State of the Highline High School Alumni Foundation papers of incorporation were filed following a meeting of three Highline High Alums, all involved in the business world, all having their own businesses, all graduates of the early seventies, and each having an interest in promoting a non-profit corporation with scholarships as the emphasis. This December 1994 meeting of Uli Chi ’70, Scott Salzer ’71 and Sally Carey Newton ’70 comprised the initial board of directors. Mr. Chi contributed a substantial sum and served as the first president of the Foundation from 1995 until about 2000. The introductory scholarship was a $500 Harry E. Lemon Memorial Scholarship awarded to graduating senior Misty McDonald in 1995, followed the next year with the awarding of the Harry Lemon Memorial Scholarship to Heather McClellend, the Emily Nishimura Herod Scholarship to Ann Ngoc Huynh, and the Uli and Gayle Chi Math Scholarship to Ingrid Backston and Jon Campbell. Learn more about Uli Chi in the Alumnus of the Year Section.
As additional Alumni came on board, Uli Chi passed the presidency on to Sally Newton for several years. Sally was instrumental in drafting the Bylaws of ten articles, dated December 12, 1994, along with an official name, purpose, membership, officers, meetings, board of directors and necessary committees. These bylaws were ratified January 12, 1995. Becoming involved were Betty Thomas Carter ’45, Pete McDougal ’45, Patti Stewart Burgess ’50, Cathy Hughes Low ’69, Georgina Busch Wicklund ’56, Dick Dahlgard and Bill Odekirk ’54, and Joanne Bakken Pease ’70, to mention a few. The enlarged group revised the bylaws on November 2, 2002 and again on September 20, 2004 to their current form.
A December 31, 1995 budget report stated the Foundation account balance as $3,170.69, having awarded its first scholarship. 2014's financial status was around $200,000 and the total scholarship awards total increased to nearly one-half million dollars. We went from one $500 scholarship in 1995 to twenty $3000 scholarships awarded in 2014. A recent matching grant and a portion of an estate bequest to the Foundation have enhanced the scholarship offerings. The program has been and will be successful in the future. A newly introduced E-commerce solution on our website enables donors to contribute online.
Since the existence of the Foundation was not widely known, an attempt was undertaken to promote awareness in the community, particularly to reach out to Highline High graduates. Thanks to Sally and her team a membership mailing system was established, a newsletter formulated and mailed out, involvement from various class representatives was enlisted, reunions were emphasized, and a couple of displays at the Burien Farmers Market all contributed to our exposure. A directory was available, scholarships increased, funding rose, a golf event was established, an all-class reunion was held, and Alumni participated in the Burien Fourth of July parade, all letting people know we were a strong entity in the community.
The presidency was passed onto Howard Call around 2004. Working with a team of great committee chairpeople the Foundation was able to increase the amount and size of departmental, private, and memorial scholarships. The Foundation aslo provided Athletic Hall of Fame and Alumnus of the Year nominees. The “Alumni Soundings” newsletter was expanded to a website. Several Alumni events were offered including : Golf tournaments, all class reunions, 4th of July parade participation, membership drives, and scholarship award ceremonies. Senior receptions instilled greater general interest in the HHS Alumni Foundation. All of these events became annual occurrences under Howard Call's leadership.
The excerpt below is from Howard's letter of resignation in 2015.
Several goals for the Foundation were lofty, yet thought to be attainable. They were: 1) Greater number of classes represented 2) Increased membership 3) Scholarships to all academic departments, plus other types 4) Involvement of the Foundation in special projects 5) Improved coverage and quality of the newsletter 6) Continual growth of HHS database 7) Community involvement, exposure and awareness
Some of these goals have been on track, others not nearly met during these past ten years. When we think of approximately 30,000 Highline High graduates, it seems one-sixth could be enlisted as members of the Foundation. Enlisting 5,000 members would enhance the fulfillment of the previously mentioned goals. Granted, the world cannot be changed overnight. What each of you has done and is doing is assisting in making the Foundation a meaningful organization.
Change is indeed inevitable and a must for growth. Reaching out to our classes of the 80’s, 90’s, 2000’s and teen decades is essential. These forty years of graduates are needed for their familiarity with and patronizing of Burien businesses; and for their fresh, new ideas. Help is needed to promote increased funding of our scholarship program and more interest in events; to discontinue some programs and begin others new and befitting of an electronic generation.
Challenging societal changes have affected many of us, some for the betterment, others raising questions. Institutions in our country are in flux. Affecting us all are alterations of the home, family, wages, income, class size and funding of our schools; legalization of broader liquor sales; marital revamping; marijuana availability; the political and religious establishments; medical advancements; worldwide epidemics; and judicial decisions.
This guy feels the pressure of a changing world. I drive the freeway and am being passed by most of the traffic, even though travelling at five over the speed limit. Definitely the electronic transformation is hitting hard at my psyche. Not being into Google, emoticons, hash tags, twitter, apps, .orgs, www’s, e-mails, texting, .coms, smartshops, logins or opt outs, e-commerce, Pay Pal, Facebook, online shopping, E-Bay, websites, laptops, tablets, smart watches, portable phones, or even cell phones, I note that social media, like the traffic on the freeway, is charging by. As noted on our website, calling Highline High grads “Alumnis”, “Alumni”, “Alumna”, or “Alumnae” has led us to just use “Alums”. Ability to follow through with communications is more difficult and is suffering. The methods, ideas and programs of a couple decades ago need to be addressd by the new electronic generation. Obtaining their aid is essential to continue the proliferation of the Alumni Foundation.
The perpetuity of the organization is of utmost importance. Even though many are plugged in, it seems many are tuned out to society and active personal involvement. Achieving approvals is sometimes difficult, cumbersome, discouraging or unattainable, almost to the point of non-existent.
Our board has provided leadership and committee support. Decisions have transformed into action and progress in all areas, while this leader has tried to remain neutral in most, if not all issues. After approximately 10 years as president, I am stepping down, providing an open door to the next generation. Effective today, following this general meeting (October 20, 2014) let’s work together with the nominating committee to fill the positions that are open. Younger, more recent graduates are a must to complement the strong group now serving.
I will be serving on the Alumni Board at Seattle Pacific University, working at the golf course, managing a couple of rental properties, enjoying some classic cars, playing more golf, softball and racquetball, and trying to squeeze more travel into each year. My association with the HHS Alumni Foundation will continue where needed as presented by your next president. Thank you for your service and support making the position enjoyable and the Foundation a growing success. Respectfully,Howard Call, Class of 1957
Current President Gary Korsgaard
Gary is on the far right presenting the 2015 Alumnus of the Year award to Gary Ohrt