South Point graduates stay together through service

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

SOUTH POINT — The class of 1969 graduated at a time when the nation was changing.

Thousands of young Americans were dying in the Vietnam War, hippies were flocking to Woodstock and the first man walked on the moon.

These nation-changing events are part of what holds the South Point High School class of 1969 together today, Doug Conley said.

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Unlike some classes, who have poor attendance at their five- or 10-year reunions, the 1969 grads have about 92 percent at their reunions, which are held every three years. Conley said the group also has get-togethers every few weeks that are well attended.

“I don’t know really why we are so close,” Conley, said of his class of 143. “I guess when we were growing up all of us didn’t have much to look forward to. We knew we were going to ’Nam. I guess we just formed a brotherhood.’”

He said members of other classes call and ask how they manage to stay organized. Conley said the group publishes a newsletter at least four times a year and also distributes a book yearly with e-mail addresses, phone numbers and addresses of each class member.

“It does take work to stay tight,” said 55-year-old Conley.

Although the class does have a lot of fun when they get together, Conley said service to their alma mater is top priority.

The class’ latest project is the sale of coffee mugs emblazoned with an artist’s rendering of the old high school — in operation from 1950 to 1983 but now serves as the middle school — and the name and year of graduation of those who order the mugs. In the next few years, the South Point School District will be tearing down all of its old schools to build new ones, which served as the catalyst of the project.

So far, the mugs have been a hit. At least one member of every class that graduated from the old high school has purchased one. Conley said they have received orders from as far away as England.

The mugs are $15 each or two for $25. For more information contact Conley at (740) 894-0300 or or Regina Reed at (740) 894-8030 or

All of the money raised through the mug sale will go toward a scholarship to a graduating South Point senior, as well as other future school projects.

The class also plans to sell calendars featuring historic photos, as well as new ones, of the district’s schools. Those should be available in the next few months, Conley said. Like the mugs, the money raised will go directly to the district.