Collection Number: 40161

Collection Title: Order of the Grail-Valkyries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1920-2007

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


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Size 1.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 300 items)
Abstract The Order of the Grail-Valkyries traces its origins to the fall of 1920, when the Order of the Grail was formed to bring together the university's fraternity and non-fraternity men. The order hosted informal dances to bring the two groups together, and it served the university by contributing the dance proceeds to scholarships for deserving students. In 1976, the Order of the Grail merged with the Valkyries, a group of university women who embraced the same ideals as the men of the Grail. Since 1941, the Valkyries had been the only campus honorary society that recognized extraordinary contributions of university women. The Order of the Grail-Valkyries funds scholarships from its participation in class ring sales; it also hosts lectures and inducts outstanding students into its organization. The records of the Order of the Grail-Valkyries include general correspondence, meeting minutes, induction ceremony programs, lists of inductees, and other general documents. Also included are materials on the incorporation of the Order of the Grail-Valkyries Foundation as well as financial and legal materials related to the lawsuit against Vann W. Donaldson over his fraudulent use of the order's name to obtain financial loans.
Creator Order of the Grail-Valkyries (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
These records are open to any member of the Order of the Grail-Valkyries and to non-members by permission of the Delegata.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Order of the Grail-Valkyries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records #40161, University Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from the Order of the Grail-Valkyries.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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The Order of the Grail-Valkyries traces its origins to the fall of 1920, when the Order of the Grail was formed to bring together the university's fraternity and non-fraternity men, who were at odds at the time. The Order of the Grail hosted informal dances to bring the two groups together, and it served the university by using the dance proceeds to fund scholarships for deserving students. In 1976, the Order of the Grail merged with the Valkyries, a group of university women who embraced the same ideals as the men of the Grail. Since 1941 the Valkyries had been the only campus honorary society that recognized extraordinary contributions of university women. In 1998-1999, the order was involved in a lawsuit against former president Vann W. Donaldson. Donaldson fraudulently applied for loans using the order's name. Ultimately, the order was found innocent of any wrongdoing. As part of its effort to re-establish its name, it incorporated a foundation, establishing it as a non-profit organization with the Internal Revenue Service so as to have more transparent financial dealings. No longer hosting dances, the order funds scholarships from its participation in class ring sales in conjunction with Student Stores. The order also hosts lectures and inducts outstanding students into its organization.

The following is excerpted from "The Order of the Grail-Valkyries: A Brief History," printed and distributed at their 2003 induction ceremony.

The Grail-Valkyries traces its origins to a meeting of a handful of students in the Cabinet Council room of the Campus Y in the fall of 1920. The University at that time was mired in discord between fraternity and non-fraternity men, who often were from more humble station than their fraternity counterparts. The Order of the Grail was envisioned to bring these two groups together to overcome the differences which divided them; its toll was an informal campus dance. A 1940 monograph printed in the Tar Heel explains:

'Its first step in a program to restore unity in the social sphere was to provide dances designed to bring the fraternity and non-fraternity men together. The dances were informal and the price of admission moderate. Furthermore, the Grail selected as its members an equal number of outstanding and respected men from the fraternity and the non-fraternity ranks. They were the hosts at the dances and it was their job to bring the students together. . . . The funds which accrued from the dance were used for aiding worthy students to go to college and to assist causes dedicated to promote campus unity. The dances became an enormous success, and the Order was able to provide many needy and deserving students the means to meet their college expenses.'

'In 1976, the Order of the Grail merged with the Valkyries, a group of University women who embraced the same ideals as the men of the Grail. For more than thirty years, the Valkyries had served as the only campus honorary society that recognized extraordinary contributions that women have made to our University. . . . Since 1976, our two organizations have existed as one, continuing a long tradition of recognizing outstanding students and promoting scholarship by providing financial aid to deserving students.'

'. . . After the dances ceased, our Order continued to fund need-based scholarships by being the first group to bring the sale of class rings to campus . . . '

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The records of the Order of the Grail-Valkyries include general correspondence, meeting minutes, induction ceremony programs, lists of inductees, and other general documents. Also included are materials on the incorporation of the Order of the Grail-Valkyries Foundation as well as financial and legal materials related to the lawsuit against Vann W. Donaldson over his fraudulent use of the Order's name to obtain financial loans.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Order of the Grail-Valkyries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1920-2007.

Box 1

Correspondence and General, 1945-2003 #40161, Series: "Order of the Grail-Valkyries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1920-2007." Box 1

Foundation Incorporation, 1999-2000 #40161, Series: "Order of the Grail-Valkyries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1920-2007." Box 1

Membership Lists, 2007 #40161, Series: "Order of the Grail-Valkyries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1920-2007." Box 1

Minute Books: Volume 1, 1920-1935 #40161, Series: "Order of the Grail-Valkyries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1920-2007." Box 1

Minute Books: Volume 2, 1938-1940 #40161, Series: "Order of the Grail-Valkyries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1920-2007." Box 1

Minute Books: Volume 3, 1940-1941 #40161, Series: "Order of the Grail-Valkyries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1920-2007." Box 1

Minute Books: Volume 4, 1941-1943 #40161, Series: "Order of the Grail-Valkyries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1920-2007." Box 1

Minute Books: Volume 5, 1945-1948 #40161, Series: "Order of the Grail-Valkyries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1920-2007." Box 1

Minute Books: Volume 6, 1948-1950 #40161, Series: "Order of the Grail-Valkyries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1920-2007." Box 1

Minute Books: Volume 7, 1950-1957 #40161, Series: "Order of the Grail-Valkyries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1920-2007." Box 1

Minute Books: Volume 8, 1957-1963 #40161, Series: "Order of the Grail-Valkyries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1920-2007." Box 1

Image Folder PF-40161/1

Photographs, 1998-2000 and undated 1990s #40161, Series: "Order of the Grail-Valkyries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1920-2007." PF-40161/1

Box 1

Vann Donaldson Lawsuit: General, 1994-1999 #40161, Series: "Order of the Grail-Valkyries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1920-2007." Box 1

Vann Donaldson Lawsuit: Receipts, 1988-1989; 1997-1998 #40161, Series: "Order of the Grail-Valkyries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1920-2007." Box 1

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Processing Information

Processed by: University Archives Staff, November 1980, January 1981, March 2008, April 2010

Encoded by: Johanna Russ, March 2008

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