Brigham Young High School History

The "Ghost Classes"
Of Brigham Young High

Students stand in Brigham Young High Windows

July 2, 2001

PROVO -- The school may have closed 32 years ago, but Brigham Young High School students remember it like it was yesterday.

One of the Brigham Young High School "Ghost Classes" held its 32nd-year reunion on Saturday, July 1, 2001.

Not one student from that future "Class of 1969" officially graduated from Brigham Young High School as a senior.

"We had all just finished our junior year at the Brigham Young, when the school closed," reunion organizer Richard Reimschussel said. "All of us juniors were given the option of graduating early because it was a difference of one or two credits. But personally I didn't want to miss out on my senior year."

Once the school closed, 65 students in the class were transferred to high schools throughout Utah County.

"We call ourselves the 'Ghost Class of 1969' because we never officially graduated," class president Mike Brown said.

There is also a 'Ghost Class of 1970' and so on, including 1976. The Class of 1976 was in fourth grade when the school was closed and they would have been the Centennial Class, because the school was founded in 1876. Then there are also ghost classes going back to 1980 -- the kids who were in Kindergarten in 1968! Some of these classes have held reunions, too.

After the school closed, Brown transferred to Provo High, where things were quite different for him.

"I went from a class size of 65 to a class size of 600," Brown said. "My sister said that I went from being a big fish in a little pond to being a little fish in a big pond, and that is what it felt like."

BYH Class of 1969 at 2001 reunion
BYH Class of 1969 at 2001 reunion

Even though this was the first time these students were able to get together for a reunion, class vice president Rick Shumway said there will always be a feeling of family.

"We came from a small class of 65 students, so it's like running into your brother or sister again," Shumway said. "It was a fun building with fun teachers and students."

Pictures and papers Reimschussel brought to the reunion indicated how close the class really was.

"I have some pictures of kids crying because we were devastated when we heard the school was closing," Reimschussel said. "Some of us were together right from first grade all the way to 11th."

After 32 years the Brigham Young Academy Education Building, first completed in 1892, which housed Brigham Young High School, is being rebuilt as part of the new Provo City Library.

"I'm just tickled to see them fixing it up," Shumway said. "It was a happy building with a lot of happy memories."

Thanks to By Debra Jandreau, Provo Daily Herald

Academy Building of Provo City Library - Vineyard
Photo by Daniel Vineyard

1969 ~ 1970 ~ 1971 ~ 1972 ~
1973 ~ 1974 ~ 1975 ~ 1976 ~
1977 ~ 1978 ~ 1979 ~ 1980 ~

Centennial Class logo
BYH Centennial Class