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Girl Scouts join Loyola in centennial celebration

March 9, 2012

This month, as a part of Loyola’s impending centennial celebration, several students in Loyola’s honors program are “Rediscovering 1912,” through a seminar taught by University Honors Program Director Naomi Yavneh, Ph.D., and university librarian Terry Gallaway, M.S.I.

The class teaches the research and communications skills needed to properly commemorate a centennial event, such as creating a timeline or using research to create physical and virtual exhibits. In an effort to celebrate other centennial milestones, several students have partnered with the Girl Scouts of East Louisiana to create physical and virtual exhibits commemorating the Girl Scouts’ 100th birthday. The exhibit will also be featured at the Girl Scout’s Centennial Extravaganza later this month in Gonzales, La.

“We want to teach them how to properly tell the story of an organization and explain the purpose of a centennial,” Yavneh said. “We’ve been partnering with the Girls Scouts to help them archive a large amount of material, which hasn’t seen the light of day for quite a while. Our students used their research and critical reasoning skills to find old uniforms and handbooks to illustrate the roles of girls in the United States and how those roles have changed over time.”

In addition to sifting through physical artifacts, student researchers were able to obtain an oral history of the Louisiana Girl Scouts through an interview with 92-year-old Ann Stauter, who joined her first troop in 1928. According to Yavneh, the meeting with Stauter brought a new dimension to telling the centennial story.

“The Girl Scouts were a big part of her life, and she is still a registered lifelong member,” Yavneh said. “She spoke to us about the love she has for the organization, the parties with the Boy Scouts and even touched on segregation and class issues. She was very enlightening and put a real face to this story.”

Yavneh hopes to find a place to display the project on campus in an effort to further educate the Loyola community about the colorful history of the Girl Scouts. Other students, not assigned to the Girl Scout project or Loyola’s centennial, are working on a project celebrating the bicentennial of Louisiana statehood that will be presented at the capitol in Baton Rouge.

For more information, contact Yavneh at yavneh@loyno.edu or 504-865-2709.

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