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Graduation class stays together despite odds

Reported by: Tyler Hill
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Updated: 7/27/2013 10:49 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Every five to ten years, high school graduation classes get together and hold reunions to remember the past, and over the years, those reunions tend to get smaller and smaller.

But for one class in Pontotoc, it's staying the same.

To understand why one class from the Pontotoc Attendance Center is celebrating, you'd have to go back to 1968.

They were the last class there to graduate during segregation, but at the tie, the classmates didn't think anything of it.

"At the time, you didn't really know a difference," Ella Smith said. "That's where you were. That's what you did, so it didn't matter that we were all segregated because we were all together."

Forty-Five years later, that's the message they still have, they stayed together.

"Not only are we classmates," Susie Vaughen explained. "But we are really good friends. We stay in touch with each other at all times, and it's just wonderful to be back again."

The Class of 1968 celebrated its 45th reunion in Tupelo where they recounted stories of the past.

At the time, the class said they faced many obstacles, desegregation of schools left many questions unanswered and financial problems were something they all faced, but class president Toy McKinney said those problems brought them all together.

"We may not have a whole lot," he said. "But everybody took care of the other one. We took what little we had together and made the most of it."

Thirty-five people graduated that year from the Pontotoc Attendance Center, and today they're still here to celebrate.

"We're all just one big happy family," Vaughen said. 

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