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Family tradition ends on big note

By Staff
FAMILY TRADITION Peter Davidson, left, sits with his grandmother, Pauline Busbee, and his cousin, Brent McCarty. Davidson and McCarty, who graduated from Meridian High School on Friday, are Busbee's last grandchildren to attend Meridian city schools. Nineteen members of Busbee's family have attended schools in Meridian. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Penny Randall / staff writer
May 25, 2003
Peter Davidson and Brent McCarty closed an era in their family when they received diplomas during graduation ceremonies at Meridian High School on Friday.
McCarty, 18, who was the school's valedictorian, will attend Millsaps College to pursue a career as a doctor.
Davidson, also 18, received an academic scholarship to Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind. Davidson was a high honors graduate and a standout track and cross country runner at Meridian High.
Their grandmother, Pauline Busbee, began the tradition more than 60 years ago when she earned her high school diploma from the old Meridian High, what is now known as Kate Griffin Junior High School.
Eight of Busbee's children and 11 of her grandchildren have attended Meridian public schools. Five of her children attended Meridian Community College. Busbee has nine great-grandchildren but none live in Meridian.
Busbee holds fond memories of her high school years and describes them as "wonderful." She even wrote her class song.
Her graduation class contained almost 200 students. McCarty and Davidson's class was nearly double in size at about 370.
Both McCarty and Davidson have decided to attend smaller colleges where they will receive more academic attention.
There is also a tradition of educators in Busbee's family.
Her late husband, Wes, was a teacher. One of her sons teaches at Belhaven College. And a grandson received a Fulbright Scholarship for research, is working on his doctorate degree at the University of California and plans to teach in the future.
Although Busbee, 85, has mixed feelings about seeing her last grandsons graduate, she said she is optimistic about their future.

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