by Kristopher Rupert (Senior '98)
(on the event of BA's 40th anniversary)
Bryan Adams High School -- the name means so many things to so many people: An inner city school, a less than modern educational center. To the graduates, however, the school is much more -- something special -- something unique.
Today, we celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Bryan Adams High School. Forty years of educational excellence, after a less than auspicious start, forty years of survival in a city of angst, forty years of Bryan Adams.
The name of the school came from William Jennings Bryan Adams, who was born in Luka, Mississippi, in 1896. In 1916, after graduating high school, he went to work for the Texas and Pacific Railroad as secretary to the Superintendent. During his tenure there he met his future wife, Miss Lura Patterson, on a blind date and married her in 1918. He worked for Texas and Pacific until 1924, when he left to accept a position of responsibility with Gifford Sand and Gravel Company in Dallas, Later he invested in a gravel pit but lost several thousand dollars because of natural disaster. In April, 1929, he became Purchasing Agent of the Dallas Independent School District. From this position, he advanced to become Business Manager and, later, Secretary of the Board of Education. He remained there until his death twenty-six years later. In 1957, in accordance with the district's newly-instituted policy of naming schools after outstanding and extraordinary citizens of Dallas, the new high school located at 2101 Millmar Road was dedicated to the memory of Mr. William Jennings Bryan Adams. The school's first year was challenging as it was a half-finished school with Robert T. Hill Junior High School housed in one wing, no senior class, and much more work to be completed.
Bryan Adams High School has many traditions which identify it as a unique community. The Sadie Hawkins Dance, for instance, is a long-standing tradition in which the women ask the men out for a night on the town. Originally called the "Twirp (The Women is Required to Pay) Dance", this tradition continues with the dance occurring every year around Valentine's Day. The Bryan Adams Belles (Drill Team) originated in 1957. Other than a few changes in construction, today's Belle uniforms have the same look today as they did in 1957, and the half-time High Kick routine continues today. The Belle Tea has been a tradition for many years, and gives the Belles and their mothers the opportunity to meet other Belles and renew friendships. Bryan Adams High School Marching Band continues to be an award winning band. Some traditions, such as the "Run-On" to the field at half-time and senior initiation during the Spring Green and White football game, continue today as they did many years ago. The football team carries on the tradition of singing the Alma Mater when the team bus pulls onto Millmar Road. The Drama department has among their graduates an Academy Award Winner, a Tony Award Winner, Broadway performers, radio and other media personalities, writers, producers, musicians, and local award winners. Today's students also show great promise. Bryan Adams also enjoys a tradition of academic excellence. Last year, more students from Bryan Adams passed the Advanced Placement exams than from any other school in the city. The most important tradition, however, is graduation. Commencement exercises take place each May and represents the crowning achievement for every Bryan Adams student.
Bryan Adams High School has a current enrollment of 2300, a faculty of 150, a support staff of 57, 5 counselors, and 6 administrators. Soon we anticipate computers in every classroom and Internet access. Yes, Bryan Adams is still in its infancy. A Native American tradition holds that children reach adulthood at fifty years. We have but 10 years to reach that elder status. The new school of 1957 has changed in many ways -- a new wing in 1963, floating teachers, portable buildings, new classes in new subjects. Yes, we have come a long way, but yes, we still have a long way to go.
"On our city's eastern border - Neath the Texas sky
Proudly stands our Alma Mater - As the years go by.
Forward ever be our watchword - Conquer and prevail.
Hail to thee our Alma Mater - Bryan Adams hail!"