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Come Home, Vikings!

Spring Back to Grayson

 

College years, many believe, are the time friendships are forged for life, connections are made that will influence livelihood, and the parchment received will be a guarantee of success and happiness.

None of that, of course, is especially true. But the romance of college days can be real, if a person chooses the right school and makes an effort to take part in daily life there. It’s more than just classrooms.

In 1965, the first year of classes at Grayson County College, no one expected much campus activity.

In 1965, the first year of classes at Grayson County College, no one expected much campus activity. After all, most students would be living at home and driving to campus each morning. It was back home at night, and studying their way to reach rich traditions in distant towns that kept the attention of many of those first-year students.

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A Plan to Grow

There was, however, another plan being hatched on the windy Grayson County hillside. College President Dr. Cruce Stark had put together an innovative team of lieutenants who not only taught in the classrooms but also helped organize 21 clubs — from accounting and debate to vocational nurses and footlight players — within the first month of school. Student body elections were held, and the first Student Affairs Committee wasted no time. SAC sponsored the first school dance in mid October. Service clubs such as Circle K and Alpha Phi Omega formed and became heavily involved.

Student body elections were held, and the first Student Affairs Committee wasted no time.

Following was a watershed of on-campus activities and interest was higher than one might suspect. There were all kinds of goings-on. Following the SAC dance was Sadie Hawkins Day, with hillbilly skits and a live band; a Christmas formal that packed the student center; the first theatrical performance, “A Thurber Carnival”; A beauty pageant, emceed by a Dallas radio personality, who introduced the first Valkha, campus queen; and there was a Batman dance, celebrating the popular television series.

The first snowfall covered the grounds around the same time the first basketball game was played on campus in the newly-opened gymnasium. By spring, inter murals were drawing participants into volleyball and basketball. Spring honors programs and the first graduation ceremony closed out the inaugural year.

Supporting the Dream

Who truly dreamed that much life and participation on campus would spring up among that first 1,500 students during the first year of existence for GCC? If not the students, initially, at least the faculty and administration recognized the opportunity to make the campus a place where students wanted to return and forge friendships. It worked and has continued working for more than 50 years.

The school is known as Grayson College now, and there are more than 5,000 enrolled. The Grayson College Foundation has for the past three years administered scholarships in the $600,000 range annually. And campus life remains strong.

It’s time to renew those memories of learning and fellowship on the ever-growing campus of Grayson College. One of the school’s first graduates remarked during the 50th anniversary celebration in 2015, “It was a leap of faith for most of us to come out to Grayson …” in 1965. True, there were many questions back then, but those have all been answered in the affirmative.

Come Home, Vikings!

The preparation for continuing college education is superior, the training in GC’s many vocational programs have led to successful careers, and then there is the pride of three national baseball championships in a ten-year period. Grayson College has passed all the tests and is now calling on former students to come home and support and celebrate the dream that began back when.

The school colors have changed from Columbia blue and white to navy blue, gray and white, and the college logo has been updated over the years, but the good memories remain, as do opportunities for new memories to be made.

Come home, Vikings! Click here to RSVP now.

By Donny Eldredge, Class of 1967

Donny Eldredge, Class of '67