In 1949, Richard Stoner graduated from then-Fresno State College. That year the Allies organized NATO, Congress raised the President’s salary to $100,000, RCA introduced 45 RPM records, and Mao Tse-Tung was elected chairman of the Peoples Republic of China.
Stoner — who was the fall semester president for the Class of 1949 — will return to California State University, Fresno this Friday, June 11, at the Maple Mall with about 100 of his classmates to be inducted into the Golden Grads Society.
Another 300 members of the society, which consists of alumni who graduated from Fresno State 50 years ago or previously, are expected to attend the annual Golden Grads reunion consisting of a dinner and dance featuring The Statesmen.
The theme for this year’s event — which in previous years was held at commencement and is sponsored by the Fresno State Alumni Association — is “Big Bands and Bulldogs.”
Stoner, who was a district administrator for the state’s Department of Rehabilitation in Santa Rosa when he retired in 1976, will be the guest speaker Friday. He earned a bachelor of arts in psychology and worked as a social worker in Fresno and Madera counties after college.
A “World War II veteran, Stoner notes that his was the first full class of that war’s veterans to graduate from college thanks to the GI Bill.
“The bill paid our tuition and books and gave us $112 a month, which is unimaginable today,” said Stoner, who now resides in Chico. The Fresno State catalog for 1948-49 lists tuition as $6.50 per semester with total fees at $22.50.
The celebration Friday begins with a social hour at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:30, and dancing at 8:30. The Maple Mall is located in front (south) of the Satellite Student Union. Tickets are $15 for the dinner/dance. For more information, call the Alumni Association at (559) 278-2586.