UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio (WCMH)– The Upper Arlington Alumni Association searches for graduates from 1964 and 1965 who had Mrs. Mary McKinney as a teacher during the 7th grade at Jones Middle School.

Students who were in Mrs. McKinney’s class in 1959 and 1960 were assigned a project to write a letter to themselves, seal it in an envelope and address it to their home address. Now, 60 years later, the Upper Arlington Alumni Association wants to deliver those letters.

“Bless this beautiful teacher,” said Alice Finley, Executive Director of the UA Alumni Association.

At 84-years-young, Mrs. McKinney lives in Georgia. She ran into one of her former students while he vacationed in the Grand Tetons.

“She mentioned that she still had 21 of these letters,” said Jack Graf, UA High School Class of 1965.

The Golden Bears set out on the hunt to find the remaining authors.

“She keeps in contact with some of these students and through this project, she’s been able to reconnect and the students remember her, they remember the class and some of the things they learned,” said Finley.

The reactions have been overwhelming for the students who have read the words they wrote more than half a century ago.

“And we’re getting responses back now from the recipients on how wonderful this has been,” said Graf.

“They are incredibly touched and they can’t believe that Mrs. McKinney kept these letters for so long and we are going above and beyond to help them see it,” said Finley.

One of the letters stands out more than most for Finley.

“Her family had just moved here from Chicago and she had had to leave her very best friend Hillary Rodham,” said Finley with a chuckle.

The stories will continue as they find the remaining students to reconnect with their UA alumni family.

“We say once a Golden Bear Always a Golden Bear,” said Finley.

If you, or someone you know was part of these two classes, reach out to Alice Finley by phone at 614-487-5007 (ext.1120) or by email at Alice@UAEducationFoundation.com, or simply visot: https://www.bearalums.com/