GFWC MO Sophomore Pilgrimage

Purpose: To give recognition to students in the Sophomore class of high school who exemplify high standards of Honor, Courage, Citizenship, Scholarship, Leadership, and Service.

MO Governor NixonGovernor Jay Nixon, a former Sophomore Pilgrim addresses participants at the event on April 14, 2010.

The words of Mrs. Mary Hinton of Hannibal, taken from a 1934 yearbook, summarize the purpose of the project: The crying need of today is for more discreet, considerate, intelligent and loyal citizenship. We have chosen for our watchword “Missouri...our responsibility.” The future of our state and nation lies in the hands of our children. What they are taught, what they think and believe should be our greatest concern.

The first pilgrimage was made on March 5, 1935, with 104 sophomores in attendance. The annual date was later moved to the first Tuesday in April and then to the second Tuesday in April, its current scheduled date. The Pilgrimage is a gift of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Missouri, Inc. to all selected sophomores. Sponsoring clubs pay for the luncheon and provide transportation.

This project helps to promote good citizenship and enables the students to see our state government in action. Students tour the Capitol, Governor’s Mansion, Supreme Court and Jefferson Landing. They meet the Missouri State elected officials and the GFWC of Missouri, Inc. Executive Committee at a luncheon. A Certificate of Merit in Citizenship is presented to each Sophomore making the Pilgrimage.

From the two Federated Clubs in Jefferson City:
GFWC Capital City Women’s Club
GFWC Dianas Club

During the May 2009 State Convention, the Missouri State flag that was flown over the State Capitol on April 14, 2009 (the 75th Sophomore Pilgrimage) was presented to GFWC of Missouri by the State Legislature, represented by State Representative Deeken, who was a Sophomore Pilgrim in 1955. The flag has been framed with the accompanying certificate and was displayed at each District Fall 2009 Convention. It will now hang in the library at Missouri Girls Town.