SOUTH JORDAN — Bingham High's annual mine for homecoming-week history has unearthed a surprise nugget: A $10,000 scholarship fund.
Sophia Lovrich Piedmont of the class of 1929 announced her gift to the school at a Tuesday assembly, during which students honored the school's oldest alumni. The scholarship will go into a larger endowment and be awarded in $1,000 increments.
"I am and always will be proud to be a Bingham High School graduate," she told some 1,900 cheering students.
Piedmont is one of three alumni being awarded honorary diplomas for being an "exemplary Bingham Miner for over 70 years."
Each year, the school spotlights alumni during homecoming week to show that generations of Miners — the oldest of whom attended the school when it was located near Bingham Canyon — are part of a strong community bond, principal Tom Hicks said.
For instance, the Miners last year honored World War II veterans. School leaders will gather former homecoming queens for next year's ceremony, Hicks said.
The efforts are applauded by today's students.
"We're going to be like them someday," student vice president of history Chelsey Campbell said of Tuesday's honorees. "We all have the same experience going to Bingham."
This year, the school — first opened in 1908 in a community center — planned to honor Clarence Ball, the school's oldest living alumnus. But Ball, who graduated in 1923, died just before school started this year, a few months shy of his 100th birthday.
So the school invited Ball's daughter, Mary Louise Umble, to accept the honor on his behalf. Students also spotlighted two other elder alumni: Piedmont and Norma Olsen Nichols, a 1928 graduate who designed the popular CTR ring worn by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"I've always been active in the high school. I think I'm part of the tradition," Nichols said before saluting gleeful students from her wheelchair. "It's a great institution."