Elder High School celebrates 100th anniversary and commitment to West Side

Any time you hit 100 is a big deal and Elder High School had their turn this year. The city of Cincinnati officially honored the school on what is called “Purple Friday” at an event in Washington Park on Friday afternoon. Speakers reflected on the special connection Elder has with the neighborhood around it. Like many areas, the West Side has gone through a boom in drug infestation, gun violence, and declining property values. Elder could have easily escaped, but re-engaged in the west side of town. Signs of purple pride can be found all over the city. Those in West Price Hill could also be seen as signs of purple gratitude. In Over-the-Rhine, as the elderly helped celebrate a century of Elder High, their principal pledged to stay here. in that area, what it looked like, and what the city and the community did with that area, and I see that happening in Price Hill,” Principal Kurt Ruffing said. In the 1970s, something like 90% of people enrolled in Elder lived in the same zip code. It’s not even closed these days. Elder has never flinched, investing $13.5 million in his campus over the past four years. He has also supported neighborhood businesses, like Barron Engraving, owned by Pete Witte, Class of 1986. “They not only have an economic impact, but they literally help bring out the positive connotation and stories of our community,” Witte said in reference to Elder and Seton High Schools. “And Elder now for a hundred years has just been a vital linchpin of that community.” Witte is the one who made 4,200 Proud Panther Alum signs. It’s part of a Glenway Avenue business strip that’s hungry for new investment. “A new brewery and restaurant that’s going to come right across from Elder,” said Jeff Cramerding, a Cincinnati lawmaker and Elder graduate. “The next step in Price Hill’s revitalization.” None of this comes as a surprise to Bill McDonald, Class of 1969. His family is joking, absolutely nothing else of importance has to happen on a Friday night during football season because he’ll be at The Pit. McDonald’s is pretty typical of the Elder family. Out of 10 children, three of his sons went to Elder. So did a few grandchildren and his five daughters went to Seton next door. McDonald wore purple as he spoke about what Elder means to the West Side. They are owned or operated by senior alumni,” McDonald said. Many of them stayed put as the neighborhood went through a very difficult time which raised considerable concerns about the direction of the area. run away and at worst there may be rumors or gossip that maybe Elder or Seton should leave,” Cramerding said. “But we, us and the neighbors said no. We’re not going to give up on this neighborhood. That’s when Price Hill Will was formed. Elder was at the table early on, and so was Seton High. School and the Sisters of Charity say we love this neighborhood, it’s worth fighting for.” That sentiment resonates with vendors like Witte who retain a strong connection to where they were trained.

Any time you hit 100 is a big deal and Elder High School had their turn this year.

The city of Cincinnati officially honored the school on what is called “Purple Friday” at an event in Washington Park on Friday afternoon.

Speakers reflected on the special connection Elder has with the neighborhood around it.

Like many areas, the West Side has gone through a boom in drug infestation, gun violence, and declining property values.

Elder could have easily escaped, but he re-engaged on the west side of town.

Signs of purple pride can be found throughout the city. Those in West Price Hill could also be seen as signs of purple gratitude.

In Over-the-Rhine, as seniors helped celebrate a century of Elder High, their headmaster pledged to stay here.

“You know, you look at this neighborhood, what it looked like, and what the city and the community have done with this neighborhood, and I see that happening in Price Hill,” Principal Kurt Ruffing said.

In the 1970s, something like 90% of people enrolled in Elder lived in the same zip code. It’s not even closed these days.

Elder has never flinched, investing $13.5 million in his campus over the past four years. He also supported neighborhood businesses, like Barron Engraving, owned by Pete Witte, Class of 1986.

“Not only do they have an economic impact, but they literally help bring out the positive connotation and stories of our community,” Witte said of Elder and Seton High Schools. “And Elder, for a hundred years, has just been a vital linchpin of that community.”

Witte is the one who made 4,200 Proud Panther Alum signs. He is part of a commercial strip of Glenway Avenue that is hungry for new investment

“A new brewery and restaurant that’s going to come right across from Elder,” said Jeff Cramerding, a Cincinnati lawmaker and Elder graduate. “The next step in Price Hill’s revitalization.”

None of this comes as a surprise to Bill McDonald, Class of 1969.

His family jokes absolutely nothing else of importance has to happen on a Friday night during football season because he will be at The Pit.

McDonald’s is pretty typical of the Elder family. Out of 10 children, three of his sons went to Elder. So did a few grandchildren and his five daughters went to Seton next door.

McDonald wore purple as he spoke about what Elder means to the West Side.

“If you go around and look at the local businesses here, a lot of them are owned or operated by former elders,” McDonald said.

Many of them stayed put as the neighborhood went through a very difficult time which raised considerable concerns about the direction of the area.

“There were times when there was a divestment, when people were running away and at worst there might be rumors or whispers that perhaps Elder or Seton should leave,” Cramerding said. “But we, us and the neighbors said no. We’re not going to give up on this neighborhood. That’s when Price Hill Will was formed. Elder was at the table early on, and so was Seton High. School and the Sisters of Charity say we love this neighborhood, it’s worth fighting for.”

This sentiment resonates with salespeople like Witte who maintain a close connection to where they were trained.

Comments are closed.