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The City Journals

Bengals set Brighton High’s 50th anniversary events

Mar 20, 2019 02:11PM ● By Julie Slama

Brighton High students and alumni will come together this summer to celebrate the school’s 50th anniversary. (Logo courtesy of Krista Cullimore)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

During this school year, Brighton High Bengals are celebrating the school’s 50th anniversary, from winning competitions in wrestling and boys basketball against rival Hillcrest High to celebrating together at the school this July, and with the community, on a float at Butlerville Days.

“We will have fun things to do, a timeline of all the major events that happened, decade tables with memorabilia displayed, a memory wall where students and alumni can write and post their favorite times at Brighton during the school celebration,” said Krista Cullimore, class of 1985, who is the 50th anniversary coordinator.

The year-long celebrations began as the Bengals’ wrestling team beat nearby Hillcrest Huskies for the Battle of Ax, one of Utah’s longest-standing high school sports rivalries, followed by the Battle of the Jug between the schools’ basketball teams.

“They play for a ceramic jug; it’s a traveling trophy. It’s kind of weird, but it was on a desk and they decided to play for it. There’s nothing symbolic or significant about it. It’s just kind of fun,” she said.

The summer’s celebration will begin at 2 p.m. July 20 at the school, with the theme “Coming Full Circle: BHS 50th Celebration,” which ties into the familiar circular school design.

“We want alumni to reunite with their clubs and teams and meet the current members who are carrying on the traditions of the past. We want to include Bengal love stories, where our classmates met and married. We also will have profiles of successful Bengals, like a Hall of Fame,” she said.

Also planned will be interactive stations, displays, photo ops, school tours, a program with a video and entertainment, and conclude with an evening stomp and socializing, she said. Food trucks are planned to be at the school during the day and evening. 

As part of the celebration, Brighton is forming an alumni association, under the direction of Mark Montague, who was both a former student and teacher. Currently, the association is wanting to create a registry. Cullimore said there will be events and meetings posted on a website.

The first event the alumni association is planning is a service project to tie into the 50th celebration.

“Brighton is the only high school in Cottonwood Heights, so we want to support our community and be involved,” said Cullimore, who also had a brother and two sisters graduate as Bengals.

Although the service idea wasn’t set at press deadline, one idea was to do 50 projects for the 50th anniversary, which will involve current students as well as alumni.

The alumni also will be selling original architecture renderings of the current school as well a chance to buy a brick as fundraisers, Cullimore said. The proceeds are earmarked to establish a Bengal scholarship program.

Also on display at both the school and at Butlerville Days will be historical displays and virtual tours of the new school, which currently is being built on the existing site, 2220 E. Bengal Blvd., and is expected to open to students in fall 2021.

“It will be a great school for students, but for us alumni, there may be a little nostalgia for the current school,” Cullimore said. “The new school will be technology friendly and have bright sunshine coming in. The circle design is hard to navigate and with interior classrooms, it can be bleak. It will be a new Brighton, with the same Bengal traditions.”

For more information about the 50th celebration, go to the website at, Facebook at Brighton High 50th Anniversary, Instagram: @brightonhigh50 and Twitter: @BHS50th