PARIS — A longtime group dedicated to supporting Oxford Hills students will soon dissolve after 122 years due to aging membership and declining participation.

Founded in 1900 by graduates of the Oxford Normal School in Paris, the Paris High School Alumni Association has seen as its members alumni of that school (which eventually became known as the Fox School), Paris High School (where the current Oxford Hills Middle School is) and finally Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.

The Paris High School Alumni Association was founded by graduates of the Oxford Normal School in 1900. The school later became known as the Mildred M. Fox School after a new high school as built on Pine Street. Submitted photo

For more than 120 years, members gathered annually for their banquet and meeting, its only events and means to raise funds for scholarships awarded to graduating high school students in the area.

“We’ve had dwindling numbers for some time,” said Betty Jones, a graduate of Paris High School during the 1950s, association member since 1989 and association president for the past seven years. “Our group is aging and it is harder for them to travel to the banquet. The last time we held it, in 2019, we had 85 people attending.”

Jones said in order to cover meeting expenses and scholarships it’s necessary to have at least 100 attendees participating.

Jones alerted members in a letter last month that the association’s board has voted to dissolve the organization. While the board is saddened by the move, Jones said that so far she has not been contacted by anyone protesting the decision.

She said the group will award four scholarships this year virtually.

The dissolution will be official as of June 30, 2023, and all of its funds will be donated to Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School’s Dollar for Scholars program.

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