While family members of “The Duke” looked on, Glendale High School’s auditorium was officially renamed the John Wayne Performing Arts Center on Friday to honor the 1925 graduate of the school.
As a student of Glendale High in the 1920s, Wayne was known as Marion Morrison. He played on the Nitro’s football team, wrote for the campus newspaper and served as chairman of the senior dance committee. He was also a member of Glendale’s stage crew, performed in several theatrical productions and was voted by his classmates as senior class president.
Wayne’s son, Patrick Wayne, his daughter-in-law Gretchen Wayne, and his granddaughters — Josie Wayne and Maria King — were on hand to mark the occasion.
“I’d like to take the position that Glendale High School was more pivotal in my father’s career than most people realize…and maybe his work at the Glendale drama department here planted the seeds for him to pursue his career in film, and the rest is history,” Patrick Wayne said on Friday.