Class of 1976: The Bicentennial Class

The Class of 1976 had the honor of graduating during the United States Bicentennial year so of course our class colors were red, white and blue. There were 123 class members that participated in graduation ceremonies.
Our class was not outstanding in any particular area during its high school career, but we had a lot of fun, maybe more than we should have.
Scholastically our class was rated among the best. The graduating seniors received over $70,000 of scholarships at a time when tuition and fees for one year at UNL were only $726. Students from our class attended colleges, universities and technical institutes throughout the country. We had several members enter the military and some immediately entered the work force.
The drill team, under the leadership of the 1976 seniors, was named the Liberty Belles in honor of the Bicentennial. The team still holds that name today.
Our class sent a player to the Shrine Bowl and had a State Student Council President. The football team went 7-2, the boys basketball team was 16-5 and the girls basketball team went 11-1 in only their second year of playing.
We watched fashions change from short skirts to long, from bell-bottoms to straight-legged Levi’s and male hairstyles from long to, well, long. Gas was $0.59/ gallon so cruising was a habit. Oh and did I mention that we had more fun than the teachers and administrators thought we should?
Notable events that year include the founding of Apple Computer, Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci won three gold medals at the Montreal Olympics with seven perfect scores. Top movies were Rocky, Taxi Driver and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. We listened to Elton John, Paul McCartney, Bay City Rollers, Diana Ross, Paul Simon and Barry Manilow.
Since graduation, our class has spread out across the country and succeeded in every possible area. We have become ministers, veterinarians, medical professionals, teachers, leaders in business and service, taxpayers, parents and now grandparents.
Over the years we have lost a few classmates to tragic accidents and illness and a few we have just lost contact with. We have won our share of awards and recognition, but have also had our share of trials and tribulations.
The world has definitely changed since 1976, but we have been fortunate to change with it. We are looking forward to this reunion, to see old friends and become reacquainted.
by Don Batie

(this article was published in the Lexington Alumni Times, Lexington Clipper-Herald)

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