Menlo-Atherton High School celebrates 60th anniversary with all-class picnic

by Jim MacKenzie on October 14, 2012

Menlo-Atherton High School celebrated 60 years of educational excellence with a picnic on the Atherton campus yesterday. Graduates — including representatives from the class of 1952 (pictured above) — friends and neighbors gathered to tour the campus, reconnect with classmates and enjoy the convivial surroundings provided by the M-A Alumni Association.

M-A alum/lettermanVarious activities were available to the attendees. These included athletic events (the Alumni bested the Varsity water polo team), catered food, purchase of commemorative bricks for the Alumni wall, excellent entertainment by the M-A Jazz Band and the Guitar class, and the opportunity to see the many upgrades to the campus.

Graduates who had not been back to M-A for a while were much surprised by the alterations, especially the Performing Arts Center, Technology Building, Library and Athletic facilities. People gathered in Pride Hall (formerly Main Hall) to view the display of memorabilia, including the Athletic Hall of Fame.

Gene Sullivan (’61) commented that although the campus had many similarities to the era of his matriculation, he was amazed by the upgrades to the athletic facilities. He recalled Ayers Gymnasium being state-of-the-art when it was built in the 1950s.

Former M-A principal Dave TheisPrincipal Dave Theis (’90-’95 — pictured right) said that the physical appearance of the school has been dramatically changed. “It’s nice to see the investment the community has made in the school. M-A continues to provide an outstanding education for our youth. It is a pleasure to have been a part of the history of this superb academic institution. Go Bears!”

Bob Beckstrom, leader of the Alumni Association, was pleased that the weather had cooperated, but had hoped for a bigger turn-out. However, the festivities were considered a rousing success by the participants.

The alumni Association is now looking forward to organizing more alumni events (75th anniversary?). If you are an M-A graduate, the Association would encourage you to be involved in future activities by contacting them at the official Alumni website:

Photos by Irene Searles



Rich Gibbons January 16, 2013 at 9:49 am

I didn’t know about this site, but I am sending in my brick request, just in case. Let the Class of 1965 know I have a ’65 Cobra.

Mary Jo D'Anna June 14, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Regarding the photo of the 60th Anniversary picnic representatives, does anyone remember my father, Joseph A. D’Anna, whom I was told was the principal at the time of Menlo-Atherton’s Class of 1952 graduation. I was only 2 years old when he passed, but the story is that he came home from graduation in June 1952 (today being Flag Day is the anniversary of his passing) and he went into a coma from a massive cerebral hemorrhage that night and later died. I am trying to get as much accurate information as I can about my father’s life at this time, and would appreciate any replies or comments from anyone who knew him back then. I went to the MABears alumni website, and looked up Class of 1952, but for some reason my father’s name was not mentioned. Thank you for your attention.

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