Grissom Class of 1972’s legacy lives on with GHS sign staying in place

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The new Virgil I. Grissom High School campus was unveiled earlier this week. Meanwhile, one of Grissom’s founding classes, the class of 1972, held a mini reunion this weekend to celebrate 45 years.

Eric Adams was the vice president for the Class of 1972. Now, he’s a local attorney. He said he still feels the same sense of pride whenever he drives past the sign their class dedicated to the school.

“It was a great time to grow up in Huntsville, and an exciting period. I’m glad the sign will remain on this location,” he said.

During that time period, many of the students parents worked for the space program. Ronnie Coppock said the sign is part of a much larger legacy.

“We all grew up during the space program, and so Grissom means more to us than just a high school. It was all of us coming up and growing up together. You don’t have that anymore,” he explained.

Because of that history, there was some hesitation when they found out there was going to be a new Grissom campus.

“There was a lot of emotion about moving the site to a new site, instead of rebuilding the school here on the original site,” said Coppock.

The GHS sign, gifted to the school by the Class of 1972, has been in the same spot off Bailey Cove Road for 45 years. Members were concerned about what would happen to it. Some wanted it moved to the new site, but ultimately it wasn’t possible.

Coppock said letting it stay in place is the next option.”This will always be the Grissom High School campus to us. We want that sign to stay here, we want people to take care of it. That sign is more of a representation of that entire era to us, not just the high school,” he said.

The City of Huntsville said the current master plan for the old campus incorporates the sign at its present location. Robin Jennings, another classmate, is hoping they’ll build around it.

“I just think it would be great to keep it here as a reminder that the past can also blend into the future, and be a great combination for the city,” she said.