Golden Anniversary of Golden Girls celebrated in Fall 2004
Special Homecoming activities Oct. 15-16 mark the occasion
Since 1954, 24 women have enjoyed the special sparkle and warm glow that comes with the title of Golden Girl. Purdue's top twirling position is not only one of the "All-American" Marching Band's great traditions, but one that's the pride of the entire university family.
So celebrating the 50 th anniversary of the Golden Girl tradition, must and will take on special dimensions on Homecoming 2004. Purdue University Bands' goal is to get all living Golden Girls (only Addie Darling is deceased) to the celebration planned for Oct. 15-16.
All Purdue band alums, especially those who were twirlers or majorettes, are invited to join in the weekend's activities that begin with a reception and celebratory banquet the evening of Friday, Oct. 15, at the Holiday Inn City Centre in downtown Lafayette.
Former Purdue twirler and J.C. Penney CEO Vanessa Dingledine Castagna and Purdue's very first Golden Girl, Juanita Carpenter, will serve as Honorary Chairwomen for the event. A committee of former Golden Girls, headed by June Ciampa Lauer, are also helping with the event.
Golden Girls attending Oct. 15 banquet will have a chance to tell favorite stories from their days with the band as they salute the tradition introduced to Purdue by Director Emeritus Al. G. Wright. A special effort is being made to get Lenny Dawson to attend.
Dawson, the Boilermakers quarterback in 1954 was dubbed Purdue's "Golden Boy" by the press, and it was his nickname that led to Wright's first spotlight twirler being called the Golden Girl. The era of the "Golden Boy" ended with Dawson graduated, but "Golden Girl" turned into a movable crown that's been passed down for 50 years.
Here are some of the other things to look forward to at the reunion:
During Homecoming weekend, Purdue Bands will also sponsor two free concerts featuring both alumni and student bands. The Purdue Jazz Band, Lab Jazz Band and Alumni Jazz Band will present a concert at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, in Loeb Playhouse. The Fall Concert Band, Purdue Symphonic Band and Alumni Concert Band will present a concert at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, at the Long Center in downtown Lafayette.
- Commemorative poster featuring all Golden Girls
- Meet and greet autograph session with Golden Girls on the mall before the Homecoming game
- Golden Girls and all returning twirlers to march in front of band to Ross-Ade
- Special recognition and activities at Pregame, Halftime, and Postgame "All-American" Marching Band Shows
- Post-Game Reception
- Related promotional activities throughout the fall