ELHS Alumni Congratulate the Class of 2018: Karen Weil Henry

Friday, May 11, 2018, 8:39 am
Ann Kammerer

Above: Karen Henry  (far right) celebrates with friends at her 1984 high school graduation

ELHS Alumni congratulate the Class of 2018 . . . now through June On June 10, about 300 high school seniors will march onward to join the ranks of Trojan Alumni who have graduated from East Lansing Public Schools over the last century.

East Lansing Info asked Trojan Alumni who live, work and retain ties in East Lansing to congratulate the Class of 2018. From now through early June, we'll feature their reflections and informal advice to the graduating class.

Thank you ELHS Alumni and congratulations to the Class of 2018.

Featured Alumna

Karen Weil Henry

Class of 1984

What is your occupation?

Search Strategist for gyro, a marketing agency.

Why did you make East Lansing home?

After college I moved to the Detroit area and I picked the wrong community. I was discouraged by the lack of a city center and my inability to walk places. I didn’t understand the “car culture” and wanted to live somewhere less suburban. When I got a job in the Lansing area, moving back to East Lansing was an obvious choice.

Where did you grow up in East Lansing?

Pinecrest/Fox Hills

Where do you live now?


Do you have children in East Lansing schools?

My daughters graduated from East Lansing High School in 2015 and 2017.

Above: Henry (right) with husband Alan, daughters Audrey and Grace, and family pet Sunny.

What are some funny or fond memories you have about high school?

Running cross country where “initiation” was getting tossed into the Red Cedar River, participating in high school musicals, going to the Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight, teaching swimming lessons at Hannah (my younger daughter does this now), dancing in the gym after football and basketball games, taking driver’s ed at school (that’s actually an unpleasant memory), singing at the East Lansing Art Festival, going to the sidewalk sales, ice skating in Henry Fine Park.

What was your favorite place in East Lansing when you attended high school? Why? My favorite place was probably El Azteco—it was in the basement back then. On half days, it seemed that we would all go there and it was pretty chaotic and, while I felt really sorry for the employees, I hoped they thought it was a little bit fun. El Azteco was also pretty cheap and that worked for me, too.

What path did you initially take when you graduated?

I went to MSU. My dad was a professor there and the tuition discount was really attractive. I joined a sorority and worked at Kinko’s while attending MSU, so I was really busy but I had a great time. Looking back, my college life was almost completely separate from my hometown life—it was like living somewhere very different.

What do you think is different about high school today?

High school students seem much more focused on college admission than we were. Most of us didn’t worry about getting into college; we all had faith that we’d be fine and we’d probably get into the school that suited us. And we usually did! I also appreciate the inclusive nature of students these days, as reported by my daughters. While it’s not perfect by any means, it’s much stronger than it was in the ’80s.

What do you think is the same?

The basic social constructs seem the same. The “cliques” and the challenges that they present are still intact. And the partying seems about the same, too. I think we were a little more careless about our shenanigans, but we didn’t have social media to blow our cover.

What advice do you have for graduating seniors?

You have the rest of your life to get serious about your career and work in a traditional role. Take this time to explore!


Want to join Trojan Alumni in congratulating the Class of 2018? Our only asks are that you're an ELHS graduate, live or work in East Lansing, and are willing to share a current picture and one from your high school years. Interested? Contact Ann Kammerer at halmkammerer76@gmail.com.


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