FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — From representing the Class of 1977 to being a longtime JROTC instructor, Sgt. 1st Class Alan Conrad has been a major presence at Concordia Lutheran High School (CLHS) for decades.

To honor Sgt. Conrad’s time at CLHS before his retirement at the end of the school year, the school brought back numerous alumni on Friday to surprise him during an end-of-year awards ceremony for CLHS’ JROTC program.

After graduating in 1977, Sgt. Conrad served in the Army for over a decade. He then returned to CLHS in 1994.

Debbie Schumm, director of Financial Aid at CLHS, said she had been one of Sgt. Conrad’s first students in JROTC and that he had been a great mentor for her.

“He was a great mentor in high school and helped teach me leadership through the program and helped me become the person I am today,” Schumm said.

Schumm also said so many alumni showed up that all the seats in the room were taken. The school’s JROTC program aims to develop confident, caring Christian leaders and citizens.