4 members of 1934 class in Lansing reunite

Back in 1939, tuition at St. Mary Cathedral High School in Lansing was $10 a student; $15 for a family.
AP Wire
Jun 22, 2014

Students weren't required to wear uniforms, for fear their parents couldn't afford them.

With the help of their teachers, members of the Sisters of Charity, students put on a musical every year.

"Everybody had to be in it, no matter what role they had," said Tom Costigan, a member of the Class of 1939. Costigan, 92, and three other surviving members of the 63-member class met recently for their 75th reunion.

With some family members and guests along, they attended noon Mass at the cathedral, then met to share lunch and memories.

Besides Costigan, the 1939 grads at the reunion were Betty (formerly Brayton) Kremer, Margaret (Fiebig) Sullivan, and Felicitas (Saier) White. Kremer now lives in Traverse City; the others live in the Lansing area.

Their class motto was "He conquers the world who conquers himself." Their class flower was the rose, their patron Immaculate Mary and their class colors blue and gold.

White married her high school sweetheart, Joe White, a basketball player.

"Our greatest pride was the Big Blues" basketball team, she said. "My husband happened to be the captain."

He was, however, too shy at first to ask her out.

"I had to ask him," she said with a quick laugh. After a friend arranged for him to come along with them on a ride to Jackson, a romance was born.

Kremer liked music class the best.

"I loved to sing," she said.

"She was very good, too," Sullivan said. Kremer went on to spend decades in the cathedral choir.

Costigan, an altar server, sometimes was called to serve at Mass with the bishop on school-day mornings.

"I used to skip religion class to serve Bishop Albers at 8 o'clock Mass," he said.

White said she always appreciated the Sisters of Charity's support of students at the school.

"They were capable of taking care of us body and soul," she said.

The original St. Mary High School opened in 1904. It changed its name to add Cathedral when the Diocese of Lansing was established in 1937 and Bishop Joseph Albers was installed.

St. Mary and Resurrection High School eventually were replaced by O'Rafferty and Gabriels high schools.

They were consolidated in 1970.

Lansing now has one Catholic high school, Lansing Catholic, with just over 500 students.

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