It was true joy. When I first walked onto campus most of the trees were not yet tall and I thought it seemed a bit barren. Like most students in that era, I worked summers and most semesters and initially commuted to campus. But I also quickly found a place that was very welcoming to anyone wanting to get involved and that was me. In that first year I became active with the Forty-Niner newspaper, the Associated Students government and athletics. Involvement with 49er Athletics has been and still is a continuing thread if my association with The Beach.
I didn't miss many. Forty-Niner Days was clearly the annual highlight but Spring Sing, Homecoming, football and basketball games, dances, campus plays etc. are all great memories.
The student union was just a dream at that time but the main cafeteria which included designated tables for fraternities and sororities was the place to meet our friends.
There were honestly too many to mention but that list would have to include people like Clarence Bergland, Jack Rose, Dixon Gayer, Bob Wuestoff, Fred Miller, Frank Bowman, Lois Swanson, Ken Shanks, George Demos, Leroy Hardy and Norma Gibbs. What I ultimately learned or took form all these folks was their dedication to the college and their professions and how to treat and hopefully inspire students. The LBSC faculty and staff in those early years was truly committed.
After graduating, I got married and took a position with Standard Oil while my wife, Lynn, finished her teaching credential. Two years later I returned to the campus as Administrative Assistant to the Business Manager and ultimately became the Director of Housing and Residential Life. It was an unexpected career path that proved to be a marvelous journey.
Since retiring I took a summer position with Semester at Sea (which I would highly recommend to anyone), put an addition on our home and became the proud grandfather of two lively grandsons. I still play tennis and beach volleyball on a regular basis and enjoy having more time for family and friends.
Our once small and seemingly barren campus has grown into a large and beautiful university. And there are more opportunities for involvement on campus than ever. My advice is to find an area of interest to supplement your academic work and get involved. And definitely take advantage of the explosion of internship opportunities. Long Beach State is still very warm and friendly place if you're willing to take that first step.
We are most definitely a Beach family. My wife, Lynn, our daughter, Kelly, and I are each graduates of Long Beach State. Our other daughter, Cami, "escaped" to graduate at UC San Diego but returned home to earn her teaching credential at The Beach.