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West End High School Alumni Association
West is Best!

COMING EVENTS

 SAVE THE DATE!!

HOMECOMING 2020

SATURDAY, JULY 25, 2020

WEST END HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI
LUNCH BUNCH

The second Thursday of each month, with the exception of January, we meet at 11:15 a.m. for food, fellowship, fun, and enjoyable programs at Hillwood Country Club. The cost is $20 per person.  Reservation information will be available at the end of November for the December 12th luncheon.

Coming Lunches:  Thursday, December 12th - our Holiday Party with prizes and surprises!

Remember - NO LUNCH BUNCH IN JANUARY AS HILLWOOD IS CLOSED THAT MONTH.

  The next Alumni Association Board of Directors meeting is Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. in the Alumni Room at West.

WELCOME TO WEST END HIGH SCHOOL - WHERE THE BLUE JAYS FLEW!

If you are an alumnus of West High, you already value the wonderful education we received, and the warm relationships with our classmates.  If you are a visitor to our site, we hope you will enjoy learning about our history, our alumni, and our upcoming events. 

“ON THE CITY’S WESTERN BORDER, REARED AGAINST THE SKY, PROUDLY STANDS OUR ALMA MATER AS THE YEARS ROLL BY”

West End High School Alumni Association

West End High School has proudly stood on West End Avenue since 1937.  In 1968, the last senior class graduated, and West End High School became West End Middle School.  Here is a brief history of the years in between.

West, which was a Public Works Administration project, opened as a high school in September, 1937, with 823 students in grades 10-12 and a faculty of 30.  The addition of grades 7-9 increased enrollment to 1,025. Dr. William Henry Yarbrough was selected as principal.

The building was formally dedicated in November, 1937 at a ceremony attended by many of the city’s most prominent educational and civic leaders.  The suggestion that the school be named in honor of the Mayor, Hilary E. Howse, was refused by the Mayor, based on the policy of the federal government through the Public Works Administration that no building in which they cooperated was to be named for any living person.  After the mayor died, it was suggested the name be changed to honor Mayor Howse, the students and the PTA protested, and the Board of Education relented.  The graduates even threatened to buy their own special diplomas just to show they were graduates of West!

The name, “West High Blue Jays”, was given by a local paper.  While not popular at first, it remained, becoming part of the West End High School tradition.

The first year saw the organization of the Men’s Club, the West Wind newspaper, the R.O.T.C, and student government.  At the first graduation in 1938, 122 seniors received diplomas.  In the second year, the National Honor Society and Quill and Scroll were organized. The third year saw the organization of the Beta Club and the football team became city co-champions.

1944 saw the first state basketball championship, and the 1946 and 1948 teams were also state champions! The 1954 team is legendary since it came from behind in the last minute of play to win the state championship.   The principal, “Doc” Yarbrough, attended against the advice of his physician, and the team definitely went “All the Way for Doc.”  The trophies in the lobby are a tribute to all who participated in sports at West High.

John Oliver succeeded Doc Yarbrough in 1954 and served for 17 years.

In 1961 the junior high classes were removed and it became a high school for grades 10-12.  Then, in 1966, the junior high was returned, and from 1966-1968 the high school was phased out at the rate of a grade a year.

The renovation of the building is fantastic.   We could only dream about having air-conditioned class rooms and an elevator! Of course, the “Sunset Club” bench is still in the office.

There are several excellent books on the history of West End High School, and “Zephyr” histories give more in-depth information and will bring back many wonderful memories.  All of the “Zephyr” yearbooks and “West Wind” newspapers are in the Alumni Room at West End Middle School, along with memorabilia from our golden years.  We urge all Alumni to take advantage of its resources.

West Sign

Great books about West End High School, its activities and students
 
     If you are curious about West End High School, here are three books written by West High graduates, Stan Tyson '48 and Whit Stokes '54, that provide information not just for West graduates, but anyone interested in 20th Century Nashville history.
 
     The first book Whit wrote was All the Way for Doc, an athletic history of the school, and the first principal, Dr. W. H. Yarbrough.  The book takes you through the exciting story of the 1953-1954 basketball season as West won their fourth State Championship.  Dr. Yarbrough was the school principal when West won in 1944, 1946, and 1948, and because he had announced his retirement at the end of the school year, the student cheering section adopted the chant "all the way for Doc" throughout the tournament which included victories in four overtime games!
 
     Whit's second book, The Transition Years - West End High School 1955-1968, picks up where West End High School 1937-1954 "Those Were the Glory Years" written by Wallace Stanley Tyson '48, concludes.  The Foreword in the book is written by Stan followed by an updated history since 1948 about the school, faculty, athletics, military history and parent organizations.  The book concludes with a history of each class from 1955-1968 and a listing of seniors in each class.
 
     The latest book, If these walls could talk, what would they say?, is a collection of West End High School memories by Whit and Stan.  The collection includes West Wind articles 
about subjects every Blue Jay should know. (For example, were they always called Blue Jays? Were the colors always blue and gray?) The book was first published as a fund raiser for the Oakley Christian Memorial Fund in  2017.  It has been updated with additional information about that Fund and the Athletic Hall of Fame, as well as several new biographical stories about prominent alumni.  (Buy the book and find out even more).
 
     Whit is donating all proceeds from the sale of these books to the West End High School Alumni Scholarship Fund.  Copies are for sale for $15 each at the Lunch Bunch each month.  You can also order them online at  http://whitstok.com  (credit cards and Paypal accepted).  If you want a personally signed copy, include that in your order or contact Whit Stokes, 1500 Rufer Avenue, Louisville, KY 40204-1634, (502) 608-0316, or by email at whitstok@aol.com.  Books purchased online cost $15.00 which includes any mailing or delivery costs.
 

Your Alumni Association is open to all who attended West End High School, and you are invited to participate in our monthly Lunch Bunch luncheons at Hillwood Club (the second Thursday of each month except January) and our biennial Homecoming Dinners.   Please let us know if there is any information you would like to see on our website, and we will try our best to include it.

Our email address is:

theboard@westhighnashville.org

“FORWARD EVER BE OUR WATCHWORD, CONQUER AND PREVAIL.
HAIL TO THEE, OUR ALMA MATER,
WEST END HIGH ALL HAIL.”