History of St Gregory Alumni Association
reunion she expressed an interest in publishing a newsletter to the 62 classmates, maybe monthly.
Also in 1988 the Archdiocese of Detroit was announcing the closing of many churches and schools. It appeared that St. Gregory the Great Parish might be targeted. Alumni were beginning to come back to Sunday Masses, thinking the end was near. Ward Case was there on several Sundays, as the archdiocese plan unfolded and announcements were made to the congregation. If the beautiful, old buildings were to be closed and sold, would the Alumni come back one last time?
Donna and Ward put their heads together and began developing a plan. But there were many obstacles and questions. How could we develop an alumni network to get the word out? Who would finance the mailings? Would a newsletter be feasible?
By the late Fall of 1988 they had located 800 Alumni. They found it wasn’t that difficult to find the contact person or reunion coordinator from each class. Some of the address lists were outdated, but it was a start. They looked to the larger Catholic families of the parish too. Locating one family member would lead to many more. They found out too that a number of graduates had married classmates. The work was paying off. The mailing list just continued to grow.
But wait! How could they ever come up with the funds for printing and mailing expenses? Donna and Ward went to St. Gregory Parish and presented their idea. An alumni association would be an asset to the parish in many ways. The parish generously provided a loan of $1,000 to cover the cost of the first newsletter.
The St. Gregory Alumni Association Incorporated was officially formed as a non-profit organization in December, 1988.
Mission Statement: The St. Gregory Alumni Association is dedicated to supporting the values of fellowship and spirituality to all its members and is committed to providing service to our community.
The first edition of our St. Gregory School Alumni Newsletter was mailed to 800 graduates in March, 1989. The first Alumni Mass to be celebrated at St. Gregory Church on the first Sunday of May, 1989. It was a huge success. Standing room only. The alumni of St. Gregory School had spoken.
Donna and Ward worked together for the many years until 90% of the alumni had been located. The newsletter grew from one-page to twenty pages of notes and photos from friends, memorials, ads, and reunion information.
Today, with the loss of over fifty members each year, the St. Gregory Alumni Association remains strong and continues to serve its members and the community.
Donations from alumni are the basis for the continued success of our organization. No dues are ever required. Everyone receives the newsletter each Spring and Fall.
The All-Class Alumni Event is sponsored each year at St. Aidan's Community Center in Livonia, MI.
We thank all Alumni and Friends of St. Gregory School for their continued support.
Ward Case, President
Mike Morrison, Vice President
Jeanne Nadler, Secretary
Barbara Kozlowski, Treasurer
Tom Bailey, Reunion Chairman
The St. Gregory Alumni Association was founded in 1988 by fellow students Donna (Belfiore) Schwartz and Ward Case, from the Class of 1963. Three separate events that year inspired them to start the alumni project.
In May, Tom Watters (Class of 1960) hosted the all-class reunion known as Monaghan’s St. Gregory Night. This was the fifth annual event and Tom would brag that 500-700 alumni came to the one-night event every year. This was a great turnout from a little Catholic school like St. Gregory which only graduated 3,200 over it’s 40-year existence.
The Class of 1963 celebrated their 15-year anniversary with a reunion in the early summer. Donna and Ward were key members of the organizing committee. Donna had always been interested in keeping the classmates connected with more than just a reunion dinner every few years. After the