Reunion Rekindles Friendships For Enterprise Students

What began as phone calls from Neil Springer to a few of his former classmates a year ago culminated July 11 and 12 in the first-ever reunion of the Enterprise (Ore.) Seventh-day Adventist School. Most of the planning took place by e-mail and telephone calls, coordinated by Springer and a team of volunteers, including Gini (Miller) Sallee, Nadine (Hayes) Messer, Patrice (Shepley) Jacobson, Jani (Ham) Hardcastle, and Marcia Ham. Barbara Hilde, church member, coordinated local arrangements for the gathering.

Founded in September of 1952 by the Enterprise Church, the school began with 26 students in grades 1–8. Still in the original building, the school currently has two teachers.

In anticipation of the reunion, the current school committee invited former students and friends of the school to participate in an Adopt-a-Window project with the goal of replacing 30 of the old single-pane windows with energy-efficient double-paned windows at the school. With hard work and contributions, the project was completed in time for the reunion.

As the reunion began, former students, teachers, parents and friends gathered from the Northwest as well as California, Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado and Virginia.

The weekend kicked off with an open house and a buffet meal in the church fellowship room, attended by nearly 60 people. Dan Webster, current school principal, and Bonnie Bowman, lower-grades teacher, conducted tours of the school, and guests viewed a slide show of photos from the school's history.

The church service featured three former students, Stanley Beerman, Patrice (Shepley) Jacobson, and Steve Beerman who shared memories and life lessons learned through the years. Philip Ruud, who was a student during the school's first year of operation, and his wife Linda sang. Dennis Ruud offered the scripture and prayer, and Marcia Ham played the piano prelude for the service.

A group of more than 100 enjoyed a potluck lunch at Wallowa Lake State Park. In the evening, a bonfire, hosted by Gary and Glenda Underhill, gave further opportunity for friendships to be renewed. The Maas family, Frank and Barbi Maas, Sharon Maas Goltry, and Mariam Maas Morehead, shared musical talents.

Several former students expressed their desire to meet again in two to five years and to stay in touch in the meantime. One person remarked, "Neil, I can't thank you enough for getting curious about the rest of us a year ago." To receive notice on future reunions, contact Neil Springer at

October 01, 2008 / Idaho Conference