Archives Donation: MS Birthday Pins!

By Johanna Schein, Gilman Archivist: During the week of January 23, the Gilman Archives will be participating in #BadgeFest, a social media event in which various museums and archives across the country will share their favorite badges, pins, and buttons. Knowing that the Gilman Archives has a variety of pins already in the collection, when I saw the announcement for #BadgeFest I knew that it would be a perfect opportunity to share some great Gilman memorabilia. I also discovered that one collection of pins was missing from the Gilman Archives: the Middle School birthday pin!

pins-croppedA tradition started in the early 2000s by Bill Gamper, the birthday pin is a token given annually to middle school students on their birthday (or, for boys born during summer break, half-birthdays). The pin changes each year, so that by the end of middle school each student has three unique pins.

I contacted Amy Summers, who distributes the pins to students on their special day. Mrs. Summers provided nine pins to the Gilman Archives. One of the highlights of this collection is a pin with the Gilman Five, which was dedicated to John Schmick upon his retirement as Gilman headmaster. You can see the pin proudly worn by Mr. Schmick in his portrait in Carey Hall!  schmick-portrait

Make sure to follow @GilmanArchives on Twitter the week on January 23 for more badges and pins from the collection!

Have any items you’d like to donate to the Gilman Archives? Please email me at or call 410-323-3800, ext. 367.


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