TABLE OF CONTENTS
An Inventory of The Pals Social Club collection, circa 1930-2013
At a bridge club meeting in 1925 Vivian Lowery Vincent suggested that the members organize a club, The Pals. With the motto "Pleasant Attitude Toward Life," the club members believed that the social life of young Black women would be more secure by having the backing of older, caring and dynamic women. The Pals selected and sponsored debutantes to develop and promote social and civic awareness, cultural dignity, pride and sense of self. In 1928 the Pals hosted their first Debutante Ball, which has continued annually.
Each Pals member choses a potential debutante to sponsor, and the coterie is selected by a vote. The debutantes must be 18 years old and enrolled in college. Once the coterie is selected, the girls attend workshops where they are mentored on proper etiquette and social graces. The African American women selected for the debutante coterie of the Pals Social Club are college students and leaders who represent the club's moral and ethical standards.
From 1947-1992 the Pals entered into an arrangement with the Van Courtlandt Club, a men's social club, with the Van Courtlandt's opening the season with a Debutante Ball and The Pals Club gala closing the season in the spring. After 1992 the Pals resumed their Debutante Presentation Ball, which is held during the Christmas season.
In 1979, the Pals were honored by the United Negro College Fund and presented the Fred D. Patterson Award. In 1992, the National Council of Negro Women honored the Pals for the organization's outstanding leadership toward the growth and development of the minority community of San Antonio.
The bulk of the collection consists of newspaper clippings and photographs, which were arranged chronologically by decade prior to donation. Also included is an 80th anniversary book in the Historical Information folder.
There are no access restrictions on the materials for research purposes, and the collection is open to the public.
This collection is currently housed at UTSA's Main Campus and must be accessed via the John Peace Library Special Collections reading room. To request access, please use our Collections Request Form.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.
[Identification of item], The Pals Social Club collection, MS 422, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.
Donation from The Pals Social Club in January 2014 (Acc. 2014-004).
The collection is in 1 accession (Acc. 2014-004) and has been encoded by Nikki Lynn Thomas, Manuscripts Curator. More detailed processing is not anticipated at this time.