New Materials on Wilder: High School Yearbook Entry, Berkeley High School, May 1915

On April 12, Seth Poppel, who has an impressive collection of the high school yearbooks of noted Americans and Canadians, wrote us that Thornton Wilder’s 1915 yearbook from Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California was in his collection. In one of several highly informative interchanges (including a terrific analysis of the sociology of yearbooks), Mr. Poppel gave the following description of Wilder’s yearbook entry:

“It would appear that Wilder did not have a super-active high school career at Berkeley as he has no photos in his Senior book (May 1915) other than his posed head photo (with glasses). In the December 1914 yearbook, the immediate predecessor of the May 1915 edition, there is no mention of Wilder nor of any literature by him. He did no writing for the Senior book and does not appear to have been involved in any debate or writing activities while at Berkeley High. His Senior entry says (exactly aspresented..including the mis-spelling of his first name and Thacher):

Thorton Neven Wilder…..Madison, Wisconsin
Entered Berkeley High from Thatcher School, Ventura County; Vaudeville
Cast ’13; “As You Like It” Cast; Valentine Vaudeville ’14.”