Take a good look at the picture of the man on the right. Larry Phillips was the choral director at Larkin High School from 1972 until 1992. When he started at Larkin, he had big dreams for his students, and even bigger plans for the choral department.
Under Mr. Phillips' direction, the extracurricular Swing Choir became one of the most popular singing groups in the school. The Concert Choir performed on WGN TV; produced their own record of Christmas music; and performed at the Hemmens Theater, Woodfield Mall and Judson College. In 1976, the 65-voice choir even performed at the White House during a Spring Break trip that included performances in New York, Philadelphia, and the nation's capital. And the Madrigal singers were being asked to perform at weddings, churches, and for clubs. During Keith Trimmer's senior year, the Madrigal singers had 16 performances in December alone, a number that did not sit well with his other teachers.
Keith Trimmer, Larkin High School Class of 1974, has fond memories of Mr. Phillips and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that he had because of him. He recalls a field trip to Orchestra Hall to hear the Concordia Teachers College Choir. "They were amazing," he said. And, he vividly remembers the trip the choir took to Europe to perform. Mr. Trimmer told the Foundation that this was not a trip that his parents could afford, but through fundraising (they sold toothbrushes!) and Mr. Phillips' dedication to making the trip a reality for all of his students, Keith was able to go. If you look at the class picture, that's Keith in the front row with glasses, perfectly framed by Mr. Phillips' shoulder and his waving baton.
Keith also told us of the harpsichord that Mr. Phillips built from a kit for the Madrigals. You can see Keith (left side, seated) and the harpsichord in this final picture. Keith told us that Mr. Phillips had to constantly tune the harpsichord because of the plucked strings.
As a testimony of his gratitude towards his teacher, Mr. Phillips, and a desire to make sure future Larkin choral students get the same life-changing opportunities, Mr. Trimmer decided to make a planned gift to the U-46 Educational Foundation. Through this gift, the legacy of a teacher who impacted so many students will live on and so will the choral program at Larkin High School.
The U-46 Educational Foundation wishes to extend our appreciation to U-46 Educational Foundation Legacy Society member, Mr. Keith Trimmer, for his generosity towards Larkin students. Thanks to Mr. Trimmer, Royals will keep making music for generations to come. Without a doubt, Mr. Phillips would be pleased.
Even though Dolores "Dody" Nesbit ended up in Oklahoma, she never forgot where her love of learning began, in Elgin and at Elgin High School.
Dolores Ann Nesbit, known as Dody Kaplan when she graduated from Elgin High School in 1952, was active in her high school, participating in many clubs, including serving as president of the German club (see the circular picture.) After high school, Ms. Nesbit became a high school teacher and school counselor.
In 2019, the U-46 Educational Foundation received word that Ms. Nesbit left a portion of her estate to the U-46 Educational Foundation. It was her desire that these funds be used for a scholarship for Elgin High School students following a career path similar to her own. EHS seniors interested in pursuing a career as an elementary, middle, or high school counselor or teacher may apply. In 2020, The Dody Nesbit Scholarship Fund gave out its first award of $5,000 to an Elgin High School student. This endowment will continue to help future generations of school teachers and counselors for many years to come.
The U-46 Educational Foundation is grateful for Dolores "Dody" Nesbit's generosity, and we are proud to count her as a member of the U-46 Educational Foundation Legacy Society.
Elgin residents, David and Edith Cole, became U-46 Legacy Society Members in the 1960s when they both left portions of their estates to Elgin High School.
Although the Foundation did not know much about the Coles at the time, we did some research and found the following article and pictures on the John Marshall High School, Class of 1957, website:
Mr. David Samuel Cole (Born: 6 June 1892; Died: November 1966)
Mr. Cole was principal at Marshall from November 1944 through June 1957. On 1 January 1955 he was 62 years old.
Mr. Cole was born on 6 June 1892 in Harvard, Illinois, the youngest of the four children of Samuel W. Cole and Mary L. Ryan. He started early in school administration. On 5 June 1917 he was the principal in the Sedro-Woolley, school district north of Seattle, Washington. By 1920 he was back with his parents in Harvard, Illinois, and attending college.
In the 1920s Mr. Cole married Edith M. Samuelson. The couple does not appear to have had children. In 1930 the Coles were living with Mrs. Cole’s mother and sister in Elgin, Illinois. Mr. Cole was employed as a principal of a public school and his wife and his sister-in-law as public school teachers. In 1940 The Coles were living in Chicago where he was employed as a public school principal and she as a public school teacher.
In November 1944 Mr. Cole became the fourth principal of Marshall High. The first, from 1893 when the school was formed until 1926 was Dr. Louis J. Block after whom Marshall’s auditorium and assembly hall was named. In 1926 Dr. Block retired and Mr. George A. Beers took his place as principal. Mr. Beers retired in 1942. Mr. Thaddeus J. Lubera served as principal from 1942 to 1944 when Mr. Cole assumed the role.
On 6 June 1957, Mr. Cole’s 65th birthday, a retirement and birthday dinner was given him in the Walnut Room of the Bismark Hotel. His retirement took effect at the end of semester.
Mr. Cole died in Elgin, Illinois, in November 1966. His wife Edith, who was born on 5 November 1891, died in October 1973, also in Elgin.
Mr. and Mrs. Cole were both Elgin High School graduates, graduating probably in 1910. After high school, David Cole served in the Army during World War I. They are buried in Bluff City Cemetary in Elgin.
The Coles left equal portions of their estate to their church, the Anti-Cruelty Society, Sherman Hospital, and Elgin High School. Clearly an animal lover, Edith Cole even made sure her beloved dog was provided for in her will.
The Coles specifically wanted the funds left to Elgin High School to be used to create four $1,000 scholarships per year to be given to graduating Elgin High School students who will be attending college.
To date, the Cole Scholarship fund has given out $43,000 in scholarships to Elgin High School grads. And, because these funds are held as an endowment by the U-46 Educational Foundation, this scholarship fund is expected to live-on in perpetuity.
Mr. and Mrs. Cole will be remembered for their commitment to education, their devotion to the Elgin community, and for being the inaugural members of the U-46 Educational Foundation Legacy Society.
Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Cole.