Class of 1981 to host its ‘40ish-year’ reunion

The Brecksville High School Class of 1981 will host its 40-year class reunion on Friday, June 24 at Sleepy Hollow Golf Course.

Class members have been planning the event for more than 18 months and, to date, more that 100 individuals and their significant others are planning to attend.

“When the reunion committee started this process, we had far more classmates missing – over 200 – than we had classmates with current contact information (about 95),” Scott Nolan, one of the reunion organizers, said. “As you can probably imagine, tracking down classmates has been a Herculean effort. We had members constantly scanning and reaching out on social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc; subscribing to online people-finding search engines; researching family histories looking for clues where folks might be or family members we could contact. We even had members knocking on doors.  All that effort paid off because we were able to locate and include over 200 classmates to participate in our reunion activities.”

Nolan, who still resides in Brecksville, said the class’s reunion plans call for “more than simply a party.”

“Either because of COVID, societal changes or simply growing older, these last few years have been a challenge for many of us,” Nolan said. “As the committee located classmates, we discovered many were suffering or struggling with circumstances that were, many times, beyond their control.”

One example, Nolan said, was the death of former Brecksville City Council President Mike Harwood. When Harwood, who was a member of the BHS class of 1981, passed away this spring, he said the class actually lost a second classmate, Hillary Cupps, the same week. 

“They literally passed within days of each other,” he said. “We wanted to approach this reunion as an opportunity to reconnect with one another as a community and not just another reason to have a party.”

Nolan said that as classmates, friends or confidantes, members of the class of 1981 “played a part in shaping who we became as we grew up.”

“For many, our friends at school were our best support group,” Nolan said. “So the unofficial mission we committed to as a reunion committee was to help rebuild those bonds. Even 40ish years later, we’re still growing up.” 

To make sure no members of the class were excluded from the fun, the class also hosted a virtual reunion on June 9 and all classmates were invited to participate. The virtual reunion consisted consist of multiple ‘class periods,’ with students broken up into different classrooms named after BHS teachers. 

“Every 15 minutes or so, the bell [rang] and everyone [moved] to the next period and classroom,” Nolan said. “Our goal [was] to keep the rooms small and intimate enough to talk and reconnect, exchange contact information, but also allow for a constant remix of classroom participants. This way, everyone [was] exposed to a large number of classmates while also keeping a ‘day-in-the-life’ flavor of our high school experience.”

The reunion festivities will begin at 9 a.m., Friday, June 24, with the 20th annual Bud Wisnieski Golf Outing at the St. Bernard Golf Club in Richfield. Later that day, class members will meet at the back room of the London Pickle Works. That event is open to all classmates and family members.

Prior to the reunion itself on Saturday, June 25, the class will tour the old high school, which is now the district’s middle school, from 9-11 a.m. Afterwards, the class is invited to tour the halls of the three elementary schools which will be closed permanently this summer. 

More details about the event can be found at