Steve Austin, who attended Hill-Murray School in the early 1980s and Bob Bitzen, a 1984 graduate, look at a memorabilia display during the 50th anniversary and homecoming celebration at the school Sept. 24. It kicked off a year of events celebrating the school’s 50 years of graduates. The Maplewood school was established when Archbishop Murray Memorial High School for girls and Hill High School for boys consolidated in 1971. The event honored the history of both schools — whose graduating classes started their senior year in 1961. A Hall of Fame breakfast, 5K run, carnival and concessions were part of the day, as well as the school’s homecoming football game and music by The Rockin’ Hollywoods. While looking at the 50 years of history displayed in the school’s varsity gym, Don Talbot and his wife Margaret, both 1963 graduates, remembered the camaraderie of the students at both schools. “We made lifelong friendships,” Don said. “We still get together with friends from the ’62 and ’63 classes. They were almost like one class.”
Cassie Atkinson, 6, bounces down an inflatable slide, one of the attractions for children at the carnival. Cassie’s mom, Barb Atkinson, is a 1989 graduate and Cassie’s grandfather, Frank Asenbrenner, was the school’s first principal, serving from 1969 to 1990. During a breakfast earlier in the day, Asenbrenner was inducted, along with five others, into Hill-Murray School’s first Athletic Hall of Fame class for his support of Pioneer athletic programs.
Senior Tessa Cichy cheers for a Hill-Murray touchdown during the homecoming football game. The Pioneers fell to the South St. Paul Packers, 16 to 7.
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