Historical Corner: OLP’s Jewelry Box

By Dr. Melinda Blade, Director of Mission Integration and OLP Historian

Zales, Ben Bridge, and Jared may have jewelry, but they will never be able to sell you any OLP jewelry. OLP has a great jewelry collection – I have been archiving the pieces for the past couple of weeks. At this point, we have 101 pieces of jewelry, most of which have been donated by alumnae or their families. I have transferred all of our jewelry into acid-free boxes for additional protection and
those small jewelry boxes have been placed inside a larger acid-free box.

To date, our oldest piece of jewelry is from 1914 and it is an academic award presented to Margaret Agnes Moriarity on her graduation day (Six students graduated that day and graduation was held at OLP at Second and G), June 24, 1914. Margaret was presented with the medallion and it was engraved with her name, the date of graduation and the name of the award: Academic Honors. Margaret’s name is found in no other documents, but we can surmise that she was a stellar student. Her award is a gold round medallion with open filigree.

Numerous grads have donated their class rings to the Archives and we have fifteen rings; the oldest is from 1927 and the most recent is 1962. Most of the class rings have initials inside and one even has the size: Ten! In years past, it was traditional to have class pins. Twenty-one pins have been given to OLP, ranging from 1936 to 1988. The year pin was small and it attached to the actual pin with a delicate chain.

Academic awards pins include Excellence in Studies pins in different academic subjects, including Biology and Latin. One of the Excellence in Studies pins dates back to 1920 and was donated by Pat Perdue, who donated her own academic excellence pin from 1946. The 1920 pin was awarded to Pat’s mother. Also in our Archives is a Newman Club pin. An accompanying note indicates that it was the President’s pin and it is from 1948.

An OLP student received second place in the Civic Oration contest, but no date or name is associated with the pin. Her title was, “Modern Woodmen.” We also have a Senior Prom favor bracelet
from 1934. Mary Garrett donated this. The Prom that year was held on February 9. Various pieces of jewelry also celebrate the recipients’ outstanding accomplishments for Catholic Action, Social Studies, and Religion. Athletes were celebrated as well, and we have basketball charms dating back to 1927 (from Marcella Kreizinger), 1932 (from Mary Garrett) and 1946 (from Jean Martin Muhr, who returned to OLP as a counselor).

Sodality was an organization devoted to the spiritual needs of the students who devoted themselves to the study of scripture and service to others. Sodality pins dating back to 1941 are in the Archives, but the organization goes back much further than 1941. Other student organizations also had pins: CSF, GAA, National Fraternity of Student Musicians, Library, Pep Club, Drama, and the Latin Club. We also have a variety of alumnae pins and OLP spirit pins. The 125th anniversary was celebrated with pins as a remembrance and we have two of them. Some of our past pins reflect the change in school colors. We have red and white pins and blue and white pins. The school colors were changed at the time of the 125th anniversary to reflect the Academy’s original colors, blue and white. The alum who has donated the most pins is Sister Veronique Wiedower, ’65. Sister Veronique gave OLP her academic pins, CSF pins, Sodality pin, Latin Club pin, and an attendance pin totaling eleven pins. Alumna Jean Martin Muhr, ’46, donated five of her pins.