Purdue Golden Girl
Girl-In-Black Juanita Carpenter (left) and Golden Girl Teddie Darling, 1962
Remembering the 1960s
Tonight, you’re mine completely
You give your love so sweetly
Tonight, the light of love is in your eyes
But will you love me tomorrow?
–The Shirelles, 1960
All-American Twirling Team, Purdue University, Indiana
In 1954, Al G. Wright, Purdue University band director, who convinced Juanita Carpenter (1936-2009), “an outstanding Colorado twirler” to attend Purdue and twirl with the “All-American” band. In so doing, he created the legacy of the Golden Girl, which has now spanned more eight decades. Today, the Purdue Golden Girl is one of the most coveted college positions in twirling.
Check out our restoration of above photo. It really brings Ms. Carpenter alive in such a wonderful way. Somehow, it makes her seem less aged; less removed and distant from us. In a way, it is shocking to see such a vivid presentation of her. Although some historians and photo archivists disagree with dramatic photo restorations, we feel they serve the purpose of this site.
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Ms. Juanita Carpenter, Golden Girl #1 (1954-56)
From Purdue in History: “…Wright saw in her a lot of qualities people in Indiana would like — a girl who looked and acted the way a father would like his daughter to look and act. She was the kind of girl mothers hoped their sons would bring home…the kind of girl college boys were looking for…perfect for the Purdue Band…” (Purdue Archives)
Ms. Carpenter, Golden Girl 1954-56. Carpenter resigned her position when she was 19, and got married. When she died in 2009, her daughter said she wore her Golden Girl honor on her sleeve.”
“She was a good twirler with all-American good looks, who could move naturally and spontaneously, who could dance and twirl in front of a crowd and at the front of a band…”
“…Juanita got a sequin twirling outfit that just happened to be gold. And she bleached her alrady blonde hair even blonder…”
Quotes from Purdue in History
Ms. Sandra Hutchinson, Golden Girl #2 (1956-58)
Description: Sandra Hutchison, the Purdue University Golden Girl, leads the rest of the baton twirlers and the Purdue University “All-American” Marching Band on the track at the Indy 500.
Contributor(s): Funding provided by an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant, administered by the Indiana State Library
Source: Collection: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Collection
Rights: Copyright: Copyright Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Copyright permissions granted for non-commercial use by Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Adelaide “Addie” Darling, Golden Girl #3 (1958-60)
Purdue’s third Golden Girl was Adelaide “Addie” Darling (1940-1961). Sadly, she died at the very young age of 21 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. At the time of her death, she was a newlywed and as such had resigned her position as The Golden Girl. Addie’s sisters often paid tribute to her as a “kind and beautiful sister” in the many years following her death. “Addie was just not a sister she was a second Mother to me she is still in my head everyday,” wrote her sister Suzy in 2015.
A few years earlier, she wrote this, “Addie was my Heart I am the youngest girl and she was the oldest Girl She took care of me as like my mother, although I had a wonderful mother. I told Addie all my secrets and never did she turn away from me when…I needed her. My family’s hearts were broken when she died but we all believe families are forever. I will see her some day.”
In 1958, an Associated Press reporter wrote that Darling, “wiggled too much in doing her hula dance last weekend at the Purdue-Notre Dame game.” Also, Sports Illustrated wrote about her “fetching, skin-tight, gold lame whatchamacallit.” (Source)
“A crowded stadium, a beautiful Addie wearing her gold sequin uniform that my mom created.” — Sherry (Addie’s Sister)
After Addie died, her sister Teddie was named the Golden Girl; however, she resigned from the program amid controversy. (Source)
June Ciampa Lauer, Golden Girl #4
June Ciampa Lauer was the Golden Girl from 1961-1962 and 1964-1965. In addition, she was the university’s first Girl-In-Black, 1962-63.
Baton twirling ephemera refers to things like programs, posters, patches, stickers, magazines, newsletters, and other things typically written or printed that were used for a specific period of time.
We welcome digital images of vintage college baton twirling subjects. You can also receive items through the mail. We’ll digitally preserve your memories in high-quality scans. Our restoration services are FREE. Thank you so much for supporting this project.