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Tornado canceled their graduation 50 years ago. Now, they finally get their diplomas.

Moore High School's batch of 1974 will be receiving their degrees 50 years after missing out on graduation day due to the Oklahoma tornado.

Tornado canceled their graduation 50 years ago. Now, they finally get their diplomas.
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels| Pixabay

High school graduation is a milestone that many students eagerly anticipate, donning caps and gowns to celebrate their achievements and future. But for the class of 1974 at Moore High School, this moment was stolen by a devastating tornado, as reported by The Oklahoman. Around 500 students were left without this core memory, forced to move on with their lives. Now, 50 years later, the class of 1974 is thrilled to finally receive their diplomas and celebrate their long-awaited graduation.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Emily Ranquist
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Emily Ranquist

In 1974, the students of Moore High School were ready in their blue gowns for one of the most important days of their lives. Sterling Crim shared the experience in a 2019 Facebook post, recalling, “45 years ago after Class President Bob Baker made his opening remarks, Principal George Hayes rushed to the podium and announced that the city of Moore was under a Tornado Warning and that the Graduation ceremony was now concluded. What started as a sunny spring afternoon, now had dark swirling clouds quickly approaching from the South West.”

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Pavel Danilyuk
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Pavel Danilyuk

“Everyone in the stands started getting squirrelly. And the principal got on the microphone and said get out of here. And that was it,” he explained in the interview. "'Your diploma will be in the West Wing if you want to come pick it up,' said Principal Hayes over the speakers. 'Since the band is leaving for a trip in the morning, we will not have a make-up ceremony...this is it,'" were the words he, along with hundreds of others were heartbroken with. This year after a long and bleak wait, the batch received the news of finally getting their well-earned degrees.

While many are excited to finally create this core memory, others remember the classmates who didn't live to see this day. Family members will receive diplomas on behalf of students who have passed away, including Sterling Crim’s late wife, LeAnn. Bob Crim, Sterling’s son, shared a post expressing pride and noting that his mother would also be remembered at the graduation.


He wrote, “After 50 years my dad finally gets to walk the stage and graduate High School! We are so proud of him! They will also be honoring my mother LeAnn and Boyd Crim, who was unable to graduate that day either. Not only will mom’s dream be realized but today is also the anniversary of the day we lost her 3 years ago.” Rachel Stark, present principal of the school and a class 1988 graduate shared, “It’s very unique. I’ve never heard of it before. They’re still a part of our we’re gonna do it for them.” Students and loved ones are anticipating the day or better as Mike Wilson, another alumni adds, “One of the unique factors of it is—our grandchildren are gonna see us graduate.”


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