Brotherhood and Reminiscence: SPS Alumnus Meditates on 25th Anniversary

Chad Danenhower (center) along with the rest of the sax section warms up before a show. (photo: Conifer, 1992)

Chad Danenhower (center), along with the rest of the woodwind section, warms up before a Marching Wolves performance. (photo: 1992 Conifer)

(COVINGTON, La) — The St. Paul’s School Class of 1992 celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, evoking emotions of school spirit, brotherhood, and camaraderie among returning alumni while resurfacing several cherished memories. In particular, alumnus Chad Danenhower, father of freshman Callan Danenhower, meditated upon his own time at SPS and how it has subsequently affected his life.

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Chad Danenhower’s senior portrait. (Photo Source: 1992 Conifer)

“St. Paul’s was critical to my success in life,” Danenhower said. “St. Paul’s taught me that everyone has value, and few things impact your life more than the people with whom you associate.”

While Danenhower was enrolled at SPS from 1987-1992, the school possessed a very different identity than known by SPS students, teachers, and faculty today. Danenhower’s graduating class consisted of merely 92 students, significantly less than the current 171 members of the Class of 2017. Boarders occupied the dormitories of Lasalle Hall. Only select classrooms were air conditioned, and open windows often served as the only coolant against grueling Louisiana heat.

However, like SPS today, extracurricular involvement, student clubs, and group activities were at the center of campus life. Thus, as an incoming pre-freshman seeking to get involved, Danenhower sought membership in several different organizations.

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The ’92 Marching Wolves perform in the stands at a Friday night football game. (Photo source: 1992 Conifer)

“I participated on Cross Country and Track and in several other clubs,” Danenhower said. “But the Marching Wolves gave me my identity in high school, and it continues through today.”

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Chad Danenhower met his wife, Sara Letch, through the participation in the Marching Wolves. Letch (2nd row, center) was a member of the SPS Golden Blues. Their son, Callan, carries on the family tradition as a current member of the Marching Wolves. (Photo source: ’92 Conifer)

Danenhower described membership in the Marching Wolves as very hard, exhausting work. Practices were scheduled Monday through Thursday, with performances every Friday night during each football game. However, through it all, band members were always having fun and enjoying themselves. As a result, Danenhower’s many best friends came from the band.

“I remember band as being a lot of hard work but also one big party,” Danenhower said. “I believe the band taught me how to balance working hard so that you can take pride in your work product while enjoying your work so that you love to do it.”

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The Marching Wolves’ saxophone section marches down the streets of New Orleans while performing during Mardi Gras. (Photo source: ’92 Conifer) 

But the Marching Wolves provided Danenhower with much more than he ever imagined. Danenhower met his wife, Sarah Letsch, through the band. As a member of the SPS Golden Blues, the Marching Wolves’ accompanying dance team, Letsch and Danenhower became friends.

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Dressed up and in uniform, freshman Callan Danenhower gives a thumbs up before a Friday night football game. (Photo by: Lester Guttuso)

“Through the many practices, football games, parades, and bus rides, we became best friends,” Danenhower said. “ And 26 years later, we’re still a couple.”

Now, Chad and Sarah Danenhower’s son, Callan, is a member of the Marching Wolves, carrying on the tradition of both of his parents. Following in his father’s footsteps, Callan also plays saxophone.

“I am very proud that Callan is in the band,” Danenhower said. “I remember how much fun I had, and I know he is having just as much fun, if not more.”

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