LEBANON, Mo. — Graduates of Lebanon High School from all classes came to their old stomping grounds Saturday to commemorate 150 years of education.
The Alumni Association Board wanted to honor the history of the schools. The vision started with Eddy Smith.
“Eddie Smith, the class of 1962, had a dream to get a memorial built for the school buildings that stood on this side [of Adams Street],” Class of 1964 Jim Jeffries said. “[He hoped] it would coincide with the 150th anniversary of Lebanon Public Schools. He got a group together in July of 2020 and in 18 months his ideas and the ideas of all of advisory committee and the board resulted in this.”
The Alumni Plaza is located on the Northeast corner of the Luthy Field House on Adams Street. It is lined with over 1300 bricks etched with students and teachers names.
“It all started on a piece of paper,” Class of 1968 Lester Capps said. “My part was trying to take that piece of paper and make it look like what it is today.”
As grads look down to see their name, they can look up to see another part of the school’s history. The Adams Building Roof Bell, from the original 1871 building, sits at the top of the original steps. It still rings to this day. The center of the plaza features a sculpture of two children sitting on a globe reading.
“I think we’ve built a great monument to those schools that stood here,” Jeffries said. “I hope the community is as proud of it as we are. I hope they will enjoy it for many decades to come.”
The celebration had many decades of former students in the parade.
“Every class was invited to have some type of entry,” Eddie Smith, class of 1962 said.
“We didn’t know who was going to show up, But, we had a lady that was Homecoming Queen in the 40s that was in the parade.”
Former Cheerleaders, current Marching Band members, Twirlers, and more Queens and Royalty also showed their school spirit.
“This is jacket nation,” Carol Bauer, class of 1966 said. “We all bleed black and gold. Once a yellow jacket always a yellow jacket.”
Yellow-jackets will be engraved into the plaza ground to represent the school’s mascot.