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School days and friends, 1940s

Submitted by LaVaun Diehl Whitnah from Maplewood, Minnesota, USA
  • B.S. Home Economics General 1949

A name drawn from the herd

It was probably the unique spelling of my given name (LaVaun) that prompted people to ask my parents about the origin. Their response was always "the Herd Book." Since my father's dairy cows had individual names, I assumed that I was named after a cow at Iowa State College, which he had attended. As a high-schooler, I learned that the Herd Book was a student roster of Iowa State College's Ag School. Many years after the deaths of my parents, a discussion arose about my name while visiting a cousin, an ISC alum, who explained that the Herd Book was the common name for the entire student body roster at the land-grant college, thus ending my puzzlement. As it turns out, I was named after a female student who attended the Ag School in the early 1920s. Any further enlightenment from the historians?