A check for $6,450 is presented to J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Committee Treasurer Ron Wilkins, far right, by Abel Chavez, LAHS Class of 1969 Fundraising Co-Chair, Class of 1970 representatives Nancy Thomas Hatfield and Judy McKenzie. Courtesy photo
LAHS CLASS REUNION NEWS
It does not take much to prove the adage that “Success Breeds Success” for the Los Alamos High School (LAHS) Classes of 1970 and 1969 when it comes to raising scholarship funds for qualifying graduating seniors.
The Class of 1970 “Turned 70” Reunion’s scholarship fundraising in July totaled $6,450 and doubled its original fundraising goal just as the Class of 1969 did the same in 2019 during its 50th Year reunion celebration.
Both LAHS classes have raised a combined total of $18,850 with two $3,000 scholarships being awarded by each class in partnership with the J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Committee (JROMC). The Class of 1969 also raised $5,400 for teacher grants administered by the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation during it reunion.
Both classes had leaders and classmates with a shared passion for higher education and had generous, overachievers willing to contribute.
Mike Neher, Nancy Hatfield, Loretta Finley and Bob Hicks led the Class of 1970’s scholarship fundraising campaign this summer and Abel Chavez and Mary Calvin were the leaders for the Class of 1969 efforts in 2019. Abel, who helped lead both classes in fundraising, and Mary had siblings who were members of the LAHS Class of 1970.
The Class of 1969 awarded its two $3,000 scholarships in 2020 and 2021 to Ellie Oldham and Logan Black to pursue teaching degrees at Colorado State University in Fort Collins and Saint Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota, respectively.
The Class of 1970 will award its two $3,000 scholarships in 2023 and 2024 to graduating LAHS seniors who are continuing their higher education to earn a degree in the arts and sciences.
“What made this fundraising a rewarding experience for me was being able to generate support from my classmates and from the Class of 1969’s Abel Chavez’ matching $3,000 contribution,” said Mike Neher. “I am grateful we achieved our combined success of leaving an enduring legacy from a common purpose and a shared vision.”
“I applaud the Class of 1970 for continuing the tradition of paying it forward by recognizing and supporting deserving LAHS students to pursue their higher education at four year colleges or universities,” said Abel Chavez. “My financial contribution and support for the Class of 1970 was made in loving memory and honor of my late sister, Luci, who was a kind, friendly and caring 1970 classmate driven by her faith, courage and a yearning for learning.”
Chavez, who also believes in the value in working together and collaborating, also provided $1,000 in scholarship support from the Class of 1969’s remaining 50th Year Reunion fund to help make possible an additional $3,000 scholarship.
“We are looking forward to working with members of the JROMC to continue Robert Oppenheimer’s legacy,” Neher added. “As one of the most influential scientists in modern history and a founding director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Dr. Oppenheimer’s leadership was instrumental in the economic development of Los Alamos and the region and provided employment for many of us and family members. We are thankful to have lived and to have been educated in a special place we will forever call home.”
The J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Committee has a proven record in providing support to education and has provided more than 230 scholarships to local area students totaling more than $700,000 since their scholarship program began in 1984. For more information regarding the scholarship program, please visit https://jromc.org/