By Elissa Koh,
Around 10 Blue Devils from Davis High’s Class of 1967 gathered at the Armstrong Library for their 50th reunion weekend on Oct. 7. Principal Tom McHale facilitated the reunion, leading a meeting and a discussion about the high school and then taking the alumni on a tour of the campus.
“These chairs are much more comfortable than the ones we had,” one alumnus said as the reunion was just starting.
In the meeting, McHale described the high school, noting its changes and developments and describing the campus and its programs and classes. McHale then took time to answer any questions the alumni had, including ones concerning athletics, the discontinued workshop class, special education and more.
A photo of Davis High in 1968 was also shown during the meeting.
“Now this is what I remember,” a few exclaimed.
Afterwards, McHale led the alumni on a tour of the campus, visiting and passing by classes and rooms such as the robotics class, the North Gym and the stadium.
The alumni were especially amazed by the music room, instantly reacting with a couple of “wow’s.” Many started complimenting the room, describing it as wonderful, lovely and incredible.
Many comments were made and old memories were stirred as the alumni discussed old teachers, changes in class locations and the campus exterior, impressed by the current campus.
Visiting the campus 50 years after they graduated, the alumni noticed many changes, pointing out smaller ones, such as the event name switch from Senior Slave Day to Rent-a-Senior, to bigger social ones, such as the removal of the blue line across the street where students had to cross to smoke.
Cecilia Miller is one of the ’67 graduates that came to the reunion, where she recognized a couple of her former schoolmates. Miller had passed by DHS before but had never gone on campus after she graduated until today.
“I’m just really touched by what’s being done here with the education,” Miller said.
Miller still keeps memories from her time in high school, from going to the football games to having lunch in the Quad. Her favorite part of DHS was her classmates.
“The kids I went to school with were number one. They were incredibly kind to me,” Miller said.
Miller also remembers the time when she was part of the school’s marching band.
“We were terrible but we had a good time,” Miller chuckled.
The 60’s were a tumultuous time that involved significant domestic and foreign events such as the civil rights movement, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the space race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
As a student during the time, Miller was affected by these different events. She recalls when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Everyone remembered when it was, what they were doing, who they were with when it happened, according to Miller.
The nation was shocked when news of the assassination spread. People grieved and mourned, watching television to see coverage of the tragic event. In 2014, CNN reported that the assassination was the longest uninterrupted news event on television until 2001 when the September 11 attacks occurred. The television networks CBS, NBC and ABC all paused their regular programming in order to cover the JFK assassination for four days straight when news of it first broke out.
“[There was] a sense of loss of innocence,” Miller said.
Another major event that impacted Miller’s life while she was a student was the Vietnam War. At DHS, the Vietnam War was discussed in a couple of Miller’s classes, such as her history class. According to a Gallop Poll conducted in 1969, 52 percent of Americans personally knew someone who had been wounded or killed in Vietnam.
“We all lost people that we knew,” Miller said.
Reflecting back on these events, Miller believes they had a big impact on people, but remains optimistic about the country’s future.
“The events of the time do shape what we are,” Miller said. “We’ve been through horrible times. We will come through.”
After touring the campus and learning about the new changes, Miller was left with a positive impression and even commented that she wanted her grandchildren to come to DHS.
Miller offers one simple, but valuable, piece of advice to graduating seniors.
“Go with what you love. Go as far as you can. Get your education,” Miller said.