Alumni celebrate 30 years of magnet school for the arts

Graduates of the San Marco-based magnet school for performing, visual and language arts gathered July 22 at WJCT Studios to celebrate 30 years of creative impact. The first 10 graduating classes, 1987-1997, were the evening’s celebrities but all alumni were welcome.

Many toured the campus earlier in the day before dressing up or going comfortably casual for the event catered by D’Vine Cuisine.

The school’s heritage began in 1922 as South Jacksonville School No. 107, grades 1-9 for African American students, and was renamed in 1945 after Douglas Anderson, a black community leader who spearheaded the building of the school. Not long after becoming a high school in 1955, desegregation closed it in 1968. After serving as a campus for Florida State Junior College for two years, then a seventh grade center, the school reopened in 1985 as the magnet it is today.

Notable alumni include Limp Bizkit musicians Wes Borland, Fred Durst and John Otto; Yellowcard musicians Benjamin Harper, Ryan Key, Sean Mackin and Longineu W. Parson III.

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