I’ve told you here before how Lady Julia and I love old things and go in search of them every chance we get — at estate sales, yard sales, thrift stores, and antique malls. And, sometimes we receive “treasures” from friends who know of our hobby and passion.
Such was the case recently when our friend Marie Buis, while going through some old mementos, ran across the program from her graduation at West Georgia College from June 7, 1970. So happens that was the day I became a WGC grad, too, and, so happens, Marie had not one but two copies of the program and asked if I would like to have one.
I was delighted to add it to our collection of local history, especially since it included yours truly among those receiving degrees in English. Marie’s degree presented that day was in Elementary Education.
We became friends with Marie and her husband John later in life through church affiliation and learned along the way that she and I had also attended elementary school together at Mt. Zion.
It was the Thirty-Seventh Annual Commencement Exercises and was held on a Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. in the Health and Physical Education Building, which held some extra significance for me since I and a couple of my friends worked one summer for a construction crew which built the building.
One of my friends and I scraped and washed every window in the place, having to use scaffolding to get to some of them, and that is a lot of windows. We were also among the first to take a dip in the indoor swimming pool.
Anyway, back to the graduation program information. Dr. James E. Boyd, president of the college, presided and presented the diplomas, along with George W. Walker, vice president and John M. Martin, dean of Academic Affairs. The invocation was by Reverend Richard O. Flinn.
The program contains almost six pages of names of graduates in small print. Other than some I attended Carrollton High School with, I knew very few of my fellow college students, mainly because other than the time I spent in class, I was rarely on the campus.
That was due to the fact that I worked a full schedule at the newspaper office while also attending class and wanted to get back to my duties as quickly as possible. There was not much time for socializing or participating in any extracurricular activities.
Thinking back, I miss that part of college life as I have heard others fondly speak of it, but my work experience was invaluable, and I was blessed to have had a wonderful employer who supported and worked with me and others so we could work around our class schedules to further our education and earn a living at the same time.
Also, I was thankful that a good school like West Georgia College was a part of my town, offering opportunities for so many, some of whom like me, might not have been able to attend college could we not have stayed at home and worked, too.
Thanks, Marie, for adding to our little trove of treasures and for bringing back pleasant memories from what doesn’t seem like so long ago, but in fact was 50 years past.