Name Card to Insert in Graduation Invitation

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, April 10, 1913:  Have ‘em all addressed by this time unless make up my mind to send some more. Have three left over. Wonder if I’ll get any presents. Just think I can soon call myself a sweet girl graduate.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

The previous day Grandma began addressing the invitations to her graduation—and apparently completed them on the 10th.

The tiniest pieces of paper sometimes are so special. I don’t have an invitation for Grandma’s graduation—they probably didn’t survive a hundred years— but I think that I have Grandma’s name card that was designed to be inserted into the invitations.

I have a thin file folder of mementoes that were found in Grandma’s house after she died. One item in the folder is the commencement program that I shared two days ago. Another is this name card.

In the past one hundred years, how many times did someone look at the name card,—first Grandma herself, and then later her descendants—consider tossing it out, and then decide that it was worth saving?

I’m in awe that this tiny piece of card stock with Grandma’s name on it still exists. And, I am very thankful that each person whose hands touched it over the years made the decision to keep it.

38 thoughts on “Name Card to Insert in Graduation Invitation

  1. Wow, you’re so right Sheryl. It’s amazing that it’s survived. I only have a few faded photographs and a windbreaker with my school name on it. It’s way too small 😀

    1. I don’t have any clothing any more with my school name on it. I don’t remember exactly what happened to them, but I think that school clothes I once had must have gotten stained or tattered years ago–and I discarded them.

  2. This is just wonderful! I’m so glad you have those mementoes of your grandmother, and that you’re sharing them and her diary with us. “Sweet girl graduate”: cute.

  3. I really like this one! It corresponds to what I am experiencing now. I had one graduate last year and another next year. I put a link to this post on two of my posts about scrapbooking for high school graduation. I hope my kids’ scrapbooks are still around 100 years from now!

  4. I used to have a book from my grandmother called “A Sweet Girl Graduate”. I just looked and it didn’t make the last move. I wonder if your grandma had read it. It was published in 1891 and I see it’s available as a free ebook.

    1. I can remember getting a box of name cards when I was a senior in high school–there probably were a hundred or so cards in it. But I only had a few invitations to send out for my graduation. I can remember trading the extra name cards with friends. Your grandmother probably did something similar.

  5. I was also given a box of these name cards when I graduated from an all girl Catholic high school in 1973. We were told to present them when we went to job interviews. I suppose they were just an old fashioned tradition to have these name cards printed up but they are hardly information worthy – but sweet and quaint. Your grandmother’s name card souvenir kept and survived 100 years is especially memory worthy. Thanks for sharing another gem and memory trigger.

    1. If you do something creative with them, you’ll have to tell us what you did. Somewhere in a box I have cards from my high school friends, and it would be fun to do something with them to share at an upcoming high school reunion.

  6. You make an excellent point: it isn’t enough that your grandmother saved these items; everyone who has seen them since had to save them, as well. I have a number of items that have gone through so many hands…I wish I could thank each one for their part in preserving each item so that others could enjoy them, too.

      1. I know…paperwork is the hardest. Obviously you save the wedding announcement for your grandmother’s wedding, but do you also save the one from her high school chum’s wedding? Old checks are interesting to look through, but do you save every single one (including groceries, gas, etc.) or just the ones from major purchases, like a car you remember, or a much-loved registered dog they bought? Tough choices, especially if they more or less saved everything!

  7. I believe I still have a name card for myself. I also have several for my classmates and other friends that graduated at the same time as I did. It was common in my high school to exchange the cards (as well as photos). I have a memory book that has the cards, as well as signatures, and other memories from that time.

    1. Now that you mention it, I think that I also have a little memory book somewhere with name cards and pictures. If only I could remember where I put it. 🙂

  8. Hi Sheryl. I like your idea about the many decisions to keep a bit of paper. Paper momentoes take so little room to store, but they are often not kept. I have a box I throw things like this into, but I wonder if I’ll ever get a chance to identify and organise them. Jane

    1. I also have a box and a couple file folders where I keep these types of things. If necessary, I try to identify the items–but I don’t worry too much about organizing them. I always figure that they can be organized at some point in the future.

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