attended District Chorus, and, as a member of the band, played saxophone, electronics and trumpet. As a member of FFA she has achieved state level degrees. She also was a member of the Drama Club. In 4-H she has served as a club officer and has earned teen leadership awards. She has raised numerous kinds of animals and has shown pigs and rabbits at the Huntingdon County Fair. Boozel plans to become a veterinarian and will attend Delaware Valley University to pursue a program in animal science.

Aspen Riana Fleming received the Burkholder Memorial Scholarship. She was recognized at a Night at Troy and participated in the MUAHS Entrepreneurial Program. She is a member of the National Honor Society, served on the Student Council and as class secretary and historian, the yearbook staff, and the Prom Committee. She is a member of SADD and PowerSource. She participated in Rotary Youth Leadership Awards where she received the Outstanding Participant award. She was the first student at MUAHS to take advantage of the Rotary Youth Exchange Program, studying her sophomore year abroad in Gottingen, Germany. Fleming will attend Coastal Carolina University with a major in engineering science.

Andrea Nicole Eichelberger received the Class of 1958 Scholarship. Andrea was named student of the month for January. She has worked as a cake decorator and crew trainer at Dairy Queen and as a shift supervisor at Rite Aid. She has done volunteer work in a local church nursery. Eichelberger will attend South Hills School of Business and Technology in a program of diagnostic medical sonography.

Andrew Craig Todaro received the Jane McCarty Shaffer/Class of 1952 Scholarship. His school activities include National Honor Society, SADD, PowerSource, Student Council, Class Treasurer, FBLA, Prom Committee, Homecoming King, and Youth Leadership Conference. He was captain in cross country and a champion wrestler, ultimately achieving third place state medalist and being named to the 2018 All-Pennsylvania Wrestling Team. He has been involved in numerous service projects in the community. Todaro will study mechanical engineering at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

Sarah Michelle Gearhart received the first Coralee Rose Hicks Memorial Scholarship. She was a member of PowerSource, Upward Bound, and FFA. She has been a letter winner in varsity softball, cross country, and varsity volleyball and was an ICC softball all-star for two years. Her participation in travel softball took her to the New England states. She has held a summer job as a kitchen helper at Beacon Lodge and has shown livestock at the Huntingdon County Fair. Gearhart will study nursing at Penn State’s Altoona campus.

Dennis Drake ’83 introduced Terry Duane Clemens ’60, Distinguished Alumnus 2017, who was unable to attend the 2017 banquet meeting. Clemens rose to the rank of major, the third highest position in the Pennsylvania State Police.

He is the son of Ray and Julia Marie Jones Clemens and was born in Newton Hamilton, Mifflin County. He married Wanda Wertz in 1962 and they have two daughters: Sheila (Mrs. Bill) Benson and Pam Clemens.

Clemens graduated from Captain Jack Joint High School in 1960; Harrisburg Area Community College in 1970; and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State University in 1973. He continued his education, earning his master’s degree in 1982 from Shippensburg University.

He graduated from the State Police Academy in 1964 and the FBI National Academy in 1981.

Clemens served as a state police trooper at Troop H, Harrisburg from 1964 to 1970. From 1971 to 1977 he served as a state police corporal at Troop G, Hollidaysburg. He was a state police sergeant at headquarters in Harrisburg and then served as station commander in Bedford from 1980 to 1981. As his law enforcement career continued, Clemens served in Records, Harrisburg, from 1981 to 1983 and was the Crime Section Commander, Hollidaysburg, from 1983 to 1985. At Troop E, Erie, he served as PSP Captain and Commander in 1985. Later that year he transferred to Captain of the Drug Enforcement Division, a position he held until 1988 when he served as PSP Major, Director of Liquor Control Division. He closed out his stellar career serving as PSP Major, Commander Area III in Hollidaysburg from 1988 to 1995.

Clemens related a number of interesting incidents in which he was involved during his years of service.

Michael Hummel ’05 introduced Distinguished Alumnus 2018 Curtis Blaine Wright ’73. He is a country singer, guitarist and song writer who has written multiple number one hits. He left home in Huntingdon County in 1976 and hit the road, touring the East Coast with Alan Syms and Company. In 1984 he joined Cimmaron, a group of friends from Roanoke, Virginia. Three years later he moved to Nashville where he became a song writer for Willin’ David Music. He also wrote and sang commercial jingles for Burger King, Maxwell House and others. At the same time he did background vocals for artists including Jamey Johnson, Lee Ann Womack, Tracy Lawrence, John Anderson, and Vern Gosdin, among others.

His first No. 1 hit, “A Woman in Love” hit the top of the charts for Ronnie Milsap in 1989. Hits followed for Clay Walker, Shenandoah, Darryl Singletary, Conway Twitty, John Anderson and Steve Wariner.

Wright toured for two years with Vern’s KMA Band and then as a country duo with Orrall and Wright, producing an album “Orrall and Wright.” They were nominated for vocal duo of the year for Country Music Awards in 1993. Wright performed as lead singer for Shenandoah and Pure Prairie League, and in 2008-09 he was part of Reba McEntire’s show at the Las Vegas Hilton.

The 1973 Mount Union graduate returned to the top of the charts in 1995 with “Next to You, Next to Me,” “Rock My Baby” (Shenandoah) and “What’s It to You.”

Born June 6, 1955, in Huntingdon County, he was a son of Blair Wallace and Donna Wright. He has three brothers and three sisters. Wright also has two daughters, Austin Kristoff and Caitlyn Wright.

In brief remarks he thanked God and his family and thanked Mount Union Area High School for not kicking him out.