Nearly 40 years ago, Carol Haverty and Ben Rude made history on a small patch of land in a little-known Los Angeles suburb called Northridge. On Sept. 24, 1956, the pair hoisted an American flag with 48 stars over the San Fernando Valley campus of Los Angeles State College, heralding the first day of classes at the fledgling institution.
On Wednesday, they did it again.
Joined by Vladimir Cerna, current student body president at the institution now known as Cal State Northridge, the pair celebrated the campus' 40th anniversary by reenacting the long-ago ceremony before an audience that included several original faculty members and students.
"At that time, we never had to hunt for a parking space," quipped Rude, the college's first student body president. "We had hundreds of acres of parking."
Now retired from teaching English at Pasadena City College, the 65-year-old Rude never imagined the once-tiny campus would attain university status but said he knew he'd return again and again to honor its anniversaries. "We all knew it would grow," he said.