Alumni Weekend—October 6-8, 2023

Welcome to the Alumni Club!

Friday, October 6
Hidden at the southwest corner of the shopping center on East Chicago Road in Sturgis is the legendary Howe Military School Alumni Club, founded in 2000 by the late Jim Weiss ’53. Let’s step inside where a roaring 2023 Alumni Weekend party is filled with good spirits.

Left to right: Wally Jarvis ’70, Ken Smith ’58 (red shirt), Adam Stacey ’01, Mike DeWitt ’01, Brian Morabito ’90, Jean Miller, Jered Slabaugh ’15, Jon Adams ’11, Crystal Vaughn ’12

The check-ins began at noon Friday, October 6, 2023. Later a few ventured out into the drizzle to visit the former Howe campus for a group photo at St. James Chapel.

Left to right: Craig Buskirk ’70, Dick Hile ’48, Alice Snyder, Fred Seibold ’53, and Brian Morabito ’90.

Mrs. Snyder is a granddaughter of MAJ James Merritt 1917 and niece of COL Tom Merritt ’53. Her late father Miles Perkins represented Tom at the 50th reunion of the Class of 1953.

Tom Merritt Anniversary

Mr. Perkins was President of the Farmers’ State Bank in LaGrange, where the School banked after the State Bank of Lima (Howe) was sold to a multi-bank system. As you look around the campus you get reminders like these the Snyders photographed in September, 2023.

water tower and chapel

Our Association has a report of the water tower being painted in a cadet prank. Please share any memories you have of this. Here’s one of the gate posts:

gate posts

These were class gifts during the 1920s. Some have been removed by Great Commission University, present owner of the former Howe campus.

Blake Sopko ’11, a journeyman boilermaker (Local 744),visited the power plant and saw this plaque:

Blake estimates the boilers are 1980 models.

The Vicarage photos submitted with the 59-page National Register nomination (see our website) showed no columns as they were removed to be restored. They have now been reinstalled as seen by Brian Morabito ’90:

Vicarage at Alumni Weekend 2023

Eugene Dierksheide ’49 wears his cap in the School colors of maroon and white at the tower door of St. James Chapel. His senior year he was on the Battalion Staff and President of the Varsity “H” Club.

Eugene Dierksheide 49'

After the brief campus visit the group went back to the Alumni Club for pizza, a card game, and spirited conversation:

table talks

Left to right: Jean MIller, Ken Smith ’58, Richard Hile ’48, Carol Ann Frederick, and David Frederick ’48 (mostly his back).

Saturday, October 7
Alums began gathering at the Alumni Club all morning. At 1300 our Association’s Annual Meeting began. President Michael DeWitt reported on the much improved state of our Association. Outreach Coordinator Jean Miller described her work organizing Regional Gatherings including a first one in Cincinnati. She encourages Alums wanting to host a meeting to contact her. First VP Eleni Mitropoulos-D’Andrea reported an additional $12,000 gift to our Association from School funds that had not been previously expended by the School. CDR Fred Seibold, USNR(Ret) ’53 reported on our website. He explained the strategy of nostalgia marketing which is being used to increase involvement of alums with the Association, and how the website provides a rich store of original source material for future historians, including grandchildren, who are researching military schools. President and Co-Treasurer DeWitt distributed a detailed financial report. Our Bylaws were amended to permit electronic communications at the Annual Meeting, to reduce its quorum requirement to 15 and authorize the Board to act on Annual Meeting agenda items if a quorum is not met at the meeting.

Elected as Directors for a three-year term were:
Craig Buskirk ’70
Greg Taylor ’80
Owen Creger ’86

The following were re-elected to another three-year term:
Michael DeWitt ’01
Rudy Recile ’86

Continuing to serve as Directors until 2025 are:
Eleni Mitropoulos-D’Adrea ’04
Brian Morabito ’90
Fred Seibold ’53
Adam Stacey ’01
Crystal Vaughn 2012

Officers elected for the new Association year are:
President / Co-Treasurer Michael DeWitt ’01
1st Vice President Eleni Mitropoulos-D’Andrea ’04
2nd Vice President / Co-Treasurer Crystal Vaughn 2012
Secretary Brian Morabito ’90 .

After the meeting the Social Hour began ahead of its 1730 scheduled start time.

Annual Banquet
The Annual Banquet was held in the Garden Room adjacent to the Club. The delicious roast beef and chicken dinner catered by the Howe Restaurant.

Anniversary Classes were:
75th: Dick Hile and David Frederick ’48,
70th: Fred Seibold ’53,
65th: Ken Smith ’58,
40th: Mike  Kellems ’83.

Fred with guidon

Here is Fred holding the 1953 guidon from their 50th Anniversary.

Hile and Frederick

Mike Kellems ’83 and Jean Miller

Left to right: Blake Sopko ’11, Crystal Vaughn ’12, and Jon Adam’s 11

Alumnus Of The Year

Jean Miller presents Alumnus Of The Year Award to Michael DeWitt and Honorary Alumna Award to Desiree DeWitt.

Here are their citations:
Alumnus of the Year
Michael B. DeWitt ’01
Michael DeWitt assumed the Presidency of our Association in 2021 as it was in the midst of an uphill climb over the challenges of recent years. Mike successfully dealt with them and has led our Association to financial strength and smooth operations. After graduating from Howe in 2001, as Company Commander of Bravo Company, Michael DeWitt immediately joined the Marine Corps, where he served for six years. Upon completion, he went to college and studied information technology, business, and marketing. Michael is an active Past Master in Freemasonry and is one of three partners at an IT company. In grateful recognition of his leadership, loyalty, and generous support of Howe, the Howe Military School Alumni Association hereby names Michael B. DeWitt the 2023 Alumnus of the Year.
Fides et Honor
7 October 2023

Honorary Alumna
Desiree Husky DeWitt
Desiree DeWitt has gone above and beyond to recover our Associations database from written text because the digitized version was not made available to us. She is now better acquainted with most alums than are those of us who actually attended. She also provided many hours of support to our President in carrying out his duties, thus greatly enabling his successful tenure. In recognition of outstanding service to Howe Military School, the Board of Directors of the Howe Military School Alumni Association is proud to name you the 2023 Honorary Alumna.
Fides et Honor
7 October 2023

Howe Trivia Contest

trivia contest

2nd VP Crystal Vaughn ’12 conducts the Howe Trivia Contest. The questions are based on our website.  With 14,708 pages of Tatlers on the website, Crystal has a lot of Howe factoids to choose. Mike Kellums ’83 was the winner.

50 50 Drawing

50/50 drawing

1st VP Eleni Mitropoulos-D’Andrea 2004 and her husband Nathan smile over Nate’s $375 win. After deducting the $50 he paid for tickets, he donated the rest to our Association. Thanks, Nate. Our Association thus made 87% on a 50-50.

Frank and candid discussions of world issues occurred in the Alumni Club for a few hours after the dinner.

Frank and candid discussions of world issues occurred in the Alumni Club for a few hours after the dinner.

Sunday, 8 October 2023
A few early risers gathered in the Alumni Club about 0900 for coffee and doughnuts. After a few goodbyes, a small group headed for the Howe Restaurant for one last presentation.

Special Recognition
Our Board of Directors wanted to award Angelo Tsitsos.

Left to right: Angelo Tsitsos holding his plaque and citation; Michael Dewitt ’01 and Brian Morabito, ’90

In a crowded Sunday noon Howe Restaurant Mike DeWitt ’01 and Brian Morabito ’90 present the award to Angelo.

Special Recognition: Angelo Tsitsos, Owner of the Howe Restaurant
Angelo Tsitsos has provided delicious meals for Howe Military faculty, staff, cadets, parents, and alumni for many years. “Angelo was born in Montreal, Canada and in 1976 he moved to Des Plaines, Illinois to help his uncle in his restaurant. Eventually his uncle sold his restaurant and Angelo started to look for opportunities to open his own restaurant. In 2002, an opportunity appeared and without any hesitation he moved to Howe, Indiana. He purchased the Howe Restaurant and became its proud owner. He works hard, loves and
respects all and his clients love him.” -Estiator Magazine.

In recognition of outstanding service to Howe Military School, the Howe Military School Alumni Association is proud to present this Special Recognition to Angelo Tsitsos, Owner of the Howe Restaurant, Howe, Indiana, 7 October 2023.

Thus this chronicle of the 2023 Alumni Weekend joins all the stories of Howe’s 135 years that our Association preserves as we work to keep the legacy alive. Thank you for reading this. Please visit our Donations page and help us preserve those Dear Old Howe memories.

Text by Fred Seibold ’53; photos by Jim Cissell ’89, Crystal Vaughn ’12, Jean Miller, Mark and Alice Snyder, Brian Morabito ’90, Blake Sopko 2011, and Desiree DeWitt; captions by Jean Miller and Eleni Metropolous-D’Andrea 2004.