Name that Yearbook

As a former yearbook adviser, I get a little nostalgic this time of the year. It’s deadline timeLSU 51 and across the country high school staff members are pounding away at their keyboards and editors and advisers are proofing the last spread before hitting submit.

I once had the opportunity to advise a staff in a brand new high school. Their first task was to name the yearbook. That’s no easy job. A yearbook’s name must reflect the present, withstand the future and become a household word.

I don’t know a yearbook with a more apropos name than that of Louisiana State University. Since 1900 LSU students have been buying a yearbook entitled Gumbo. The name inspires a little bit of spice, nice complementary ingredients, and plenty of variety. And of course, gumbo gets better with age. The name reflects the culture of Louisiana and its people. The second best yearbook Tulanename has to be that of Tulane University in New Orleans. Their book is called Jambalaya and the name works for all the same reasons that Gumbo does. But take note, Tulane published its first Jambalaya in 1896. Could Jambalaya have inspired Gumbo? Yearbook joke.

I am a little surprised that a high school in South Dakota named its yearbook Gumbo. French explorers, maybe? My high school yearbook’s name wasn’t that original. The Panther was named after the mascot. Needless to say, there aren’t any “real” panthers in Pascagoula anymore. My college yearbook from University of Southern Mississippi was The Southerner – not too original, but a fitting name that has stood the test of time.

I’ll bet all you remember the name of your high school yearbook – I’d love to see if any are as clever as Gumbo!


About thegumbodiaries

On the search for the perfect gumbo!
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5 Responses to Name that Yearbook

  1. Tookie Keener says:

    Mine was the Carillon. I never thought about the meaning of the name until now. I suppose it refers to the bells of Bellaire HS ringing out the graduates’ names and accomplishments?? Who knows??


  2. Now that’s a very cool yearbook name with a nice play on words and meaning — some high level thinking went into naming the Carillon.


  3. Scott Mayo says:

    Grades 1 – 6, I attended Mobile Christian School. It’s yearbook was called the Jubilee. Close to “Gumbo” and “Jambalaya” for those of us along the Gulf Coast (e.g. a jubilee of crabs my family and I happened upon, in which we scooped up over three hundred of them). But it’s actually a jubilee of the kind mentioned specifically in Leviticus 25: “Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of jubilee to sound…and proclaim liberty throughout all the land…”

    But I left Mobile Christian because, by grade 6, I was incessantly bullied there. And I attended Hillsdale Middle School in grade 7. Yet I was bullied there to the point that I actually considered suicide to escape it. I don’t know what Hillsdale’s yearbook was called, and I couldn’t care less–I had no reason to get a copy from that infernal school.

    I returned to Mobile Christian School for grades 8 – 10–yet the bullying was even more incessant (and vicious) than before.

    A friend suggested I switch to Murphy High School, and fortunately I took his advice. Murphy was wonderful! (The only regret I have about Murphy was that I didn’t start there in the 9th grade). I was bullied by only one person there, in my junior year–but not for long, because I beat the hell out of the SOB.

    It was at Murphy that I discovered (thanks to Mrs. Lois Delaney–the best teacher I ever had) my public-speaking talent–by which I entered, and won numerous oratorical contests during my senior year, was selected as an Outstanding Senior in Speech, and was even selected, along with five other students, to speak at graduation.

    And Murphy High School’s yearbook was called the Mohian–which, if I’m not mistaken, was the name of a local Native-American tribe. Because I (we) graduated in 1984, our yearbook was ingeniously done in a theme following elements of George Orwell’s classic novel.

    (Incidentally, Orwell titled his book simply by reversing the last two digits of the year in which he wrote it–1948!)


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