Document 154772

Glendale High School Explosion
The Duke
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Auditorium named for screen legend John Wayne
By Logan Ortiz
Photo Courtesy of White’s Studios
GHS Athletic Director Patrick Lancaster speaks to the crowd at the John
Wayne Performing Arts Center dedication ceremony on March 28. He
spoke about John Wayne’s history as a student at Glendale High and
legacy of his iconic film career after he left Glendale High School.
Photo Courtesy of White’s Studios
Members of the John Wayne family pose with a bronze bust of the screen
legend now permanently located in the foyer of the auditorium. From
left is John Wayne’s son Patrick, John Wayne’s granddaughter Maria
King, King’s mother and John Wayne’s daughter-in-law (and widow to
John Wayne’s son Michael) Gretchen Wayne, and granddaughter Josie
On March 28, the Glendale High
School auditorium was officially named
after the school’s most famous graduate,
John Wayne. The Glendale High School
auditorium is now the John Wayne Performing Arts Center.
Members of the Wayne family, including his son Patrick Wayne, were in attendance as John Wayne was honored by
Glendale High and its staff.
Current and former teachers, administrators and principals were in attendance at
the ceremony, alongside the students heading the programs Wayne himself was a
part of during his years as a Glendale High
student. Even a station wagon owned by
Wayne was in attendance, parked in front
of the auditorium.
Drama teacher Mack Dugger served
as the master of ceremony, speaking, with
his usual humor, of his personal connection
to John Wayne and his films. Newspaper
advisor and athletic director Patrick Lancaster then spoke of his own involvement
in the process of the dedication of the auditorium coming to fruition.
Lancaster said he was surprised by the
fact that John Wayne had not been honored somewhere in the city. “I had hoped
that somewhere in Glendale, there would
be a tribute to the screen giant. I am very
pleased that it is here at Glendale High,” he
told the crowd of about 100 in attendance
in the auditorium foyer.
The idea to honor Glendale High’s
greatest alumnus originated from the Explosion class. Journalism adviser Lancaster has made it a topic of discussion since
1993. As a youth, Lancaster met John
Wayne and still has his autograph.
In 2007, Explosion staff member Ani
Khashadoorian went to then-principal
Kathy Fundukian and asked why there was
no building on campus named after Wayne.
Fundukian and assistant principal Linda
Junge met with Greg Williams, supervisor of auditorium facilities for the district,
and the idea of naming the auditorium after
John Wayne was discussed.
Explosion followed up the idea with
an opinion piece in their paper. Gaining
support from Fundukian, the ball began
rolling, though the honoring of Wayne only
reached its early stages before Fundukian
left GHS, and the project stalled.
For the next several years, the group
hunted for the appropriate individual or entity that had license control over the John
Wayne name. After several false starts,
ASB advisor Mary Hazlett spoke with Katrina Feidel of the John Wayne Foundation.
The foundation was interested in the idea.
Feidel asked the school administration to
send them a letter asking permission to rename the auditorium the John Wayne Performing Arts Center.
“Once Pat [Lancaster] and Mary [Hazlett] mentioned it, I also contacted the
John Wayne Foundation,” Makiewicz said.
“Their lawyers went to work on the contract. They sent it to me and Greg Williams
and Mike Lee from the district worked on
it. We kept going back and forth until all
parties agreed to terms.” She added, “[Superintendent Richard] Sheehan presented
the idea to the board. He was supportive
through the process.”
Soon after, Makiewicz discovered a
bronze bust of John Wayne that now stands
on display in the foyer of the JWPAC. The
bust was paid for by a joint effort of GHS
and GUSD. The dedication ceremony was
scheduled for March 28. Several Wayne
family members were present at the event.
Wayne’s son Patrick also led an acting
career, even acting in films alongside his
father. He took the pedestal and spoke of
his father’s upbringing and the importance
of Glendale High to him, “I’d like to take
the position that Glendale High School was
more pivotal in my father’s career than
most people realize…”
Then, speaking on behalf of what his
father would of thought of the dedication,
he said, “Do I think he would appreciate
the fact that you honor him? I think I’ve illustrated he probably has. I can assure you
that my brothers and sisters, my children
and grandchildren all appreciate it very
After the ceremony, the guests were
ushered into the auditorium, where the
stage crew transformed the stage into a
restaurant. The guests were served lunch
by GHS bistro and they watched a moving slide show of John Wayne’s life and
listened to music performed by the GHS
instrumental music department.
John Wayne: From Glendale to Hollywood and beyond
By Logan Ortiz
Before he was known as the tough
gun slinging hero, John Wayne was born in
Winterset, Iowa on May 26, 1907, as Marion Robert Morrison. Living only a few
years in Iowa after his birth, the Morrison
family first moved to Lancaster, California
and then, in 1911, to Glendale, California.
Wayne would later attend Glendale
Union High School beginning in 1921-22.
Throughout his four years at GHS, Wayne
exemplified the role of an outstanding student, participating in everything from the
variety show, to student council, to sports
writer for the newspaper Explosion, to being an outstanding member of the 1924
Southern California champion football
team. He was involved with the drama department and was voted as the senior class
president. After graduating from GUHS, he
was given a football scholarship at USC,
but lost it after suffering a shoulder injury.
Wayne then found himself working as
an assistant at local film studios, eventually utilizing his good looks to land his first,
non-speaking role as an extra in Brown
of Harvard. He also starred alongside his
USC football teammates in multiple sports
films before his first break in his first starring role in the 1930 film, The Big Trail.
Director Raoul Walsh did not see Mor-
rison as a big enough name for Hollywood,
and he was credited on the big screen as
John Wayne for the first time. The Big Trail
is highly regarded by modern critics, but
due to its widescreen format, was unable
to be shown at many theaters at the time,
resulting in diminished box office returns.
Throughout the rest of the decade,
Wayne was regarded as a B-movie star, acting in many low-budget westerns. Wayne’s
second and lasting big break came in 1939
when he starred in John Ford’s Stagecoach.
The film was a critical and financial success and shot Wayne into stardom.
Wayne led a career in Hollywood for
50 years and became a household name as
one of America’s biggest box office stars.
Wayne also stepped in twice as director
with his films The Alamo (1960) and The
Green Berets (1969). Nominated for three
Academy Awards, two as actor and one as
producer, Wayne won in 1969 for his role
in one of his later films, True Grit.
An outspoken Republican, Wayne’s
influence stretched far past Hollywood as
he became an American icon who carried a
larger-than-life image.
Wayne battled lung cancer in the
1960s, but died of stomach cancer on June
11, 1979. The John Wayne Cancer Foundation formed in his honor.
Wayne married three times throughout
his life and had seven children.