We are Taft - June Class of 1959:  Special Then - Special Now - Together Again & Staying Together!
Welcome to the Taft 1959 Reunion Website.  This site was developed and produced by our late classmate Fred Allegretti. For Fred it was a labor of love and for us it is a wonderful repository of our schooldays at Taft and for announcing and reporting on our reunion activities. Explore the website for a walk down history. To find out what is happening at Taft today, click on “Other Taft Connections” to see how the school has grown and blossomed and continues to be one of the best high schools in the country. 

If you have questions or comments about any part of the website, or about any of our past or planned Reunion or Luncheon events, or information about our class or classmates in general, please contact any of the Reunion Committee members listed in the last section of the website. They will be happy to assist. THANK YOU!

TAFT June 1959 
Special Then, Special Now “Together Again”… And Staying Together!  

Your Reunion Committee
Coming Attractions

Taft 1959 63rd Class Reunion
September 30 - October 2, 2022


We ask you to consider donating to our Class (“Taft June 1959 Reunion”) to provide ongoing support for this website, class correspondence, our annual reunions and our periodic luncheons at Christmas time and spring. Class donations should be sent to our Class Treasurer:Donations:

Joe Bartel
7629 W. Isham Ave.
Chicago, IL 60631-1540

Make check payable to “TAFT Reunion 1959”

Donations may also be made to Taft High School and should be sent directly to: 

Mark Grishaber, Principal
Taft High School
6530 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago, IL 60631

Make checks payable to “TAFT High School” and reference the Taft June Class of 1959
Taft 63rd Class Reunion, September 30 - October 2, 2022, to be held at the Hilton Garden Inn. Our tentative plans include a Friday evening Pizza Party, a late Saturday afternoon reception, a full sit-down dinner that evening, and a farewell brunch at the hotel on Sunday morning. The cost will be very reasonable and we will leave plenty of opportunity to reconnect and enjoy visiting classmates.  
Taft Graduation 2022.  In June, 830 students graduated from our high school. The Class of 1959 was recognized at the ceremony and honored for its activities and contributions to the school and the Alumni Association. Principal Mark Grishaber reported that Taft is recognized by US News and World Reports as one of the best high schools in the Nation. 

This is the only graduating class that can say its football team beat Lane Tech’s football team three times in one year. Taft‘s sports teams are now competing at the highest level in the State of Illinois. Taft’s robotics team is now on the world stage, and its Performing Arts Department, Visual Arts Department, Drama Department and NJROTC are the best in the State. 

Academically the class of 2022 has applied to and been accepted to 233 colleges and universities. The class of 2022 earned over 20 million dollars in scholarships and next year the class of 2022 will be studying in 34 states, attending colleges and universities from Hawaii to Vermont and from Minnesota to Florida, and attending every Big Ten school as well as Princeton, Yale and Harvard. 

Principal Grishaber asked the audience to stand and take the Alumni Network Induction Pledge*. The Pledge was initiated a few years ago to get the students interested in joining the Alumni Association. Current enrollment at Taft is 4,300; 1,300 at the Taft campus; and 1300 at the Academy campus.

* I (state your name) do solemnly pledge to faithfully fulfill my duties as a graduate of William Howard Taft High School imbued by the spirit of its mission to serve the needs of students. I commit myself to the highest standards of service to my country, community and school. I will provide moral and intellectual support through the Alumni Network and I will encourage others to contribute and participate in the activities and noble work of the Alumni Network.
This page was last updated: July 31, 2022
1959 Classmates at the Alumni Clock prior to Graduation.  The Alumni Clock, a gift to the school, has been installed. Principal Mark Grishhaber thanked all the alumni, especially the Class of 1959, for all their generous donations that made the Clock possible. There are plans for landscaping around the base with flowers. Verdin, the manufacturer, is based in Cincinnati, Ohio, the birthplace of William Howard Taft.
Pictured here alongside the Taft Alumni clock are classmates and friends who attended the graduation ceremony.

Left to right: Leanne Mattick Speigel, Barbara Peterson (January 1959), Lucia Barth (Schurz), Penni Eichin Isaacson, Anne Fear McManus, Marlene Rizzi Crawford, Bruce Isaacson (Lane), Rita Glaubich Morser. 
Post Graduation Pizza Party.  Following the graduation, classmates and friends enjoyed a get together and pizza party at the Hilton Garden Inn in Des Plaines.
Left to right: Larry Marsh, Pat Santel Lutz, Lucia Barth (Schurz), Barbara Peterson Class (January 1959), David Barth (June 1962), Bruce Isaacson (Lane), Penni Eichin Isaacson, Gordy Lund, Rita Glaubich Morser, Leanne Mattick Spiegel, Anne Fear McManus, Marlene Rizzi Crawford. Also attending but declining to be included in the photograph were Lee Marsh, Larry’s younger brother and Roberta Lund.
Taft 1959 61st and 62 Reunions.  On October 1, 2, and 3, we celebrated our 2 for 1 (61st and 62nd) Reunions at the Hilton Garden Inn on River Road in Des Plaines. This has been our usual Reunion location ever since our 50th, which we had there. We missed last year (61st) because of Covid; hence, we celebrated two this year. We celebrated with a Pizza Party Friday night, a Banquet Saturday night, and a Farewell Breakfast Sunday morning. Joining us was Taft principal Mark Grishaber and his wife, Tina. We were honored to have them attend. Mark gave a wonderful, positive video and power point presentation with photos and commentary from both our era and the currrent one at Taft.
Front Row:  Gordon Stewart, Louse Knuth Stewart, Annette Knuth, Rita Glaubich Morser, Karen Knuth Neibarger, Jane Werling, Arnie Werling, Gordy Lund, Betty Henning Murphy, Susan Bartel, Karen Bartel.

Back Row:  Sherry Lorh, Barb Knudsen Newlin, Pat Gasway, Jim Fisher, Barb Peterson with William Howard Mark Eagle, David Barth, Lucia Barth with William Howard Eagle, Bill Rice, Bruce Isaacson, Penni Eichin Isaacson, Joe Bartel, David Murphy, Barb Marsh, Larry Marsh.
Front Row:  Jane Werling, Arnie Werling, Tom Hookanson with William Howard Eagle and son, William Howard Mark Eagle, Rita Glaubich Morser, Tina Grishaber, Mark Grishaber, Betty Henning Murphy, Joe Bartel, Jim Fisher Barb Knudsen Newlin.

Back Row:  Mike Murray, Bonnie Murray, David Barth, Bill Rice, Lucia Barth, Kerry Kremer, Barb Peterson, Penni Eichin Isaacson, Bruce Isaacson, Karen Knuth Neibarger, Dave Murphy, Marilyn Moldenhauer Gossell, Bob Henning, Suzanne Henning, Tom Wise, Pat Gasway, Gail Wise, Barb Marsh, Larry Marsh.