Donna Ziegenhorn, Patty Cahill and Sue Hack, 1965 graduates, visited the high school Oct 3, for their 1965 graduation reunion and tour.
In 1965, graduates witnessed world-changing events that went into the history books like the president’s assassination and the civil rights movement.
Cahill, Hack and Donna Ziegenhorn returned for their class reunion and toured the school to see the changes since they were in school.
Hack went on to graduate from the University of Kansas and once taught at Steger Middle School. Hack was elected the Mayor of Lawrence, Kansas. Hack has two children she adores and a husband who is very personable and loving, she said.
When Hack was at Webster, she remembered watching the World Series in the auditorium during school.
Webster was very strict girls had to wear skirts, and Hack remembered a girl came in pants, she was sent home no questions asked, she said.
The most outgoing and rebellious of the three was Cahill, who wore a shirt to school that said, “Bull Shirt.” Females wore bras, but not Cahill. She didn’t get in trouble, but not wearing the bra, made her feel free.
Cahill also attended the University of Kansas and majored in radio and film. Her drive for getting into radio came when President John F. Kennedy was shot, and she couldn’t get away from the T.V. , so it inspired her to work in that field. Public radio was her calling, and she did this from 1976 until she retired three years ago.
Ziegenhorn, smiled and looked around as she said, “Webster feels just like home.” Ziegenhorn also graduated from the University of Kansas.
Ziegenhorn is involved in theater social impact. She lives in Kansas City and has two children. One experience she felt was pretty cool was that she was able to live in South America one year.
“Sixteen in Webster Groves” was a CBS documentary about how 16 year olds in Webster felt about their community and social issues. When “Sixteen in Webster” was aired, all three graduates were in college. Cahill said, “I felt pressured to do very well when CBS came.” All three ladies stated they felt some events of the episode were true, but the show was flipped as well.
Cahill stated her father wasn’t accepting of other races when they were in high school.
Webster Groves High School consisted of only 25 minorities (4 percent) in the senior class of 605 students at this time, but Ziegenhorn said, “I’m pretty sure minorities felt excluded by other students.” The high school now has 21 percent minorities.
The school now has a group for African Americans called the Webster Challenge where students have speakers come in and speak to them about various topics.
Hack had a different experience in her household. She said, “My father did accept black. He didn’t want to be her grandfather, who was racist.”
Even though Cahill’s and Ziegenhorn’s fathers didn’t accept blacks, the two ladies viewed it differently and never had those same views.