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Valley Focus | Woodland Hills

College Celebrates 50th Anniversary

April 09, 1998|SYLVIA L. OLIANDE

The dark clouds of financial woes and budget cuts that have been hanging over Pierce College lately parted Wednesday, if only for a few hours.

Hundreds of students lined the campus mall walkway to see friends and teachers march by, some taking time out from classes to take in the spectacle and celebrate the campus' 50th anniversary.

The general consensus among participants and spectators was that the parade, with its colorful floats, balloons and music, couldn't have come at a better time.

"This adds some school unity since the teachers have been so down," said Felisa Tapia, who perched with a friend, Allissa French, on a planter midway down the parade route. "It shows that they [faculty and staff members] really try. They really care."

The hit of the parade was the dozen or so women from the office of Admissions and Records who walked in formation, pushing their desk chairs and stopping every few yards to do a hurly-burly routine a la the Doo-Dah Parade.

"Can I have my transcripts?" one student yelled as he cheered them on.

In keeping with the parade's wheel-based theme, nearly all entrants were on roller skates, rode in cars, tractors and even an antique firetruck.

Entries ranged from young children on bicycles, nursing students pushing a crib and carrying bedpans and skeletons, art students wearing papier-mache heads depicting Alice in Wonderland characters, and whimsical musical instruments created by Venice-based artist Arthur Frick and played by music department students.

Howell Pinkston, an art instructor and event coordinator, said the campus has not seen anything like this since the college last had a parade in 1975, when any excuse to dress funny and walk across campus was not passed up.

"We needed a positive spin on what's going on at Pierce College, given the budget problems," he said. "We're still having a good time, classes are still functioning, the sun is still in the sky, and this is still a great place to be."

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