Almost six months ago, first rotation Senior Prefect Ava Dauer welcomed the new Culver Girls Academy students after they walked through the Logansport Gate at Matriculation.
During Sunday’s Crest Ceremony, just before they received their blazers, Dauer said she understood what they had gone through to reach this point.
“My Culver journey seemed so unclear at the time,” she said. “I did not know that the leadership system would influence my future.”
Dauer (Cincinnati, Ohio) was selected as the featured speaker for the ceremony, which is the culmination of the new girls’ orientation at Culver. The 92 girls received their blazers with a CGA crest during the ceremony conducted at Eppley Auditorium.
She said she remembers “going through the motions” of filling out her crest book, attending meetings, and putting on her blazer adorned with the new crest for the first time.
“I could have told you what each quadrant represented and why it was important to my Culver journey,” she told them. “But those were fabricated comments, probably passed down from another adult or student.”
It wasn’t until her junior year, Dauer explained, that she realized the true value of the crest.
“The value of the crest can be seen through the strength of the women who wear it with pride every day.” It reminds Dauer of CGA’s founder, Dean Mary Francis England, her counselor Elizabeth Schmiedlin and other CGA students who have inspired her over the past four years.
“These are the women I think of when I wear my crest. I think of their bravery and how their actions have not only altered their lives, but mine, and the rest of our community,” she said. “My hope is that these words will inspire you to think of the crest and its quadrants as more than their definitions, but as traits of the person you aspire to be.”
“Wear your blazer proudly,” Dauer told the girls, knowing that one day an incoming student will think of them and what they have accomplished when they first put on their blazers. “I can’t wait to see what you accomplish during your time here.”
New girls begin their leadership training in the dorm under the prefect system. The prefect system incorporates a committee structure that parallels democratic government organizations to provide girls with many opportunities to exercise their voice and practice leadership skills. The leadership education starts during their first days at Culver, when the emphasis is placed on “learning to follow.”
From day one, they will have duties and responsibilities within the dorm. New girls also take Culver’s leadership and orientation classes, and meet weekly with their dorm’s honor representative to learn more about CGA and Culver’s practices, values, and traditions. After they have demonstrated an understanding of the varying roles within the school community, as well as a respect for Culver’s practices, expectations, and traditions, the new girls are invited to the Crest Ceremony.
New girls begin their leadership training in the dorm under the direction of student leaders and CGA staff. Earning the CGA Crest marks the beginning of a student’s formal leadership training and is designed to help students gain an understanding of Culver’s history, culture, values, and expectations. Emphasis is placed on learning to follow as each student begins to appreciate her role in contributing to the community.
From day one, students will have duties and responsibilities within the dorm. New girls participate in crest training activities orchestrated by Honor Council members and other student leaders to learn more about CGA and Culver’s practices, values, and traditions. To earn the crest, they must demonstrate an understanding of the varying roles within the school community, as well as a respect for Culver’s practices, expectations, and traditions, the new girls are invited to the Crest Ceremony.
Dean of Girls M. Lynn Rasch ’76 told the girls, “I am a CGA grad and back in the early days of CGA we did not have the opportunity to earn our Crest like you did. How wonderful that you worked to earn this milestone as it will be a more significant accomplishment. Congratulations.”