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Cypress College          Paul McLeod
9200 Valley View         Sports Information Director
Cypress, CA  90620       826-2220, ext. 213, 214

Dr. Omar H. Scheidt, President

Feb. 18, 1977

Using a giant pair of wooden scissors, Grace Thorpe, daughter of the great Olympian Jim Thorpe, officially dedicated Cypress College's new $3 million gymnasium Friday Feb. 18, by cutting the ceremonial ribbon on the piazza of the building named after her father.

Surrounded by onlookers, the 55-year old youngest daughter of Jim Thorpe's first marriage, smiled and waved to a crowd of about 150 spectators who came to listen to her speech entitled, "My father, the Athlete and the Man," inside the multi-purpose room of the new Thorpe house.

Flanked by Cypress officials, special guests, and members of Thorpe House student government, Miss Thorpe painted a multi-colored picture of her father's life.

"Dad was a humble, quiet person," she told onlookers. I'm kind of noisy, but he had a lot of inner strength and intelligence.  he had humor and he loved to tease me, but he could be strict when he needed to be."

Miss Thorpe, who, like her father spent most of her life on Indian reservations in Oklahoma, said her father could be as gentle as anyone she ever knew.

"He was baby sitting for me one time when I lived in a suburb of New York," she detailed, "and I left to go do some shopping. When I came back the kids and dad were roasting marshmallows over a gas stove. It was dripping all over. Now, I don't mind the kids toasting marshmallows over an open fire, but this was all over the stove.

"I said to him," she continued, "Dad. What are you doing?' And he replied, 'Aw, just leave the kids alone. We're just having a little fun!" 
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