1980 was generally a good year. Back in Oregon, where I'm from, Mt. St. Helens was blowing. Meanwhile in Albuquerque, New Mexico, some salts of the earth were graduating from Hope Christian High School and beginning their journeys in adult life. I know this because I had the opportunity to meet a group of them from a handful of graduating classes on either side of 1980 at a HCHS reunion that we hosted this past weekend. It was originally to be the 40 year reunion last year ...but then COVID happened.
They began arriving in the Senior Commons early, and they stayed late. They were excited to be back at HOPE; they so enjoyed reconnecting with each other and the school; and they didn't want to leave. They reminisced. And took pictures. And looked at old pictures in the archived yearbooks. Some of them were siblings from several of the graduating classes during this period, who also brought their mother, a faithful and spunky 86 year old matriarch whose eyes lit up when talking of her involvement as a parent all those years ago. And of her family's financial sacrifice of paying $25/month tuition as well as a long drive from the other side of the Sandia mountains from where they were raising their 7 children. All to send them to this new, private Christian school called HOPE.
The former classmates laughed and cried and laughed some more. I had the privilege of attending this gathering as a staff member, but enjoyed my interaction with them as a peer... having myself graduated during that same era, but from a 2,000 student public high school in Portland, Oregon. This special group of adults struck me as exactly the type of people we want, as an institution, to be sending out into the world. So kind, and grateful, and caring, and smart, and loving, and respectful, and genuine, and honoring, and joyful. All of the traits that reflect so well on the parents, teachers, and administrators who helped prepare them, and more importantly on the God they love and serve.
After the food and fun, we took these alumni from the early graduating classes of Hope Christian High School down to tour the brand new Elementary campus... which will house some of their grandchildren!
Thank you, HCHS classes of 1978-1984. You are proof that HOPE Christian School, which opened its doors to 54 high school students back in 1976,
and has graduated over 2000 students in the past four and a half decades, is fulfilling its mission of praying for, equipping, and sending Christ-centered, passionate leaders to change the world. Thank you for investing in your alma mater and your families and your community. And for shining brightly in the world and reflecting that brilliance onto HOPE.