They keep coming back and giving back — 140 years of tradition!

P.O. Box 3070  •  Des Moines, Iowa 50316  •

For immediate release – April 19, 2017
Contact Julie West (’76), EHS Alumni Association President – 515-360-9176,

140th EHS All Alumni Scarlet Celebration

East High School Alumni Association: Founded in 1877, the EHS Alumni Association celebrates 140 years of EHS pride and tradition with the annual “All Alumni Scarlet Celebration!”

East Des Moines, Iowa – East High School is proud to boast one of the oldest and largest high school alumni associations in the country. EHS was founded in 1861, “For the service of humanity.” May Goodrell established the EHS Alumni Association, in the spirit of the school motto, to convene an annual event for alumni to stay connected to each other and the community.

The East High School Alumni Association will hold its 140th annual “All Alumni Scarlet Celebration” on Friday, May 12, 2017, from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, at the Community Choice Convention Center/Vet’s Auditorium in Des Moines. Hundreds of alumni will attend from all over the country to reunite with old classmates and celebrate a shared bond of being an East High graduate.

“The Eastside has a character and life all its own. It binds us, no matter where we go or what we do in life…[The Celebration] brings together graduates of all ages.” – EHS Alumni Association President, Julie Christiansen West (’76).

A short program will include an alumni update, the “State of the School” from EHS Principal Leslie Morris, Hall of Fame award presentations, and the alumni favorite – Roll Call of Classes.  The Celebration will provide plenty of time for socializing and a tasteful variety of catered food and beverage stations. The alumni will be entertained by the EHS Jazz band and Cheerleaders, and alumna Preshia Paulding (’78) will sing the national anthem. The EHS photo club, along with their instructor Jolene Weller, will also provide event assistance.

  • Hall of Fame awards will recognize three alumni who serve as leaders in the community and as an inspiration to East High students through their life pursuits:  Judy Bennett Anderson (’61), Sharon Tomlinson Link (’78), and Dr. Katherine Murphy (’01).
  • Roll Call of Classes will recognize each alumni class in attendance, whether it is one or 21, each class is asked to stand and be counted!
  • Meet and greet some of the 2017 EHS Alumni Foundation scholarship recipients.

The EHS Alumni Association is also proud to recognize the EHS Alumni Foundation and the strong financial support of alumni and community donors who provide scholarships for EHS graduates. This year the EHS Alumni Foundation will award nearly $145,000 in scholarships to 56 graduating seniors. The scholarship program began in 1970 with one individual, Dr. Jack Wakefield (’37), who was also inspired by the school motto, and donated the first two $500 scholarships, and later bequested $400,000 to the EHS Alumni Foundation. The Foundation now has assets of over $3 million and gives varying scholarships to honor EHS graduates who embrace and embody East’s motto “For the service of humanity.”

They keep coming back and giving back – EHS has strong roots and a solid heritage! EHS alumni Dorothy Kain (’67) and Lonnie Thurman (’65) share why they attend the Celebration each year, We look forward to the Alumni Banquet each year because it gives us time to reconnect with our classmates, neighbors, and friends who also attended East High School. The thread that connects us all runs scarlet and black…We are motivated each year to find ways that we can also serve others.”

Event Details: 

140th EHS Annual All Alumni Celebration
Friday, May 12, 2017
6:00 p.m. to 10 p.m. (program at 7 p.m.)
Community Choice Convention Center, Des Moines, Iowa
Event cost: $15 in advance/$20 at the door.
Tickets may be purchased online at or by mail to:  EHS Alumni Foundation, PO Box 3070, Des Moines, IA 50316.
Transportation is available to the event, contact Kathy Kahler at or 515.727.6182.

Additional Alumni-Related Events:

1st EHS Alumni Softball Game:  Thursday, May 11, 2017, 5 p.m. – EHS Softball Field
Heritage Club Luncheon:  Friday, May 12, 2017, 11:30 a.m. – Grand View University Student Center
23rd Annual EHS Alumni Golf Outing:  Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13 – Copper Creek Golf Club


Comments 4

  1. I am an EHS Alumni, class of 64. I know we have the largest Alumni Association, proud of all that continue to participate, but I have /had issues with them in 1990 when my son graduated. He had been an A student since elementary school. When students were considered for receipt of an Alumni scholarship, he was not qualified I was to!d because he was not into athletics, ETC. He was an honor student. Missed only 5 days of school in 3 years. Academic awards, ETC. But he wasn’t qualified. They said employers were looking for those that participated in sports, ETC. Showing up everyday and being an A – honor student were not what they were not looking for. Can you see why I do not contribute or suppose this Association? SORRY! Let’s consider the highly academic student. Every student is not an athlete.

    1. Thank you for commenting, Nancy. I am sorry that your son’s scholarship application process is a bad memory for you. A lot of things have changed since 1990. Today, athletics are not a sole reason for receiving a scholarship from the us. There are many other factors figured in besides extracurricular activities like sports. Academics and involvement in multiple activities in the school and in the community play a large factor. Along with how well they write their essay in the application and how they conduct themselves in the interviews. I agree. Not every student is an athlete. I certainly hope this dispels any negative impressions you may have of the Alumni Association of 2017. Please reach out to us if you have any further questions.

  2. My parents attended EHS. My ex husband attended EHS. Both my children attended EHS. My son-,in,-law attended EHS. My granddaughter attends EHS.

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