The Great '60 Graduation Controversy
But First . . .

A photo of Bob Richardson '61 and his future bride, Carole Smithson '61, taken on June 15, 1961 by his future mother-in-law, in their driveway on West Falls View Dr., just before heading to their evening Commencement in the Outdoor Theater at SDSC. Note the Senior Parking Lot sticker on the VW's wind wing --Bob Richardson '61

RAGING CONTROVERSY: The June 2010 Alumni Newsletter included a message from John Grigg '60 claiming his class, which graduated exactly 50 years ago today, held the ceremony at Crawford, despite the Pacer's claim that it was to be held in the Outdoor Theater at State. Since I've made the claim that the class of '59 was the only one to have its Commencement at Crawford, I've looked into this a bit by contacting three members of the class of '60. Mike Fry vividly remembers it being at Crawford . He wore shorts under his gown, took a transistor radio, and had his tassel wired straight up. Linda Carlson Neher is sure she remembers an outdoor amphitheater and hugging people after the ceremony. Steve Campbell flatly says it was held at the outdoor bowl at San Diego State. He particularly remembers the combined choir, orchestra, and band playing "Battle Hymn of the Republic" under Mr. Green's direction. He was in the band.

RESOLUTION? The June 9, 1960 Pacer says, "The first class to complete three years of high school at Crawford will graduate Wednesday, June 15, at 8 p.m. in the Open Air Theater at State College." It also says, "The only commencement rehearsal will be held Wednesday, June 15, at 1 p.m.. It is a mandatory rehearsal for all graduates." The rehearsal must have been held at Crawford on the football field, and that may be why memories are mixed. I cannot imagine the Pacer, less than a week from the event, would have said it would be held at State if it weren't so--this would have been set months in advance.

I was at both the rehearsal and the ceremony of the 1960 graduation class, they were both indeed at the open air theater at San Diego State, we were threatened with not graduating if we didn't show up later that evening for the actual ceremony, I wanted to test them out but my mother would not let me as she wanted to be there. I can remember where I parked. After the exercise a whole lot of us drove out to La Jolla Shores and did absolutely nothing but talk. I remember what a feeling of freedom I felt. I felt the same feeling again when I was discharged from the U. S. Army --
Joe Randazzo '60

Of course, we graduated at San Diego State! I don't know what Mike Fry was smoking, but if he was at the football field, then he would have missed the ceremony!) The rehearsal was also held at the Outdoor Theater; a lot of us wore shorts and curlers in our hair. No portion of our graduation festivities took place at the CHS football field --
Judy Fahl Hall '60

The commencement for the class of 1960 was held at the outdoor amphitheater at SD State. The Vespers service was held on a Sunday in the auditorium at San Diego High School next to Balboa Stadium --
Ron Hickey ’60

Click HERE to see Jeannine Berger Passenheim's 1960 Vespers Program

I can settle the "argument" about the location of our '60 graduation. Pictured above are covers of the 1960 Horace Mann and Crawford graduation programs. As you can see, the Crawford '60 graduation was at San Diego State. Somebody would really have to work hard to convince me the program booklet is wrong about the location. Linda's memory is correct, and Mike's is incorrect. I, for some reason, always remembered the Crawford '60 graduation being at the Hoover field, so I remembered incorrectly too. What Mike remembers being at the Crawford Field was the Horace Mann '60 graduation, which I attended, and he probably attended also -- Clyde Tyndale '60

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