Honoring our graduates
Posted on 05/31/2023
Mayor Brian Turnbull Dear Northvillians and friends, 

On Memorial Day, I spent time with our military veterans, saw throngs of Northvillians along the parade route and paid special tribute to our fallen soldiers and all our veterans at the Rural Hill Memorial Day ceremony. Now it’s time to turn to our Northville Grads, as we honor the Class of 2023 and look back at Northville graduation history.

Appropriately, next weekend we will see the NHS graduation vehicle parade, with students decorating their vehicles with colorful streamers, cans, posters and college colors from their school of choice. Administrators, teachers, parents, and thousands of Northvillians will line up along the sidewalks and greenspace along Six Mile and at NHS to cheer on the Class of 2023.

Truly, these past few years have been unique for our seniors. Accordingly, I give this graduating class a great deal of kudos for their perseverance, dedication and hard work spent in the pursuit of excellence, which applies to academics, sports, music and community activities. You, the grads, have represented not only yourselves but your families, our schools and the entire Northville community. The keys to the future are now in your hands, and soon you will make your mark on this world.

It is truly the season for school celebrations. Downtown Northville was abuzz with prom preparations and pictures at the Mill Race Village last Thursday. “Best Wishes Grads” was even featured on the marquis at the theater downtown. Besides the senior vehicle parade, this coming weekend will include graduation ceremonies and the all-night senior party… a lot going on!

Here is what’s happening in town
Month of May – Chamber of Commerce Military Veteran Banners: Walk around town and view our heroes’ pictures. There are more than 200 banners of our veterans. This banner program is an outstanding tribute to those who have defended our ideals.

6/10, 10 a.m. to noon – History and Restoration of Fish Hatchery Park presented at Mill Race Village. Mayor Turnbull will cover its beginnings and recent improvements, and John O'Meara and Alice Baily from ECT will discuss the ongoing restoration efforts of this program, sponsored by The Northville Historical Society, the Paul H. Young Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Friends of the Rouge. Link

Thursday, June 8, Northville, Northville Township, and our Schools will team up to review again the State of the Community. It will be hosted this year at 7 p.m. at Township Hall (Six Mile/Sheldon) plan to attend…or tune in via Zoom: Link

Northville Downtown Car Show, June 10 (2nd Saturday monthly): 8 – 10 a.m., Old Village School entrance off of Cady, next to library at 212 W. Cady Street. Link

June concerts every Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. – Downtown Northville. Link

Let’s take a look at the history of Northville Graduation activities 
• 1869 – First and only graduate of Northville High School that year, Alice Beal (Beal Town).

• 1889 – Commencement Exercises were in the Opera House on Dunlap and Center (800 seat capacity) … everyone in town showed up!

• 1909 – Ten graduates (Commencement at the Methodist Church, Dunlap and Center).

• 1916 – Commencement was at the Presbyterian Church.

• 1924 – First senior class to take a train trip to Washington D.C., boarding in Northville ($80 included transportation andhotel). This started a D.C. class trip tradition spanning more than 40 years.

• 1931 – 38 graduates, with the commencement at Wayne County’s Training School Auditorium, on Sheldon between Five Mile and Six Mile Rd.

• 1939 – 80 graduates. “Mustangs” was chosen in a contest as the Mascot for NHS. A natural choice because of Northville’s history and heritage for horse shows and horse racing. With the Mustang theme in mind, during WWII, Northville raised enough money for a P51 Mustang Aircraft with “Northville Mustang” painted on it.

• 1943 – 61 graduates (commencement at Northville Downs Fairgrounds).

• 1958 – 97 graduates (commencement at Community Center/Senior Center on Main Street).

• 1969 – 100th graduating class, 183 students. Before this time, Novi and Northville were one combined high school. In ‘69, Novi High School had in its first graduating class of 84 students.

• 1977 – 384 graduates (commencement at the football stadium).

• 2015 – 555 graduates (commencement at Compuware Arena, as it has been for some years).

• 2023 – Close to 700 graduates (Northville is actually ranked as the 4th largest high school in the state).
City of Northville Mayors who were NHS grads: Chris Johnson and Brian Turnbull.

Famous Citizens (among others)
• Steve Juday: All American Quarterback at MSU and team leader throughout the nation.
• Jake Moody: All-American U of M placekicker, most recently, drafted by the San Francisco 49’ers.

These individuals demonstrated outstanding characteristics as scholar-athletes and are a credit to their school and community. Both were awarded a “Day in the Community” being named after them.

Go Mustangs! Go Graduates! Continue to make us proud. We are all standing on the shoulders of those who have come before us, and today we are handing the torch over to you, who will lead us into the future! As the mayor speaking for all Northvillians, know the community is extremely proud of this Class of 2023. Congratulations to all!

Keep that Northville Graduating Faith!
Brian Turnbull
Mayor – Northville
[email protected] / 248.505.6849

Mustangs, graduation signs