Members of the LDS High School Class of 1931-32 will have a panoramic view of the area that formerly served as their campus as they gather on the LDS Church Office Building's 26th floor for a 60th anniversary reunion.
The Friday, May 17, reunion, which is expected to attract about 175 of the former school's 262 students, will begin with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by a dinner and program.Elder Marvin J. Ashton, a member of the Council of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a former student at the school before it was closed in 1931, will be the featured speaker.
Roland V. Wise, former student at the school is the reunion chairman.
"In the beautiful setting of floor 26, old friends will do what everyone else does at high school reunions. They will reminisce, socialize and recall the close feeling and camaraderie that was theirs in years gone by," said J. Elmo Garff, a member of the reunion committee and a junior class officer the year the school was closed.
Founded in 1886 and originally known as Salt Lake Academy, LDS High School was located on the site of the present 28-story Church Office Building and the Hotel Utah Building and the former site of Deseret Gymnasium.
The school, which held its first classes in the basement of the old Social Hall, shut its doors for the final time in the summer of 1931, after the church decided to close its elementary and secondary schools.
"Being the last ones to attend LDS High School united us, giving us a feeling of closeness . . . . That's what makes reunions so priceless. The students of LDS High knew how to have fun. There was always a tremendous spirit behind our teams. The great pep rallies shook the floors and walls of old Barratt Hall. It was fun and pleasant to get up early in the morning and hop on the trolley headed to school," Garff said.
LDS High School students came from throughout the city and traveled mainly by streetcar.
On campus the LDS Business College building, used in connection with the high school, was dedicated in 1901. In 1902 Barratt Hall building was dedicated after a $25,000 memorial bequest was given by Matilda Barratt in honor of her son, Samuel. The third structure, dedicated in May 1903, was the Brigham Young Memorial Building.
The fourth campus building, which accommodated the science department and roof garden (where dances were held) was the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, dedicated in 1919 and called the "S" - for saints - building by the students.
"It was the greatest high school ever. There should be more like it. We were the last of the lot, and we really made the most of it," Garff said.
During its history, Salt Lake High School went through several name changes after its initial designation. It was later called LDS College, then LDS University. In 1927 the school again was named LDS College and included both the high school and the business college. In 1931 when the high school was closed, LDS Business College assumed its present name.
Reservations for the reunion must be made by contacting Helen Biesinger Johnson, 1058 E. 5000 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84117, or telephone 261-3499, by the day of the reunion.
Parking will be available in the church parking plaza. Those attending should enter the parking terrace on Main Street between North and South Temple streets.