1953 State Home
Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas


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21 Seniors Get Diplomas Monday From State Home

Daily Sun Staff

Corsicana State Home graduated 21 of its seniors in ceremonies at the auditorium here Monday night with George O. Nokes, Corsicana attorney, bringing the commencement address.

The trying times of the present, Nokes told the graduates, probably aren’t as trying as many observers would have us believe, and the times certainly aren’t worse than those in which our forefathers left Europe to settle a wilderness.

“We hear of the urgencies of the times,” Nokes said, “how dangerous modern life is; what a mess the world is in. I wonder if we have a bigger job to do than did our forefathers?”

Braved Dangers
He went on to say that our forebears didn’t like their old homes, and braved an ocean in small boats to come to America, where they faced savages, starvation, illness and other dangers to establish themselves and a new government.

The speaker turned to the present times, with the world in unrest, and with the major nations building armies and consolidating their armed might.

“I wonder if armed strength is the answer?” he asked. “Great armies are powerful, but not if they are built on hate, persecution, greed and love of power.” He drew a parallel between the armies of modern times and those of every military power throughout history, pointing out that all of them had eventually fallen.

Different Kingdom
“I can think of another, different kingdom, founded more than 2,000 years ago in a little country. It was built on love, kindness, industry, faith and compassion, and it has taken the world by storm. I speak of Christianity.”

Briefly, Nokes contrasted the teachings of Jesus and those of Karl Marx, founder of world communism. “To Jesus, there were no classes—only individuals and souls. He taught the civilized way of life.”

The speaker’s closing thought was that the work we do during our life is usually the thing of which we are most proud, and that each of us is put here to do a job.

He told the graduates that “When you grow old, you’ll remember, above all, the services you rendered.”

Praise for Teachers
Earlier in the night’s program Gertie Fade, salutatorian, thanked the parents, teachers and friends who helped the students in their school years, and told them that each day in school saw them learn something new.

Lois Perry, Gertie Fade, Jo Ann praised the teachers, “who often go unappreciated,” and asked the seniors as they leave to “develop your faith in your fellow man.”

Present Diplomas
Supt. R. I. Boyd, Jr., presented diplomas to the following graduates:

Lois Perry, Gertie Fade, Joan Stroud, Billy Harry, Roy Lee May, Annelle Fletcher, Mattie Sue Jones, Cora Mae Smith, J. E. Athey, Ella Mae Casey, May Bearden, Phillip Bromagen, I. C. Tomerlin, Mary Dean Cole, Riley Rodgers, Thelma Prestidge, Dorothy Beal, Billy Bob Wells, Buddy Woods, Sadie Richardson and Patsy Lee Woods.

R. W. Vowell, educational director of the board for Texas State Hospitals and Special Schools, commended the graduates and told them they represented the State of Texas. He urged them, wherever they chose to continue their life, to affiliate with the church of their choice.

Special Awards
Supt. Boyd made the following special awards for the class:

Most beautiful girl—Cora Mae Smith
Most Handsome boy—Billy Bob Wells
Most popular girl—Gertie Fade
Most popular boy—J. E. Athey
Two best all-around girls—Annell Fletcher and Gertie Fade
Two best all-around boys—Phillip Bromagen and Roy Lee May
Girl most likely to succeed—Lois Perry
Boy most likely to succeed—Billy Ray Harry
Most representative girl and boy, as chosen by the teachers—Jo Ann Stroud and Billy Ray Harry
Boyd also awarded junior homemaking degrees to Lois Perry, a graduating senior, and to Florine Lewis, a junior.

An award for the best elementary school grades in 1953 went to Texana Cooper.

Best Short Story
The Dr. L. E. Kelton award for the best short story went to Evelyn Mauldin, a junior student.

Boyd made the presentation in the absence of Dr. Kelton.

The commencement program:

Prelude: “The Shepherd Boy”-------Wilson
Processional: “Marche Pontificale”--------Grounod
Invocation------O. B. Harrington
Salutatory--------Gertie Fade
Vocal Solo: “Service”------I. C. Tomerlin
Valedictory ---------Lois Perry
Introduction of Speaker-------Robert I. Boyd
Presentation of Class----O. R. Scott
Song: “Farewell to Thee”-------Senior Class
Recessional ------------Ashford
Recessional---------------N. Ashford
Pianist: Fritolla Scott.

The Corsicana Daily Sun - Tuesday, May 26, 1953 - submitted by Diane Richards


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