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Leaving a Lancer legacy
50th year kicks off Circle of Honor
A rendering of the Circle of Honor being planned for East Union High.

A Circle of Honor centered around a metal sculpture of a knight armed with a lance atop a pedestal ready to do battle is proposed to grace East Union High.
The project — being launched as East Union High prepares to celebrate its 50th year — is being funded with commemorative bricks now on sale through the school’s website ( school/east-union).
 The 8-inch by 8-inch bricks that allow for up to five lines with 20 spaces each as well as three different clip art options are centered around either the 50th anniversary logo, the school’s block letters or the Lancers logo are available for $100 each.  The 4-inch by 8-inch bricks are $50 each.
The goal is to encourage people to honor anyone who has been part of the East Union High Lancer legacy or for former students to show their support of their ala mater by having their names and/or messages stamped on the bricks.
The Circle of Honor is  being designed in part by East Union High graduate and professional architect Eric Wohle whose projects around Manteca include the Manteca Transit Center and the Manteca Animal Shelter. It could be dedicated during the spring of the 2016-2017 school year if brick donations are robust.
East Union is planning a series of events in September to mark its 50th year.
A school assembly with a program highlighting East Union through the years on Sept. 6 that marks 50 years to the day when East Union started its initial year. It will include a slide show depicting changes at East Union through the decades.
A wine social at Delicato Vineyards on Sept. 17
Homecoming celebration on Sept. 23 starting with an 11 a.m. parade through parts of North Manteca including past Neil Hafley School and George McParland School, a tailgate party at 4 p.m. and then the game against Lathrop High. Until Sierra High was built in the 1990s, Lathrop students were among the ranks of Lancers.
Alumni band members are being brought back together to perform.
Retired East Union faculty members working with current faculty and boosters to stage the 50th anniversary celebration offered some tidbits about EU’s early days.
Elected city officials were critical of the new Manteca Unified School District locating the East Union campus “way out in the country.”
The first EU students attended classes at Manteca High while the North Union campus was being built. East Union students attended classes in and around the building complex where the Manteca High mission-style Tower was located.
The initial East Union High boys’ freshmen basketball teams had two sets of tennis shoes — one for outdoor practices and one for games as there was no gym time for the freshmen for practice given how two schools were sharing the campus. Dino Cunial recalled the team that year had difficultly shooting in games given they were practicing most days in the wind.
Even after moving to their own campus, East Union played basketball games at Manteca High as they did not get their own gym until 1974. East Union also played home football games at Manteca High until they got their own football stadium in the 1990s. East Union also finally got a permanent band room in 2000 after using portable classrooms.
The original portable classrooms due to their design and how they were situated were jokingly referred to by the faculty as the farm labor camp.
Drainage issues creased by construction would create a large expanse of water at the heart of the campus dubbed Lancer Lake. Early yearbooks have photos of students navigating Lancer Lake using paddles and rafts.
There was no air condoning making teaching in September and May tough especially in the afternoon.
Since those early days, faculty and students have striven to establish standards reflected in the acronym “LANCERS.”
L is for Leaders.
A is for Academics
N is for Noble
C is for Creative
E is for Excellence
R is for Respectful
S is for Spirited
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email