GATA members kicked off their 100th birthday celebration on Jan. 16 in The Campus Center after Chapel, handing out red velvet bundtinis.
The women of GATA celebrated their centennial with a singing of happy birthday around the GATA fountain and a dance party in the campus center.
According to “The Women of GATA” website, the group was established on Friday, Jan. 16, 1920 and was started by a handful of friends as Girls Aid to Athletics, making it the oldest club on campus. Since its inception, GATA has donated the GATA garden, a diamond-shaped garden on the lawn of the administration building, and the GATA fountain to the university.
The GATA president for this year is Bailey Baker, a senior kinesiology major from Abilene.
“Thinking about our history, I think back to our very first President, Vera Ray Boone, and how the simple idea of supporting athletics sparked something even bigger than she probably could have ever imagined,” Baker said. “Something that started with 8 girls has grown and changed over time, but GATA will always be the same place for people to come and feel safe.”
Lauren Gumm, a sophomore GATA member from Abilene, helped arrange the festivities by helping with set up and tear down of the event and taking photos throughout.
“When girls choose to pledge GATA, they are choosing to become a part of a rich legacy here on campus,” Gumm said.
For their anniversary, GATA wanted to invite everyone to join in the celebration.
“I believe we all felt so much excitement getting to celebrate in the way that we did,” Baker said. “Watching this club transition pledge classes is such a meaningful and unforgettable experience. It gives me hope that we will be on this campus for another 100 years.”