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On August 16, 1992 the Girard High School Alumni and Friends Association became a reality through the vision of its founder Gene Cushman (class of 1941). Gene always reminded the association "Our purpose is Scholarships". The primary purpose of the Association was to establish and maintain a Scholarship Fund for graduating GHS Seniors and to continue that scholarship for the student for his or her 4 years of college. The Association is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of 12 to 15 GHS Alumni who are each elected to a three-year term of office.

Gene Cushman remained the President of the Association until his death in early 1996. At that time James Matuska (class of 1964) became the President in May 1996 and is currently President in 2005.

The current Board is as follows:


James Matuska, President & Director • Class of 1964


David Richardson, Vice Pres. & Director • Class of 1973


JoAnn (Wertz) Allen, Treasurer & Director • Class of 1950


Donald Denby, Financial Advisor & Director • Class of 1952


Shirley (Miller) Sigley, Secretary & Director • Class of 1958


Lynn Walden, Director •
Class of 1972


Karen (Boston) Dowell, Director • Class of 1963


Lorraine (Jones) Hart, Director • Class of 1966


Jack Miller, Director • Class of 1957


Bill Nichelson, Director • Class of 1989


Dan Reischauer, Director • Class of 1941


Charles Sanson, Director • Class of 1960


Tami (Traylor) Snyder, Director • Class of 1976


Elizabeth (Burns) Whitler, Director • Class of 1944


The first GHS Alumni Scholarship was awarded in 1993 and was worth $1,100 each year up to 4 years at a qualified higher institution of learning. Generous support from the membership has allowed the yearly scholarship to increase its current award of $1400 each year for four years.


In May 1996 the Gene Cushman Memorial Scholarship was established. All memorials given to the Association go towards this scholarship. The first Gene Cushman Memorial Scholarship was awarded in 1997 and was worth $500 each year up to 2 years at a qualified higher institution of learning. Generous support from the membership has allowed this scholarship to its current award of $1400 each year for two years.


The scholarships are awarded to a winner and a runner-up. The scholarship committee of six people who are not on the Board of Directors and President James Matuska reviews all of the applications submitted by the current GHS four-year graduates. These scholarships are awarded at the annual Alumni Dinner and also presented to the winners on Graduation Day.

The Board meets 4 times a year. The annual Alumni Dinner is held on the Saturday evening preceding Memorial Day in the Girard High School Gym. Membership is open to everyone and the $5 annual membership fee entitles one to all Association correspondence, including newsletters, and notification of the Annual GHS Alumni Dinner. If one wants to be a Lifetime member the fee is $125. As of March 2005, the Association has approximately 700 paying members and 66 Lifetime members. Members come from all over the United States to attend the Alumni Dinner each year.


GHS Alumni Scholarship and
Gene Cushman Scholarship Recipients

Year

Program

Amount

Recipient

2007

Alumni

$5,600

Amanda McClain

2007

Gene Cushman

$2,800

Morgan Murphy

2006

Alumni

$5,600

Staci Trojcak

2006

Gene Cushman

$2,800

Andrew Hinds

2005

Alumni

$5,200

James Tyler Joslin

2005

Gene Cushman

$2,600

Craig Gripp

2004

Alumni

$5,200

Hope Renee Shelton

2004

Gene Cushman

$2,600

Joshua Scott Trojcak

2003

Alumni

$5,200

Saralyn Scott

2003

Gene Cushman

$2,600

Kelly Boston

2002

Alumni

$5,200

Casey Karaffa

2002

Gene Cushman

$2,600

Jacob Daugherty

2001

Alumni

$5,000

Corey Bridges

2001

Gene Cushman

$2,500

Joshua Drake

2000

Alumni

$4,800

Tenika Beard

2000

Gene Cushman

$2,000

Clint Fetter

1999

Alumni

$4,000

Tara (Hays) Berghold

1999

Gene Cushman

$1,500

Alicia (Walden) Pierson

1998

Alumni

$4,000

Paige Wheeler

1998

Gene Cushman

$1,000

Matthew Hinds

1997

Alumni

$4,000

Laura (Wise) Collins

1997

Gene Cushman

$500

Sarah Horrighs

1996

Alumni

$4,000

Susan (Nichols) Klug

1995

Alumni

$4,000

Chad Rice

1994

Alumni

$4,000

Jennifer (Barnard) Buckman

1993

Alumni

$4,000

Troy Creasy

Through the vision of Gene Cushman in 1992, the Girard High School Alumni and Friends Association has been a success in helping young men and women further their education and to graduate from a college of their choice. May his vision continue in the future to help future Girard High School graduates further their education.

Mailing address:

GHS Alumni and Friends
Joann Allen
320 West Washington St.
Girard, IL 62640

or to contact Jim Matuska
by email
click here.

Submit Updates and Corrections here.

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