Connecting the Dots with Shawn Young
This edition of Connecting the Dots is a trip down memory lane, and another reason why I love doing this job.  Mary Ellen (Beahn) Schwing '57, was reading the newsletter in November and was inspired by the story about Sister Judi Keehnen.  Reading the story about the 1950's at McNicholas reminded Mary Ellen of her childhood growing up next to the convent.  She was inspired to write a letter to me.  It seemed like the perfect story for Christmas, so it is my pleasure to share it with you.

"Your current article featuring Sister Judy Keehnen was truly wonderful, especially as it held so much history of McNicholas!  The pictures were truly beyond description for me too, as they took me back many years.  I well remember when St. Joseph's Academy looked just like the one photo of the beautiful Convent, standing majestically and beautifully alone, all by itself and with no add-on's, except for the beautiful cedar and pine trees surrounding it which in the winter were beautifully snow-laden, and with the unpaved half-circle driveway in the front, and usually without any cars, or sometimes one or two, parked in front of it.  

In 1948, my father's job necessitated us moving to Cincinnati, and my family (including me, beginning at age 9) moved into an old, two-story farmhouse way at the (then) end of Brachman Lane (that I think still runs alongside the McNicholas High School stadium property).  The old farmhouse was empty at the time, and not in the best condition, but it was the only house my father could find that would take a family with six young children.  We kids loved living "on the farm" as we called it, but my mother, being a city girl from St. Louis, Missouri, and used to a more conventional lifestyle, had a hard time getting used to a house without sufficient water, heating, and lights.  She did love the many trees around this old place, and the farmland around it too.  In the big barn near the house were cows and horses, which we were in awe of, but in a big pen outside the barn were hogs, which none of us liked!  There was even an out-house in case of an "emergency," which fortunately never happened.  

Brachman Lane was just an old farm road then, no pavement of any kind of course, full of ruts and dandelions, and only farmers or workers on the farm would drive on it.  My sisters and I would walk down that lane from our house to Guardian Angels School and Church every day long before it  was like the GA Church is now. We never minded that walk, nor the one coming home. In the summer and on holidays we would wander through the fields and meadows and streams around St. Joseph Academy, pick the beautiful wild-flowers, catch frogs in the little ponds, and on a particularly warm spring or hot summer day, just lay on the soft grass looking up at the big, white, fluffy clouds and turn them into whatever we wanted them to be, without a care in the world. It truly was "the best of times" for my sisters and me.   Of course, we had to be on the look-out for the "cow-patties" too, something we were very careful to avoid! Whenever one of us stepped in one, it truly was "the worst of times!"  But the cows never bothered us, and we never bothered them either.  

Living on Brachman Lane surrounded by the beauty of God's nature  a nd comforted by the beautiful, majestic, light-orange brick building not far from us, made for a wonderful growing-up time in my life.  Sister Judy Keehnen's article brought it to life again, and I want to thank you again for printing it."

We all have a story to share. Please consider sharing your story with the McNicholas community. Please send your story to Shawn Young '82, Manager of Alumni Relations at .

A Message from the Development Office

Annual Fund giving up 52 percent!
Does your gift list include McNicholas? 
As we approach mid-December, the Christmas spirit has spread throughout the McNicholas campus. The Spirit of Giving is found all around school in the many great Christmas activities and projects our students, faculty and staff are taking part in every day. The Spirit of Giving is truly of big part of the Christmas season. As you and your families are looking for groups to provide a gift this Christmas season, please remember the McNicholas Annual Fund. Your tax-deductible gift will have a tremendous impact on the lives of both current and future McNicholas Rockets. If you would like to make a gift to the Annual Fund, you can either mail a check (payable to McNicholas High School), or click here to make an online donation. You are now able to designate an area of the school you would like your donation to help. Help make this a great Christmas for McNicholas High School. Please email Mark Doran or call 231-3500, ext. 5141.

McNick at Night needs you!

McNicholas High School will be hosting its 19th annual McNick at Night event on Saturday, March 11, 2017, at Norlyn Manor in Batavia. This event is our largest fundraiser, and it helps to support our school in many ways that tuition alone cannot cover. The evening includes an open bar, an elegant buffet dinner, games, silent and live auctions, and plenty of fun. The auction accounts for a significant portion of the event proceeds and is led by our own, Willy Corbett. While we rely heavily on the alumni community to donate items for the auction.
Please consider donating an item to include in the auction. There will be a receptive audience at McNick at Night looking forward to bidding on items like tickets to sporting or entertainment events, a vacation home rental, restaurant gift cards, jewelry, or anything in between! If you are unsure what to donate we do have a  wish list. If you know that you would like to donate, please complete the   Auction Donation Form and return to the Development Office by February 28.  Please contact Annette McHugh at 513-619-5814 or if you have any questions.

Events in the news at McNicholas High School

To learn more about what has been happening on campus this past month, click on any of the stories listed below.

Save the Date--2017 Hall of Fame to induct Gilene and Massa

We hope you will plan to join us on Thursday, February 23 for the McNicholas Hall of Fame inductions.  This year, McNicholas will induct 

Christina Gilene  '09

All-City junior and senior year, All-State senior year; Two time All-American at Wittenberg College

Gordon Massa '85

First team All-City, All-Metro, All-Southwest Ohio, and All-State

Thursday, February 23, 2017
Cash bar 6 p.m.
Dinner catered by Carrabba's at 7 p.m.
$25 in advance, $35 at the door
The event will be held in the McNicholas High School CafĂ© and Student Union. 
Make your reservations in January!

Memorial Dance
Military Memorial group

Come join us on Saturday, February 25, from 7 - 11 p.m. in the McNicholas Main Gym. Get some friends together to shake off those winter blues with Haymarket Riot, one of Cincinnati's premier bands with your favorite hits from the 60's, 70's & 80's!  There will also be a baskets raffle and other fun events.  This dance, while open to the public, has become one of the most popular alumni and parent events on the McNicholas calendar. This year you can purchase your tickets several ways. You can pay online by  clicking here,  or you can contact Pat Farwick at McNicholas at 513-231-3500 ext. 5803 or email at Tickets for the event may be purchased at the door.   

The Military Memorial Committee uses the proceeds from this dance provide tuition scholarships for incoming freshmen which, to date, have amounted to over $40,000. The committee also is able to provide for the maintenance of the memorial.  So get a few friends together and reserve your table now before they're all gone!

Questions on the event? Contact Jim Hay at, or call 513-236-7609

Alumni Basketball Night 

1962 Basketball team
Time to mark your calendars for the Alumni Basketball night. This game will be played on Friday, January 27.  Get together with past players and graduates and watch the current Rockets take on Alter High School. Tickets for alumni and family of alumni are only $5.  Former players may get into the game for free, but you must register with Shawn Young prior to January 25.  

After the game, stick around for a reception for the alumni in the library. Refreshments will be provided. To get a head count for the reception, please contact Shawn Young if you are interested in the reception. This is a great way to stay connected and have a good time, I look forward to hearing from you.

XU Basketball Game on Saturday!

Help the Karen Carns Foundation and the Mack Family Foundation by purchasing tickets to Xavier vs. Wake Forest game
Come cheer on the Xavier Musketeers as they take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons while supporting the Karen Carns Foundation and the Mack Family Foundation, foundations that are great supporters of McNicholas High School. Your ticket include includes
  • Ticket to game and reception on Sat., Dec. 17 at 8 pm--$30 for lower level seat, $25 for landing, $15 for upper level seats
  • A donation to the foundations
  • Reception from 5-8 p.m. includes snacks and drinks in the Cintas Center Auxiliary Gym
  • Buy your tickets by clicking here.
2017 Ladies Spring Fling to Chicago

Grab your lady leprechauns and join us for the fun in Chicago over St. Patrick's weekend. This year, the trip is planned for March 17, 18, and 19. This year, we are mixing it up.   We will be staying at the Courtyard Marriott in the Magnificent Mile. Watch as the river is turned GREEN!  We hope to fill two buses with 50 people each! Our 
first trip was 2012, and we have been growing ever since. Come join us for a ladies-only trip for some time to get away for a weekend with friends and a chance to make some new friends. You will come back with stories and have a great adventure. For more details and a registration form please click here.
Reunions for 2017

It is now time to set our sights on the next round of reunions.  If your graduation year ends in a 2 or 7, you are up for a reunion this year.  I have sent out letters shortly to the reunion planning committees, and some reunions are starting to take shape.  We still need to hear from the classes of: 1952, 1957,1962, 1972,1977, and 1992. Please check our website to see as new reunions are announced.  At this time, two dates have already been selected.  The Class of '97 has already selected June 10, no location has been decided yet.  The Class of '67 will be celebrating their reunion the weekend of September 22 and 23 with a class picnic on Sept. 22 and an evening at Norlyn Manor on Sept. 23.

Click here to see the alumni reunion page.
Alumni Basketball League

The alumni sports group is proud to bring back the alumni basketball league.  We are looking for 8 teams this year. Each team must have at least 3 Rocket alumni, and 2 Rockets must always be on the court.  The league will be played on Sunday nights in the Aux Gym.  Game times will be 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.  The cost will be $50 per person. This money will secure your spot, pay for officials, and help support the men's basketball program.  Play will start March 24. For more information or to secure your spot, contact Coach Tim Monahan at

Alumni Updates

Any news?
Do you have news to share? Let us know what you've been doing since graduation! Update your information by completing our  alumni update form   on the McNicholas webpage or call the Alumni Office at 513.231.3500. ext. 5850.

Peggy Kennedy '69  lives in New York City now with her husband. They  are currently developing a documentary film to tell the stories of the people who still wear the MIA-POW Vietnam War memorial bracelets (Senator John McCain still wears one) and the soldiers they honor.  They are interested connecting with veterans who would want to contribute to this pro-veteran film. 

Randy Patrick Setterstrom '77  has been Sports Director for WKRG TV, Mobile, AL - Pensacola, FL for the past 25 years. Randy has had a Heisman Trophy vote for the past 4 seasons and has covered University of Alabama and Auburn football in their incredible championship runs the past 7 years. Randy's has been voted Mobile's top television sportscaster for the past 14 years by the Mobile Press Register and Lagniappe Mobile. Randy's first broadcasting experience was at McNicholas in Mr. Devine's TV production class back in 1975. Randy has been honored by U.S. Sports Academy, The Mobile Press Club, Associated Press the Go Daddy Bowl and many other organizations, he has been an "on air" talent at WKRG since 1980. 

Teresa Dadosky Fincken '79 has a  son Eddie who is 24 and a graduate of NKU in business. Daughter Emma is 22 and pursuing a PhD in Forensic Psychology at Spaulding University in Louisville.

Chad Burbrink '92 finalized the adoption of his son, Tyreak (age 5) on November 19 in Atlanta. Tyreak came to our family more than three years ago as a foster child, so we are thankful that he is now part of our forever family. 

Renee Plumlee Luebbering '93 Welcomed a son Ryan after many long years  on June 4, 2016  with my husband Greg.
In Memoriam

This list is generated from local obituaries and information received from the family and friends of our alumni and current students. Please contact the alumni office if there is incorrect or missing information. 


Mary Kopp Callahan'56; Mother of Kathy Callahan Campbell '79, Susan Callahan Parks (attended), Jeffrey '83, Beth Callahan Gundrum '92, Sister of William '54, and Ruth Kopp Spitznagel '58. 

Victoria A. Russ '09; Daughter of Robert '78.

Distinguished Family and Friends

Dorothy Alexander; Mother of David '73, Mary Alexander Ryan '74, Stephen '75, and Patricia Alexander Drybala '81.

Dolores Arnold; Mother of Deborah Arnold Ware '70, and Kimborah Arnold Wier '75.

Rita Benkert; Mother of Angie Benkert Meisman '69, Ron '71, Tom '74, Mary Benkert Boyd '76, Jonna Benkert Chadwell '80, Bob '82, Grandmother of John Chadwell '05, Dan Chadwell '08, Kristen Meisman Breig '97, Matt '99,  Lauren Meisman Stover '04, and Tim '09.

Eileen Dean; Mother of Kathy Dean Harrison '71, the late Pat '74, Shawn '76, Colleen Dean Hunt '78, Tim '79, Tom '81, Christine '81, and Kelly Dean Stachler '86. 

Anita Green; Mother of Paul '72.

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