School: Colby St. Mary’s (Alumni Reunion - 2017)

Transcriber: Robert Lipprandt 

Surnames: Feiten, O’Brien

----Source: The Tribune - Phonograph (Abbotsford, WI) 9/20/2017

By: Kevin O’Brien

For what might be the first time in its long history, St. Mary’s Catholic School in Colby is hosting a formal alumni reunion this year, giving graduates from all previous classes a chance to get together, share memories and support the school’s continuing mission.

The reunion is scheduled for Saturday, September 30, starting with a 4 p.m. Mass, followed by cocktail in the school gym, a buffet style dinner at 6 p.m., live auction at 7 p.m. and dance at 8 p.m.

School principal Tina Feiten said the event was planned as a fundraiser for the school. Invitations were sent out based on a list of addresses collected in 2012, which was not complete, so Fieten is hoping to get the word out to nay alumni who have been inadvertently missed.

As of last week, Feiten said she was expecting at least 200 people to attend, including some from as far away as Arizona.

The reunion happens to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the current St. Mary’s School building, which was built in 1937 after years of effort to replace the original two-story brick building constructed in 1894. That was the year Catholic education first came to the city of Colby, starting with 50 pupils and three nuns in charge, according to St. Mary’s Centennial book.

From those humble beginnings 123 years ago, the school’s history now spans parts of three different centuries.

According to the April 29, 1937 edition of the Colby Phonograph, the school had 130 students from among the 200 families in the congregation at that time. In May of that year, 23 graduated from the school’s eighth grade.

When the school building was constructed that year, it cost $41,415 for a building with five classrooms and an 18 foot high auditorium, which still stands to this day. An old opera house that had been used for school activities was torn down later that same year.

The school continues to expand its operations. Feiten said the school added kindergarten six years ago, and just started a pre-school program this year.

Anyone interested in attending the reunion can contact Tina Feiten at the school office by calling 715-223-3033 ext. 2 or by sending an email to



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