Class of 1970 Celebrates Very Late Graduation | NBC Southern California

Class of 1970 Celebrates Very Late Graduation

Students From the Wilson Middle School Class of 1970 Finally get their Diploma's, 40 Years Late

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    The eighth-grade class of Wilson Middle School in Pasadena received their diplomas on Wednesday, 40 years late.

    They may have been a little long in the tooth for eighth-graders, but their pomp and circumstance never happened for them when it was supposed to back in 1970. That was the year the school system switched to a middle school format, and this class never got their graduation.

    Very Late Graduation

    [LA] Very Late Graduation
    Students from the Wilson Middle School Class of 1970 finally graduate, 40 years late. (Published Wednesday, June 23, 2010)

    They've been dubbed the forgotten class by the local papers.

    "I was bummed out for 40 years that we did not have an official junior high school graduation, even though the class before us, and the class after us did," said Cheryl Hamilton, New Graduate.

    As a slight like that can stick with a person even 40 years later. The forgotten class never forgot.

    "You feel like you missed out on something, but when you're young you're resilient, and you just go on," said Carla Caprari, a New Graduate.

    So, what started with a suggestion to the current principal of Wilson, a little class lunch, snowballed into a full ceremony.

    But instead of looking to their bright, shiny future as all young graduates do, this class graduated with the wisdom of hindsight.

    "I learned that I never wanted to climb a rope in my life," words of wisdom from Mike Jensen, a New Graduate.

    But one graduate didn't remember a whole lot about eight grade, except for one thing.

    "I think I had the chicken pox in eight grade. That was exciting," according to Dave Colucci, a New Graduate.

    But these new graduates admit, in the forty years since, no one has ever asked for proof of their eight grade graduation, but they've got it now. Ready, if the situation ever arises.

    And at this graduation ceremony, it was the children making a fuss, and taking pictures of the parents, not the other way around.

    "If somebody could have told me I'd be looking forward to a junior high school event as much as I am, I would have told them they were crazy, but I'm loving it," said Cheryl Hamilton, New Graduate.

    So a wrong has been righted, a slight has been corrected and the class of 1970 are now officially graduates.