RAM REUNION: North Natchez celebrates 50 years with high school reunion

Published 2:07 pm Wednesday, May 18, 2022

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NATCHEZ — High school reunions may happen every year, but perhaps none to the degree that the former North Natchez High School will have Friday, May 27, through Sunday, May 29.

The multi-day reunion of North Natchez alumni from the classes of 1971 to 1989 was planned for the 50th year anniversary of the school in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused a change of plans, said event organizer Monica Smith.

“The plan started out as one night but since 2020 we kept adding on to it. Now we have a full 3-day reunion,” she said. “Once COVID hit, I kept rescheduling it until it was safe for everyone to gather.”

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As a 1983 graduate of North Natchez, Smith said she envisioned celebrating the school’s 50th by reuniting all those who went to school there.

“I wanted to put something together for all of the classes and get everyone together, not only the classmates but people we attended school with older or younger than us so we could reflect back on our years at North Natchez and how much it means to us today,” she said.

The kickoff event is a private meet-and-greet of Ram classmates at 7 p.m. Friday, May 27, at the Legacy Social Club at 261 Devereux Drive.

The events that follow are open to the public, including a 12:30 p.m. motorcade Saturday starting at Robert Lewis Magnet School, where the North Natchez High School once was. This will be followed by a “Battle of the Classes” pep rally of sorts inside Robert Lewis’s gymnasium. The semi-formal reunion celebration is at 8 p.m. at the Natchez Convention Center. Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. The event is B.Y.O.B., Smith said.

Those who attend can expect an evening of “reminiscing, mingling and entertainment,” she said, adding there will be special presentations to honor coaches who are still living and music from a D.J.

On Sunday, the reunion concludes with a special church service at Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, which is pastored by North Natchez alumnus, Melvin White.

The school holds a unique place in Natchez’s history. In 1970, Natchez-Adams School District was ordered to comply with a federal desegregation plan, which brought the end of Sadie V. Thompson and Natchez-Adams high schools.

Then in September 1970, students attended two new high schools in the Natchez-Adams School District, North Natchez and South Natchez. In August 1989, the two schools were consolidated into Natchez High School.

The Robert Lewis Magnet School’s namesake, Robert Lewis, served as the first principal at North Natchez. More than 50 years later, many close friendships forged at North Natchez high school still exist, and its alumni still bleed green and gold, according to Smith.

“We were more like a family than a school,” she said. “Everybody knew everybody, faculty and staff included. People my age and younger looked forward to attending North Natchez up until it closed.”

Hundreds are expected to come to celebrate the reuniting of friends after the end of an era.

“We’re expecting anywhere from 300 to 400 people,” she said. “I’ve had people call from New York, California, Virginia, Florida and all over.”

Tickets can be purchased in advance at Eventbrite.com by searching for “North Natchez Ram Reunion 2022” or by calling Smith at 601-443-7998.