Events include a Centennial Ball for all alums to reunite and reminisce
PHARR–Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD is hosting a once-in-a-lifetime celebration to commemorate the 100 years of its first high school located on Old Business 83 in Pharr. Since it was built in 1915, the Jefferson Building has been the home of many generations serving as the tri-city area’s first high school, a middle school and a ninth grade campus. Most recently, the school was renovated to preserve its historic status and is now the home of the district’s first early college campus, PSJA Thomas Jefferson T-STEM Early College High School.
To commemorate this occasion, the district will host a re-dedication ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 9 am and will conclude the festivities with a Centennial Ball that evening. All PSJA alumni and the entire community are invited to enjoy a night full of memories, live music and fun during Jefferson’s Centennial Ball at the school’s grounds. Tickets are currently on sale for $50 a person and all proceeds benefit student scholarships. Attendees will also receive a commemorative coin keychain.
ABOUT THE BUILDING
First built in 1915, the historic building was first known as Common School District No. 4 and had an enrollment of 143 students in first through 11th grade. Over the years, as the school district has grew and evolved, the building took on many names which included:
Pharr-San Juan High School and Junior High, 1925; PSJ High School, 1949; PSJA High School, 1959; Thomas Jefferson Junior High School, 1961; Jefferson East/West Junior High School, 1966; Jefferson Ninth Grade School, 1978; PSJA Ninth, 1978; Memorial Junior High and Memorial Middle School, 1979.
Today the building, which was given a historical marker in 1986, has been the home of PSJA Thomas Jefferson T-STEM Early College High School since 2012.
According to Dr. Daniel King, PSJA Superintendent, this historic event will allow alumni and the community to reunite and reminisce about their time at Jefferson while contributing to the education of current students.
“The Jefferson Centennial Ball is a great opportunity to reunite and celebrate 100 years of history,” King said. “This is probably one of a few buildings with this much history that still serves its community as a school campus. We are really proud of the renovation of this beautiful building and how it will continue to be a functioning learning environment for generations to come. We hope all the various generations that attended school here take the time to join us for the celebrations and in turn assist current students as proceeds from the ticket sales will go to scholarships for college tuition.”
In addition to having live decade music and delicious food during the Jefferson Centennial Ball, PSJA ISD will be displaying and highlighting special alumni memorabilia and stories throughout the night.
With the celebration in mind, PSJA asks any alumni or community members interested in donating memorabilia to contact the district’s Public Relations Office.
Already various alumni have donated items for the events, such as two alums from the Class of 1957, Rene Alanis and Mauro A. Trevino. They have provided letterman jackets, yearbooks and diplomas for the occasion.
“I attended school there,” Trevino smiled as he recalled his time at the school. “I have a lot of memorabilia at my office about the Bears and my daughters. I have a 1938 yearbook, which is very special to me and was given to me by a friend.”
Items donated to the campus will be used to populate the Memory Loft on the 2nd floor of the building, an area designated to commemorate the history of the building and past generations.
For more information on the festivities, donations or to purchase tickets, please visit www.psjaisd.us/centennial or call the PSJA Public Relations Office at 956-354-2027.