A Guide to the Gertrude Batiste Papers, 1978-2006
Gertrude Batiste is recognized for her contributions to the San Antonio Area Council of Girl Scouts and her volunteerism in several San Antonio organizations. She was born Sept. 30, 1929 in Houston, Texas. Her father, Julius Scott, was a United Methodist minister, and her mother an English teacher. Batiste attended Gilbert Academy in New Orleans before entering Wiley College where she graduated in 1952 with a B.A. in sociology and religious education. That same year she married Harold Batiste, an Air Force officer, now a retired Air Force hospital administrator. After graduation, Batiste returned to Houston and worked as a librarian at the Negro Branch of the Houston Public Library. The following year, she became program director for the Blue Triangle Branch of the YWCA. The Batistes have three children, Harold E. "Gene" III, Bertrand H. "Randy", and Amy.
Batiste first got involved with the Girl Scouts in 1940 as a member of the first all-Black troop in Houston. As an adult she became involved again in the organization while her daughter was a Junior Girl Scout. She was elected the first Black president of the local board of directors, serving from 1983-1985. In 1985, after ten years of active volunteering in scouting, Batiste was awarded the thanks badge, the highest award for adults in Girl Scouting. In the same year, she was appointed to the paid staff of the San Antonio Area Council of Girl Scouts as a field executive. Batiste's duties concerned the promotion, support, and development of girl scouting within the eight geographic areas of Martin Luther King, Kirby, Kitty Hawk, Randolph, White, Wood, Cole and Alamo Heights. In May 1990, Batiste was promoted to Membership Development Manager. Although retired in 1992, Batiste continues to be involved in special projects with the Girl Scouts.
In addition to her work for the Girl Scouts, Batiste has been continually active in her church and the community. She has served as president of the United Methodist Women at Windcrest United Methodist Church in San Antonio, and has been active in the San Antonio Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, San Antonio Women's Celebration and Hall of Fame, and The Great Ladies of San Antonio. She was also a founding member of the San Antonio Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. Her efforts and accomplishments have been recognized by all the organizations above. In 1987 she received the Altrusa Club's Mother of the Year award and the Distinguished Leadership Award from the United Negro College Fund. In 1989 Batiste was awarded the God and Service Award for dedication and service to Scouting and Youth Serving Ministries by the Southwest Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. She also received the Profile in Leadership award in 1992 for distinguished leadership and achievement in community service.
The papers consist of awards, correspondence, newsclippings, a limited number of photographs, and notes and materials gathered by Batiste as an active member of several organizations. The bulk of the materials document Batiste's community involvement during the 1980s and 1990s. The papers are arranged into two series, Community Involvement and Personal Papers.
The Community Involvement series contains the bulk of the papers, and includes awards and materials from Batiste's membership in several San Antonio organizations. Awards are arranged chronologically and contain related correspondence, photographs, newsclippings and cards of congratulations. Materials from Batiste's involvement in organizations are arranged alphabetically by the organization's name. While these files document a significant amount of Batiste's volunteerism and memberships, they are not comprehensive. Of importance are the files on Batiste's work with the San Antonio Area Council of Girl Scouts containing annual work plans and performance reviews, awards, correspondence, notes and newsclippings.
Personal Papers is a small series that primarily offers biographical information on Batiste in the form of résumés. Also present is a limited amount of correspondence including an alumnae survey from Wiley College, and invitations from community organizations to join their membership.
This collection is housed at UTSA's Main Campus and must be accessed via the John Peace Library Special Collections reading room. To request access, please use the Collections Request Form.
Permission to publish material from the records must be obtained from University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.
[Identification of item], Gertrude Batiste Papers, 1978-2002, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.
Received as a gift from Gertrude Batiste, June 2001, October 2009 (Acc. 2001-017, 2009-059).
Processed by Toni Jeske in February 2002.
Material added by Tatina Wulzer in November 2009.
Detailed Description of the Collection