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Pestolesi Family at Golden Grads celebration and President Alexander addressing audience.


By Anne Ambrose

On Nov. 13, 2009, for the first time ever, the CSULB Alumni Association brought together over 250 graduates, faculty and staff who were the pioneers of Long Beach State College (LBSC) during its Golden Decade of 1949-59. The event was part of CSULB’s 60th anniversary celebration and the annual kickoff to honoring Golden Graduates, alumni that graduated 50 or more years ago, and inducting them into the Golden Graduate Society.

Current students and Alumni Association board members and staff welcomed the guests as they walked into the ballroom of The Grand Long Beach Event Center, where they had the opportunity to socialize and “take a walk down memory lane” with the display of personal memorabilia submitted by attendees prior to the event. Displayed items included original footage of 49er Days, diplomas, an original 49er LBSC letterman jacket, annuals, club photos, sport team photos and large display photos of the original campus.

CSULB Alumni Association President Nancy Yoho (’81) hosted the program, which included updates about the campus by President F. King Alexander. Current student athlete Tommy Pestolesi welcomed the guests on behalf of the students. Pestolesi’s grandfather, alumnus and emeritus faculty member Robert Pestolesi (’53), shared his memories of his time on campus. The Honorable Beverly O’Neill (’52), alumna and former mayor of the City of Long Beach, served as the keynote speaker for the evening.

 Also in attendance were John Chapman (’50), a member of the first graduating class; Jack Teele (’52), a member of the first basketball team; and Maureen Book (’57), one of the 114 first freshmen to attend LBSC when it became a four-year university.

Keep on the lookout for information regarding the Golden Graduate celebration and induction of the class of 1960 during Homecoming Week in November 2010.

Above left, from left to right: Current student athlete Tommy Pestolesi poses with his grandparents, alumnus (‘53) and professor emeritus (physical education) Robert and alumna (‘72) Marilyn Pestolesi.

Above right: President Alexander addresses the guests at the Golden Graduate celebration.

Photos by Cheri Kinley