Houghton High School Alumni Association

Gremlin Grit: Goals, Respect, Integrity, Teamwork

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“With input from the Superintendent and other administrative staff, the HHSAA has enhanced programs and facilities in a manner above and beyond what the taxpayers can. When alums contribute to the HHSAA endowment, their gift will have a lasting legacy for good, forever.”

– Frank Agin, HHSAA President


Old Houghton High School, photo courtesy of Scott MacInnes

The Houghton High School Alumni Association (HHSAA) has embarked on a campaign to increase their endowment with the Keweenaw Community Foundation to $100,000 in the next three years. The purpose of the endowment is to create a sustainable source of income for alumni and current Houghton High School (HHS) staff to use on projects upgrading the school that are not currently covered by Michigan taxpayers. Previous examples of HHSAA-funded projects include upgrading school technology, planting a garden at the elementary school, and preserving the school’s history.


Houghton changed from being the “Orange” to the “Gremlins” in 1948. The mystery of why has been solved!

In 1947, the basketball team adapted the Gremlin name that year. There had been ongoing discussion about a nickname and Bernard F. Gaffney, Principal, suggested and promoted the Gremlin name. He was a pilot in the first world war and remained interested in aviation and followed the stories of gremlins both helping and harassing WWII pilots, so when the discussion of a better name for the teams came up, he suggested Gremlins. Following the 1947 trial with the basketball team, all the teams adapted it in 1948.

HHSAA is asking every HHS graduate to contribute yearly to the HHSAA Endowment “one dollar per year,” or one dollar for every year since they graduated from Houghton High School. All monies will go back to HHS. HHSAA’s vision for the future is to have more alumni become involved in the determination of how the investment income will be utilized each year.


What year did *you* graduate?

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