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California State University, Long Beach
Alumni Association

Florence Wilson, '54 B.A. Elementary Education, '60 M.A. Elementary Education

Florence Wilson

Describe your experience at LBSC.

My first experience attending Cal State was having class in the bungalows. They were as comfortable as any classroom. There was no library on campus during my first years at the the college. There was trailer which had a window in it. If you wanted to borrow a book, you went to to the window and told the librarian the books you needed. I always brought my own lunch made of sandwich, fruit, cookies and milk. I sat in my car parked along the street or somewhere on the open lot near the bungalow classrooms. If you did not bring your own lunch, you waited in line at a window of a house trailer to buy a sack lunch. No cafeteria at the time.

Which professor or staff made an impact on your academic or professional career and why?

The professors were all very friendly and well liked. There was a history professor I especially like, Dr. Irving Ahlquist,. His history classroom was the largest classroom on campus and was just off the middle of the campus which was covered with green grass with a tree located in the middle of campus.

What activities/organizations were you involved in while attending LBSC?

I never joined any college organizations. I wanted to be a teacher. To do that I had to stay on track with my goal and also spend time with my family.

What did you do after graduating?

My husband and I have two sons. One became a high school health teacher and is retired. Our younger son was a correctional officer and has also retired. I continued going to college after I earned my teaching credential and was a classroom teacher. I attended night and summer classes.

While I was teaching during the school year and my husband was working as a tool designer, our two boys were in school or being taken care of by a state child care school for children.

One year during the summer when I was just taking one class and able to take care of my five year old son, I took him with me. It just happened that the classroom was just off the campus where it was covered with grass with a tree in the middle and near my classroom door. The professor always kept the door open so if I sat by the door, I was able to see my son and keep an eye on him. It worked so well some other mothers did the same with their children. The kids were happy and so were we. I always made sure to be early so I could sit next to the open door.

How large is your 49er family?

One of my sons and one of my grandsons also graduated from Long Beach State and became teachers. My son taught health and is retired. My grandson teaches art in Lynwood. My grand-daughter has also been a teacher and now is married.

Florence Wilson

Florence Wilson, '54, '60 graduates from Excelsior High School in 1948.

Florence Wilson and her husband.

Florence and her husband, Don, return to the ice rink last year where they first met.

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