The fad came from Levi Veneziano, who can solve the puzzle in about 30 seconds and urged the men’s soccer team to try, then passed the mechanism on to nearly the rest of the class.
Some of the BEA graduates said that if they can solve a Rubik’s Cube, anything is possible.
Several of the former classmates said that even though it has been years since they’ve seen each other, it was like things never changed.
“We go right back to the way things were before,” said Paula Leathers McDanel, who now lives near Pittsburgh.
“We picked right back up where we left off,” said class speaker Ken Hall, of Moshannon.
The Class of ’64 walked the stage 50 years ago with 204 graduates — one of the largest classes BEA ever had, said Danny Yearick, who lives in Allentown.
He added that it was the first class to go all the way through school together from seventh to 12th grade after area community schools were merged to form the BEA district.
“There used to be some kind of rivalries with those who lived up in Snow Shoe and those out by Howard,” he said. “Our class changed that. We were all together for it and the first to do so.”
Class of ’64 member Andy Swarm’s great-grandson, Tyler Horner, graduated with the Class of 2014.
“It’s special,” Swarm, of Bellefonte, said. “Now we look around and everything’s new. A new school, new faces.”
McDanel said she hopes the Class of 2014 keeps in touch as hers has, meeting about every five years since graduation.
But that message wasn’t just for her graduates. She said she hopes all other students can take that piece of advice.
Nate Cleaver, 18, said he’s heading into the logging industry, and while he’s appreciates what BEA gave to him, he wishes he had put more effort into his school work.
“It’s an awesome feeling. I’ve been waiting for this for so long,” Cleaver said about graduation. “Looking back on it, I think I would have worked a little harder. I’d tell (underclassmen) to work hard all the way through high school.”
“It was something everyone knew for some reason,” Bloom, 18, of Julian, said. “It was pretty cool.”
“I wish I knew how to get it done,” Shaw added.
Shaw, 18, of Howard, said his graduation memories will include hanging out with friends and participating in spirit week.
“I’ll miss the spirit weeks and other fun activities we did in school,” he said. “It’s cool to graduate, though, but I’m a little anxious. There are some mixed emotions, but I’ll remember all the fun stuff.”
He’s entering the workforce in heavy-equipment operations.
“Bald Eagle is like one big family,” said Cheyenne Smolko, 17. “You woke up every day leaving one family and getting to be with another. It was a great place.”
Smolko will attend Duquesne University for health science and pre-health.
“I know it’s something I won’t play again,” he said. “I think I’ll miss the whole experience. It’ll be weird not waking up at 7 (a.m.) to go to school and seeing everyone. A whole new routine will be weird, but I’m looking forward to it.”
And some were just honored.
“We did it,” Jeffrey Bennett, 18, of Runville, said. “It’s a huge milestone in our lives and the biggest one so far.”
“It’s a different kind of experience,” Dakota Rossman, 18, of Milesburg, said. “It came so quick.”
Rossman will enter the workforce, he said.
“It’s exciting, but scary,” Michelle Kachik, 17, of Clarence, said. “The last few weeks flew by. It’s all been kind of a blur and here we are. This school really helped us get ready for what’s next. The small school helped us all be close with each other and the teachers.”
Kachik will attend Penn College of Technology to be a physician assistant.
“See, I’m crying already,” Quick said. “I’m so proud because looking out, I see how bright her future is. I tell her to go for her goals because I never went for mine.”
Wilson hopes to go to school to be a veterinarian, Quick said.
Quick was accompanied by “proud aunt” Rose Blesh and a number of other family members.
“These kids are the future and they’re so bright, and I look at my kids and think of the best for them,” Quick said.