They were responsible for choosing their new school's colors and mascot, as well as designing its crest and naming its yearbook and newspaper.
Yet the 1962 graduates of Dulaney High School – the first class to hold that distinction – have never held a reunion outside of a small gathering in 1969.
That changed when the class marked its 50th reunion with a social gathering May 4, followed by a dinner the following day.
"Most of us haven't seen each other since graduation," admitted Pat Wishart Barshinger, one of the organizers of the event. "Nobody ever did (organize a reunion), I have no idea why. We decided it would be fun."
About 30 graduates attended the event in the atrium of the Crowne Plaza in Timonium, with 68 attending the dinner. The location was specifically chosen because the hotel was built on what once was a popular weekend destination.
"The Timonium Drive-In used to be here," explained Barbara Weber, another organizer. "A lot of us hung out here. We didn't want to have it (the reunion) downtown. This was really a perfect spot."
Gary Krout started asking about a reunion two years ago when the Tennessee resident became curious about former friends in the area.
"I put feelers out and there was interest," Krout said, of planning the reunion. "The girls did the rest and kept me informed. I came up for a visit."
Of their 163 classmates, Barshinger, Weber and Jane Klein Price were able to contact 110. Twenty-four classmates are deceased, and were each recognized at the dinner on Saturday with a framed photo and votive candles. The women were unable to track down 27 classmates..
"I call them the milk carton classmates," Price quipped.
Many of the classmates recalled their class' beginnings in the halls of Ridgely Middle School, which became known as Ridgely Middle/Dulaney Senior after students from Towson and Parkville high schools were transferred to the school to relieve overcrowding.
While it was a difficult transition for many, there were several perks, too, for the freshmen, sophomores and juniors.
"I always tell everybody, I had two years as a senior," said Buddy Price. "We were the top dogs as 11th graders."
Choosing the class colors — red, black and white — and the lion as a mascot, were other advantages.
"We had a very important privilege of being in a brand new high school with no traditions," said Ted Barto, who now resides in Ohio. "How many kids ... get to choose all that stuff?"
Krout jokes about another of trait of the Class of 1962.
"What is unique about us, is that we graduated from a high school we've never set foot in," Krout laughed, noting that Dulaney moved to its current site on Padonia Road in 1965.
Traveling from northern California to attend the event, Michael Clark was reacquainted with a neighbor he met when he was 3 years old.
"It's been a blast," Clark said of the event. "I'm glad I've done it."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun