Administrative records of the women’s fundraising group, Gold Circle, at Nova Southeastern University




3 boxes

Biographical Sketch

The Gold Circle of Nova University was established in 1979 to raise scholarship money for deserving students. It was an offshoot of the Royal Dames of Nova University. At one of their earliest meetings, July 18, 1979, there was a member list of 18 confirmed – Midge Clark, Betty Mayhue Waters, Mary McCahill, Nan Farquhar, JoAnne S. Waldheim, Shirley B. Fischler, Toni M. Paoli, Margaret M. Schulten, Dr. Ruth L. Schmidt, Helena Jacksen, Alice John Rogers, Donna Casto, Jan Schaaf, Renee LaBonte, Fern Mayhue, Mary Leila Bishop Bernice LaBonte, and Millicent Steele. Many of these women were donors or the wives of administrative staff, board members or faculty of NSU. By the end, they had over 300 members and had raised over $1.2 million for NSU.

The ladies of the Gold Circle hosted a variety of events for themselves such as garden lunches, teas, faculty presentations, fashion shows, field trips, and campus tours. They also organized large functions to which a number of individuals would be invited such as the annual Rolls Royce motorcade.

Member dues and money from their events was used for the NSU scholarships for deserving students.

Millicent Steele served as one of the founders and first president of the Gold Circle from 1979 to 1983. Her husband, Robert Steele, was on the Board of Trustees. The second president from 1983 to 1985 was Donna Casto; from 1985-1987, Edna Tarnove; from 1987-1989, Margareta Sudbrink; from 1989-1991, Ina Murphy Reed; from 1991-1993, Jayne Lundell; and from 1993-1995, Judy Tillman. From 1997-1997, Millicent Steele returned to serve as president again. Ina Murphy Reed-Smith served again from 1999-2001. From 2001-2003, Suellen A. Caplan stepped in.

While the Gold Circle materials continue to Millicent Steele’s Pillar Luncheon in 2007, there is very limited material between 2001 and 2007 held in the NSU Archives.

Scope and Content

The majority of the collection consists of correspondence and minutes related to member and board meetings that occurred multiple times each year. Additional materials consist of programming documentation for the wide variety of events put on by and for the members of the Gold Circle to raise interest and funds for the fledgling university. There are a number of sorted and unsorted photographs and negatives. The collection also includes 3 VHS tapes (copied to DVDs, also included) which consist of promotional recruitment ads for Gold Circle membership and footage of the 2004 Flower Festival. Other miscellaneous items include administrative documentation, blank stationary, budget information, and a bumper sticker.

Access or Use Restrictions

Archival collections are closed to the public. Permission must be obtained from the current NSU Archivist and the Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian. Certain files are restricted to protect identities of former staff and/or students.

Document Type

Finding Aid

Finding Aid Created



Nova Southeastern University Archives