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Local woman devoted to preserving the history of New Orleans Jesuits receives Loyola's top alumni award

Loyola press release - May 12, 2014

A Loyola University New Orleans alumna instrumental in preserving the university’s colorful history with the once Jesuit-run WWL-TV, including an entire collection of material from the station’s late local broadcasting legend and alumnus Phil Johnson ‘50, will receive Loyola’s highest alumni honor. The Loyola Alumni Association will award longtime Jesuit archivist Joan E. Gaulene ‘58 with the Adjutor Hominum Award.

The award presentation will occur during the Alumni Association Jazz Brunch Sunday, June 22 as part of the university’s annual Alumni Weekend celebration and reunion events. The 11:30 a.m. brunch is set for the Audubon Tea Room, 6500 Magazine St., located across from the Audubon Golf Course. The cost is $40 per person or $60 per couple, and includes a Creole breakfast with mimosas and bloody mary cocktails. Register online.

Gaulene was not only instrumental in preserving materials associated with WWL-TV, which was owned by Loyola and run by the Jesuits until 1989, but her knack for preserving history continues today. As the current assistant to the Jesuit archivist, she helps organize the archives in the New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus, which are housed in Loyola’s J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library Special Collections and Archives. The collection tells the story not only of the parishes and institutions founded by the Jesuits, but it contains the history of Catholicism throughout the 10 southern states of the province.

Gaulene’s distinguished career in public relations began at Loyola as a staff writer and early appointments included director of public relations for the United Fund (now United Way) and Touro Infirmary. She returned to Loyola in 1980 as director of university relations and in 1989 became director of public relations for Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Calif., until her retirement in 1996. She returned to New Orleans and Loyola as an instructor in communications.

“Joan epitomizes what a Loyola alumna should be. She engages always in being a person with and for others. She is devoted to the Jesuit community—‘my boys,’ she calls them—in every way, and has been especially faithful in caring for the archival records of the elderly and infirm,” according to a letter nominating her for the award.

For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at alumni@loyno.edu.