Loy Norrix alumni reconnect after 50 years

Link crew leaders play a team bonding game in advisor Dyami Hernandezs classroom.

Credit: Kierra Walker

Link crew leaders play a team bonding game in advisor Dyami Hernandez’s classroom.

Kierra Walker, Knights Speak Team

After being around each other five days a week, nine months out of the year, for three years straight, it’s understandable to be interested in what your former peers are doing. 

The Loy Norrix class of ‘71, joined by the class of ‘70, reconnected for their 50-year  commemoration on Friday, Sept.10.

During the event, thirty Link Crew leaders volunteered to show the alumni around their former school grounds. Link Crew is a leadership program for juniors and seniors whose main focus is mentoring freshmen and assisting with school activities.

 Everyone split up and excitedly scattered through the school to receive a thorough walk-through of the building. Starting in the tower and making their way through the upper and lower wings, students conducted the tour while getting acquainted with the older generation.

Memories resurfaced with each hallway the alumni explored. Suddenly, B-11 wasn’t a classroom for freshmen but a serving line for hungry students. The courtyards were no longer used for decor, but were inhabited by picnic tables and studying teens. Each alumni had a different story and description for every part of the school.

Junior Shakeda Parker found joy in hearing the tales and watching the interactions between the older generation although she was reluctant to participate in the event.

“I enjoyed being the tour guide because it felt good to see the smiles and hear them reminiscing with each other,” she continued, “at first I thought it wouldn’t be fun and I just wanted to do it just because but I found such a great feeling when doing it.”

Loy Norrix has undergone many cosmetic changes and additions over the years: 

From a new lunchroom to an additional gym and an auditorium renovation, among many other alterations. It’s utterly different from its initial look and merely a variation of the school the class of ‘71 had attended.

 “It’s not the same as when we were here,” said one alumni. “It used to be more open and we had much more freedom.”

While most class members hadn’t been in the building since graduation, some had visited over the years for various reasons. 

Alumni Leonard Duke was a long-term substitute teacher at Norrix up until a few years ago. Others had returned to the school shortly after graduation to set up a senior prank, which ended badly, and a few have grandchildren now attending Loy Norrix.

The school tour was only one of the class’s events. The weekend-long reunion consisted of a social gathering at Traveler’s Pub, golfing, a nature hike at Lillian Anderson Arboretum, and a coffee and donut social at Flesher Field.

Altogether, it was a pretty successful reunion. Everyone instantly clicked, even those who didn’t know each other, and you never would have guessed that they spent fifty years apart.