Dedication ceremony marks Liberty HS’s 100th anniversary
At Liberty HS’s 100th anniversary dedication ceremony June 5, Bethlehem Area School District Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy intoned a quote by Winston Churchill: “We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us.” Truer words couldn’t have been said about the venerable high school at the ceremony, which was attended by Liberty students, staff and alumni, BASD staff and board directors, as well as state and local elected officials and area residents.
The 2021-22 school year has featured a number of 100th anniversary activities, ending with the dedication event.
Building tours kicked off the day’s festivities, followed by the dedication ceremony and later in the day an alumni band and chorus performance in BASD Stadium.
“I understand now why this school is so dear to this community,” said Principal Dr. Harrison Bailey III, who was joined by former principals Thomas Dalousio, William Burkhardt, JoAnn Durante and Dr. Dean Donaher in attendance.
Elected officials present included State Senator Lisa Boscola, State Representative Steve Samuelson, a Liberty alumnus, and Bethlehem Mayor J. William Reynolds, also a Liberty alumnus, who delivered a proclamation declaring it Liberty HS Day in Bethlehem. “Liberty is both inspirational and aspirational,” Reynolds said.
BASD Foundation vice president John Callahan revealed that a Steinway piano had been presented to Liberty as a 100th anniversary gift, the culmination of a year-long fundraising effort.
Four additional individuals - Murray Goodman, Carolyn Latanision, Dominic Villani and Muriel Wilson – were announced as the newest members of the Liberty HS Hall of Distinction, and Arthur and Mary Guerrieri were recognized as the ‘legendary couple of Liberty.”
Alumni and students representing different eras at Liberty spoke about their experiences as students at Liberty. Alumni William Burkhardt, Dr. Jack Silva and Jazlee Figueroa, and students Addison Collins and Abby Omwega recounted how Liberty had helped them find their passion and purpose. Collins and Omwega also cut the official dedication ribbon.
The Liberty Grenadier Band, 1st Company and Liberty A Cappela Singers provided musical accompaniment, performing the National Anthem and Alma Mater, among several selections.
Liberty athletic director Fred Harris summed up the year-long celebration, saying, “This high school is the center of our community.”