Scrapbooks and records of the actions of the Fort Lauderdale Oral School Auxiliary before and after its acquisition by Nova University.




1 Box

Biographical Sketch

The Fort Lauderdale Oral School began in 1958 with the goal to teach Deaf children to speak using an oral approach, as opposed to sign language communication. There were many who opposed of this teaching style, which led to low enrollment and poor revenue for many years. In 1966, The Fort Lauderdale Oral School Auxiliary was created with the goal of raising money for the school, organizing functions such as fashion shows and the Snowflake Ball. The ball would become the annual highlight of the social season.

In 1979, the President of Nova University, Dr. Abe Fischler, became interested in the school’s excess land located behind the university’s law school. At the time, the Oral School had only 6 children enrolled and was still facing financial hardship. Marilyn “Mickey” Segal, one of the first people to graduate from Nova University, proposed bringing the school onto the Nova campus so as to both benefit the university in obtaining the desired land and the school’s students by being exposed to average speaking students.

In January 1983, the acquisition was approved by the Nova Board of Trustees and a new building was constructed, funded by the Oral School through the efforts of the auxiliary and the president of the advisory board of the Oral School, Ralph Baudhuin. The school would be renamed to the Baudhuin Oral School in dedication to him. The new building was completed in 1984 and the Baudhuin Oral School would officially move to Nova’s main campus.

The Baudhuin Oral School expanded to include students with communication skills and autism, no longer strictly teach the hearing impaired. This opened the door for the eventual contract the school would enter with the School Board of Broward County, which provided the school with public funding to create specially designed education programs for autistic preschool children and those with similar disorders. The school would grow further to incorporate more students after receiving accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, after funding for a new structure named the LaBonte Institute for Hearing from Jack and Bernice LaBonte, and a sponsored luncheon by Dolphins Quarterback Dan Marino with brought in $31,000. The Baudhuin Oral School and LaBonte Institute now teaches over 400 students collectively and though fundraising still occurs, the auxiliary no longer holds its regular luncheons nor the annual Snowflake Ball.

Scope and Content

This collection is comprised of newspaper and magazine articles, monthly newsletters, charity event invitations, luncheon invitations, memos, thank you notes, meeting notes, membership records, meetings and events photos, annual reports, and event pamphlets. Much of the collection consists of articles that contain announcements about meetings, luncheons, functions, and the annual Snowflake Ball, as well as special awards presented to auxiliary members. These materials were instrumental to the auxiliary groups’ fund-raising efforts in support of the Fort Lauderdale Baudhuin Oral School.

Access or Use Restrictions

Archival collections are closed to the public. Permission must be obtained from the current University 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


Finding Aid Creator

Kristan Smith


Fort Lauderdale