About Us

The Northwestern High School Alumni Association
 Detroit, Michigan

The Northwestern High School Alumni Association was incorporated in 1961 under the leadership of attorney Monsey Wilson.  The organization was strong and always advocated for the rights of Northwestern students.  One of their greatest accomplishments was  their fantastic input in the planning of the new school, which was dedicated in 1980.  Because of problems they uncovered in the older building, the erecting of the new “state of the art” school was credited to their vision.  Some of the past members included Tommy Tyler, James Del Rio, Clarence Harris, Marie Lucas Hankins, Shirley Manus Williams, Sam Poole, Harold Murdock, Arthur Smith and Julius Newberry to name a few.

As they became less active in later years the association became stagnate. In the mid 2000’s Jackie Barber had a plan to revive it. With the help of Gwendolyn (Williams) Bush, Joe Barber, Regina Lawson And Iran Wasson they gave rebirth to the Alumni Association.  They began operations under the original state charter.  Like the alumni before them, their mission is to always help the children whenever possible.  We must always embrace our youth.  For they must continue to operate one of the greatest and oldest alumni associations in Detroit.

The original Northwestern was built in 1914.  The school had forty rooms and 422 students.  A covered passageway was added in 1925 connecting Northwestern to McMichael Jr. High.  Summer school started in 1926 and the first summer graduation took place in 1937. By 1930, the night school enrollment had reached an all-time high of 3,168 students and many curriculum changes had to be made.  Between 1914 and 1939, the student body increased ten-fold.  The cannon, which became a school landmark, was won in an essay contest by student Marion Chapman.  Another cannon graces the new school.

In 1958, the upper passageway between Northwestern and McMichael was converted to a lunch counter.  In the early 1960’s Federal funds made possible expansion of the languages, mathematics and chemistry programs.  Later the Marr building was added to the complex, and the Martindale was closed.

In 1964, Northwestern celebrated its fiftieth anniversary.  Sam Bishop, Athletics Director, was celebrating his fortieth year at The Big N.O. And 13 years later was honored by having a public playing field named in his honor.  In the late 1960s the Social Revolution brought  Chrysler Corporation funds to the school in an extensive academic-activity program.  Plans for the present building were formed in the late 1960s and the first units were occupied in September 1972.  The completed school complex was dedicated on October 22, 1980.

So as we look to the brilliant future and promise of today’s students we celebrate the proud and magnificent traditions of years gone by. The school has always, and will continue to be steeped in wonderful accomplishments……..Champions: academically,socially an athletically.  As we cherish the past, we look to future COLTS to be  “the best in the west”.