TIPP CITY — Tippecanoe High School plans to honor its graduates who served in the military by displaying their names and pictures on the Military Wall of Honor. To complete the project, the school is seeking information about its alumni veterans.
Staff and students at the high school are trying to build a list of veterans who are also graduates of Tippecanoe High School. The project is one Tippecanoe High School Principal Steve Verhoff has been hoping to tackle for some time, but wasn’t sure how to go about.
“I just wasn’t sure how we would go about gathering all that information, as far as the people who graduated from Tipp and then went on and served,” he said. The historical society could provide records for those who were in the military, but not where they had gone to high school. “Last year, about this time, we had a group of students who were interested in archives and they started working with Shari Wickline, going back and looking at yearbooks.
“They’ve been able to compile a small list, but we know there’s more out there.”
Library Media Specialist Shari Wickline and a group of students have undertaken the work of collecting names, including cross-referencing local records with old yearbooks, he said.
First, the group had to create a master electronic database of all Tipp City schools graduates, Wickline explained. The students got to work on that using the high school library’s collection of yearbooks dating back to 1878, while Wickline started researching ways to gather information about graduates who served in the military.
Wickline contacted Miami County Records, Veteran Affairs, the Tipp City American Legion, and Monroe Township offices looking for assistance. She also started working with the Tipp City historical society, who have since designated a volunteer to assist with the project.
The end result will be a permanent display in the commons at the high school, with a goal of unveiling it by graduation in 2019. Wickline noted that the wall is a work in progress and the group will not be able to have information on every alumni veteran before the unveiling.
“We are relying on the community to help us gather as many names as we can before the last week in March,” she said.
This project is an important one for many reasons, not least because it will pay tribute to those who have served their country, Wickline said.
“The project also lets past alumni know that they are still thought of even after their time at Tipp City Schools ends,” she said.
Wickline added that the research also allows students “to see a glimpse into the lives of those that previously walked the halls of Tipp City Schools.
“They are also getting a firsthand look at fellow Tipp City students that for one reason, or another, decided to give so much of themselves by serving their country. It shows how the past connects to their lives today, and how they will indirectly connect with future generations of THS students in the years to come,” she said.
Because the school’s records go back so far, the group is looking for military veterans of all eras, Verhoff said.
Those interested in registering themselves or a family member can find the registration form online at https://tinyurl.com/y8kczwna. Forms may also be printed out and mailed to the school.
“We would like to thank everyone in advance and express how much we appreciate any support they can offer with gathering the information we need to make the project a success,” Wickline said.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.