University of Illinois  

Laboratory High School   

 Alumni Newsletter

October 2015 - corrected 


April 16, 2016
Uni Gala 
Venue TBA


Class of 1965 reunion
Organized by Jeff Kinkley and Donna Stinson

Holiday Party
For Alumni and Alumni parents
Dec. 22, 2015
Kenney Gym
$5 per person
3 p.m. Open Gym
5 p.m. Pizza and beverages

Max Beberman Outstanding Alumni Award Dinner
May 19, 2016

Classes of 1950-59 reunion
Oct. 21-23, 2016
Organized by Lorna Graff ('56), Steve Sanderson ('57) and Marcia Rudin ('58)

Class of 1966 reunion
TBA 2016
Planning in progress

Class of 1967 reunion
Planning for Fall 2017
Organized by Dan Brodsky

Join us!
Dear Uni High Alumni, Faculty, Parents and Friends:
Please see the revised version of the latest e-newsletter.  We made a mistake regarding who contributed the Class of 1985 memorial presentation during their reunion.  We have added the correct information and we regret the error. 
Marianne Downey, CFRE
Director of Advancement

University of Illinois Laboratory High School
Call for Agora Days proposals
Uni's annual Agora Days will be Feb. 16-19, 2016, and you are invited to submit a class proposal. These are the four days when all regular classes are suspended and students can sign up for classes taught by other students, parents, faculty, alumni and community members.

Anyone can propose a four-day (50-minute per day) class suitable for high school students. Agora classes introduce students to topics they don't typically encounter in the curriculum. Past classes include various cooking classes, rocketry, Kung Fu, bike repair and a huge range of other topics. 

The proposal deadline is Nov. 15.  To submit a proposal, click here.
 From the Director

Theatre news

The school's spectacular production of Romeo and Juliet, which involved 45 students,was sold out for all three performances.  The director of theater at Lincoln College choreographed all of the impressive sword-fighting  scenes in an eight-hour workshop.  After that, students rehearsed the scenes with him for dozens of hours. 

The library has been abuzz with activity, from the arrival of our "Slay the Dragon" daily trivia question to Junior Zina Dolan's Agora Unleashed discussion, "Veg Out: What We Eat and Why It Matters."  We're also getting into the "spirit" of the season with "Dressed to Thrill: Making a Killer Halloween Costume," led by library assistant Erin O'Neall; a hands-on workshop on mask-making; and our second annual Halloween Spooktacular, complete with hot cider, sweet treats, and favorite ghost stories. Keep up on all the library happenings at!

Solar Day
Uni students hosted a "Solar Celebration" in September to raise awareness around the school's new 1kW solar PV system and to recruit students to help with our ongoing energy conservation and education projects. These projects include a programmable LED painting to be hung over Uni's Springfield entrance and a carbon tracking app students are developing to facilitate our "Lower Your Footprint" competition next April.  Dr. Sharlene Denos created the experience for her classes.
 From the Advancement Director
UIUC Chancellor selection committee announced

The elected committee to advise the President on the selection of a Chancellor was announced recently.  Uni parents Steve Michael and Faranak Miraftab are on the committee, along with UI student and Uni alum Sam LeRoy. Former Uni parent William Maher is a nominee to chair the committee.
Class of '85 Reunion
Uni's Class of 1985 held their 30th reunion at Uni.  They shared some photos and the text of a tribute given by Kim Beachy in honor of passed classmates Elisabeth Gray, Rebecca Swarr and Iris Chang. 

Back row:  Rick Murphy, Mike McCollom, Chris Butler, Mike Johnson, Cheri Anaclerio, Stephen Young, Suzanne Schoeneweiss, Larry Thompson, Pat McLoughlin, Herbert Schonken, Ursula Hess Calef, David McCord, Nicolás
 Porta, John Cochrane, Rachel Wortis, Thomas Leslie.
Middle Row:
 Sarah Williams Scherrer, Edward Curran, Joanne Wheeler, Dan McGlathery, Adele Suslick, Jennifer Zoehler (John Gothard), Kimberly Seitz Beachy
Front Row:
 Liz Salzmann, Anne Shapira Richman, Britta Langsjoen, Leah Grossman Zagreus, Alix Wengert LaSalle, Elaine Yang Pan, Kelly Fitz
Pizza from Papa Dels in the Uni Attic.
Reminiscing in the hallways of Uni.


Our reunion committee:  Kimberly Seitz Beachy, Ursula Hess Calef, Alix Wengert LaSalle, Suzanne Schoenweiss (with Sophia Neely, class of 86').
Retired Uni English teacher Adele Suslick.

Class of '85 30th Reunion Classmate Tribute
by Kim Beachy

Good Evening!  To all of you that were here last night and at the school earlier, it was fabulous connecting with everybody.  For those that just got here, welcome!  It's incredible to have everyone together.  It seems impossible that 30 years have passed since we graduated High School, yet here we are.
When we began planning the reunion, we really felt it was important to remember our classmates that are no longer with us.   There are three:  Elisabeth Gray, Rebecca Swarr and Iris Chang.  I'd like to take a few minutes tonight to talk about each of them.
Elisabeth Gray
Theo (Gray, '02) - I want to say thank you so much for coming to the reunion in her honor.  It is our pleasure to have you with us.  Nina, (Paley, '86) thank you so much for accompanying Theo!  We are thrilled that you could be here to honor your sister in this way.
Before the reunion, I reached out to Theo and Nina to ask if they had anything they would like me to say about Elisabeth.  Nina found a passage from Elisabeth's diary that I would like to read to you tonight.  This is from May 10, 1980, before she started Uni.
Elisabeth Gray's Diary
Saturday, May 10, 1980
Dear Diary,
I'm terribly sorry that I haven't written to you for so long.  I just never felt like sitting down to write to you all the things that have happened since November.
Things were pretty much the same (as with the girls) until about the end of January/beginning of February.  I started sitting with them every day at our own table.  They still never ask me to play with them, and I have tried asking them, but either I'm too busy or they're playing with some-body else.  Now all of us (me, Jo, Elizabeth, Rachel, and Anne) are considered a group by everyone else in the room.  So that problem is pretty much O.K. now.
What also happened in January was the Uni test!  There were 11 kids out of Option C who took it, me, Anne, Rachel, Jo, Dan Simon, Max Krummel, Chris Propst, Aaron Sawdey(?), Forey Linton, and Rebecca Fagan, and Nina Paley.
The test was on Saturday, January 19th, from 8 to 12 (it overlapped 1 hour, 15 min.).  It was easier than most of us had thought it would be.
Anyway, those results came back at the end of February, and 9 out of the 11 got in (however the 9th, Aaron didn't want to go so he quit right then) so there were only 8, me, Anne, Jo, Rachel, Nina, Dan, Max, and Chris.
They had assigned us dates when we would go to Uni, and a subbie would take you around to his/her classes for the whole day.  Jo and I went on Tuesday March 18th, Max went on the 19th, Nina on the 20th, Chris on the 21st, Dan and Anne on the 24th, and Rachel on the 25th.  We had to write on a piece of paper what kind of animal we would like to be.  I said a bird.  The results from that paper and various other papers we had to fill out came back on, I think, April 24th.  I made it into Uni!  So did Max, Anne, and Rachel.  It's very strange, but it was exactly 4 out of 8!
When I went to visit the Junior High, I hated it from the beginning.  That was yesterday and I called Uni right away and said I would go!
I thought that passage was so touching and I loved how Elisabeth talked about when she got into Uni.  When I was talking with Alix last night, she reminded me of when we all went up to the hospital to visit Elisabeth, after our Freshman year, including Mr. Butler.  Most of all, I remember Elisabeth as being a sweet, sweet soul, and that she was quiet, but always happy, despite her challenges. 
I know that it was hard for me to fully comprehend the challenges that she faced while we were in High School.  I don't know that it's any easier 30 years later.   Sometimes life just isn't fair.  But I know that Elizabeth took the challenges that were given to her and thrived despite them, and I know I speak for all of us when I say that we were blessed by being her classmates.
Rebecca Swarr
I remember sitting with Rebecca at our 20 year reunion, and loved being able to reconnect with her.  She was so happy, vibrant and full of life.  She was in love with her husband, had recently given birth to her son, and seemed to absolutely love life!  Not too long after our reunion, I remember being absolutely devastated hearing that she had been diagnosed with cancer.
I e-mailed back and forth several times with Amy Swarr, Rebecca's sister to see if she had anything she thought I should say as a tribute tonight to Rebecca.  Amy said that when Rebecca was diagnosed that she said she had led a happy and a full life.
Amy said that Rebecca was most sad to not see her son Jacob grow up.  He was 3 when she died and he is 10 now.  Rebecca loved living in L.A., with her husband Dan and Jacob.  She had a successful consulting business and lots of good friends, and she loved to surf!
More than anything, Rebecca loved being a mom, and she said that she wanted Jacob to have a childhood and upbringing as happy as hers and that included her time at Uni.
Amy said that towards the end, when Rebecca was intubated & couldn't talk, one of the last things she did was to make the motion of rocking a baby and pointed at Amy because she wanted her to have kids.  Amy said that she's sure that Rebecca is up in heaven laughing knowing that Amy ended up with 3 boys, which includes twins!
Amy said that Jacob is doing well and is happy.  Dan remarried last year and Jacob now has a new sister and baby brother.
Iris Chang 
And last but certainly not least Iris.  So much has been written about Iris, and we did a beautiful memorial service for her at our 20th
However, I found a passage in the book that Iris's mom wrote that I thought was especially fitting for today, and I'd like to close with it.
"Iris wanted the world to remember her writing, her words.  She always said that life would vanish one day, but books and words would be left behind.  In January 1997, in an e-mail to me, she wrote, "Words are the only way to preserve the essence of a soul.  What excites me about speeches is that even after the speakers are dead and buried, their spirit lives on.  This, to me, is true religion - the best form of life after death."  If, as she said, "words are eternal," and "Books are the ultimate for writers to reach immortality," then she had already reached her life goal."
So as we celebrate and reconnect this weekend, I want us to also remember those who are no longer with us and keep their spirit alive in our hearts.  As we did at the school earlier today to remember the teachers who have passed, could we please have a brief moment of silence to remember all three classmates.

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