Grossmont College faculty and staff celebrated the school's 50th anniversary on Monday, with a historic reunion of all eight surviving original staff members who were there the day the school first opened.
Tom Hepp, Larry Coons, Don Anderson, Bob Holden, Millie McAuley, Ray Ressler, Cornelius Vanderpoll and Trudy Bratten, who range in age from 75 to 88, were all honored with several rounds of applause. When the eight of them started working at the college, the school held its classes at Monte Vista High School.
"We start every year with a convocation like this, where we welcome back faculty who may have been gone for an entire summer, but this year is particularly special because we are celebrating our 50th anniversary," said Grossmont President Sunny Cooke.
To mark the historic event, hundreds of staff members wore tie-dyed shirts, beads and crazy hats as a throwback to the 1960's when the school first opened its doors.
Despite huge budget cutbacks, the college isn't letting that get them down.
"We are trying to keep the spirits up given the tough budget times that we are facing and the impact of that on our college," Cooke said.
Grossmont College officially opened its doors on September 11, 1961. The school has more than 16,000 students.