Reflections: Graduation changes last century


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

As I noted in an earlier column, this is the month of graduation programs and I shared one from 1900. There was a change in the Cardington program schedule in just 14 years.

The Pyramid, the school yearbook, noted that the Class of 1914 held its Commencement program in the local M. E. Church because by that time, the third floor of the Union School had been condemned.

This program was much shorter than the 1900 but still long by today’s standards. Perhaps you may recognize as a relative or friend of your parents or grandparents the names of those graduates: Rodney W. Willits, Rose Shaw, David Howard, Sylvia Allegree, Robert Burke, Jesse Ireland, Karl Renz, Mae Ossing, Harry Robinson, Frank Barry, Esther Curtis, Josephine Kahnheimer, Mary Smith and Joe Sells.

70 years ago, May, 1949: Class Valedictorian was Martha Kanable and the Salutatorian was Jeanne Benson. According to the school newspaper, The Searchlight, Lloyd Dull, a social science teacher from Findlay High School was to be the Commencement speaker.

A Baccalaureate service was conducted ten days earlier by Rev. Frank LePage, pastor of the Cardington Methodist Church. The class took its annual trip to Washington, D.C., May 18-23. Both graduation services were held in the school gym/auditorium

60 years ago, May, 1959: Co-Valedictorians were John Patterson and Patricia Rengert and the Salutatorian was Nancy Ulrey. The 80th Commencement was scheduled for May 25 when Chet Long from WBNS-TV was to be the speaker.

Music was central to this class’ program: Esther Himler was to play an organ solo; Robert Nichols was singing a solo and Nancy Ulrey was to play a piano solo. Rev. Donald Yaussey, First United Methodist Church pastor, brought the baccalaureate message. Merle Fisher, president of the Board of Education, presented the diplomas.

50 years ago, May, 1969: Participating in that year’s graduation service were members of the Honors Group: Vickie Clinger, Patricia Heacock, Sharon Dean, Richard McGinnis, Kent Pearl and Ray Stillings. Commencement speaker was to be Tennyson Guyer, second district of Ohio in the Ohio Senate. Baccalaureate speaker was to be Father Timothy Keane. Presenting the diplomas was Billy May, president of the Board of Education.

This class will be honored on its 50th anniversary this year, 2019, at the annual Cardington-Lincoln High School Alumni program.

Graduation services have evolved in many ways but senior students continue to be awarded their diplomas, rewarded for many years of study and work. Congratulations to graduates everywhere.

Looking back

70 years ago, May, 1949: Winning team members in the Bible quiz heard over WRFD Radio included Evelyn Foust, Betty Mosher, Martha Kanable, and Betty Strohl. They competed against a team comprised of Frank Curl, Charlotte Patterson and Marjorie Mosher.

May, 1959: Gerald L. Seif, of Cardington, was granted a US Patent number for his weather-proof electrical outlet box. He had applied for his patent in April, 1955.

May, 1979: William Ringler, Morrow County Road 154, was named Morrow County’s outstanding young farmer of the year by the Mount Gilead Area Jaycees. The 100th Cardington High School Commencement was to be held May 26 with 79 members graduating.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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