First Graduating Class in 1940

The Class of 1940 with their sponsor, Carlton Blackburn. Photo courtesy of Ozark Adventist Academy.

Up through the 1939-1940 school year, Ozark Junior Academy only went through eleventh grade. The Class of 1940, however, was considered the first graduating class. The five graduates were Mary Alice Benedict, Lola Marie Diehl, Adaline Erma Lewis – Valedictorian, Betty Ruth Seasly – President, and Esther Wilson (Melton, 2004). Tuition, with room and board was $18.75 (Record, 1941).

For the 1940-1941 school year, twelfth grade was added. The enrollment was 153, of whom 109 were secondary students (Statistical Report, 1941). The first graduating class with the full four-year high school program was in the spring of 1941 with twelve graduates.


(1941). Annual Statistical Report. Takoma Park: General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

(1941, Aug. 25). Southwestern Union Record, p. 3.

Melton, June. (2004, Spring). A Pictorial History of Ozark Adventist Academy. Retrieved from

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