sealPurdue News

August 20, 2002

California twirler Robyn Andrews named 23rd Golden Girl

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Having performed a nearly flawless routine for the judges, Robyn Andrews, a senior apparel design and technology major from San Jose, Calif., has out-twirled five competitors to become Purdue University's 23rd Golden Girl.

Joining Andrews in Purdue's elite twirling ranks is Krista Woodward, a senior hospitality and tourism major from Waterford, Mich., as Girl in Black. For the first time since the Silver Twins position was created in 1960, Purdue will not have Silver Twins on the field this fall. No twirlers expressed interested in auditioning for the position, which requires two twirlers to coordinate their styles and work as a duo.

Andrews, who twirled as the Girl in Black in 2001, said she was "surprised and relieved" after the announcement.

"I've worked really hard for this," Andrews said. "It feels great!"

Andrews said the Golden Girl tradition was one of the lures that brought her to Purdue.

"Because it's such a well known position all over the country, I want to be as outstanding as I possibly can," she said. "It's just an incredible tradition."

For Woodward, her selection as Girl in Black was the perfect early present for her 22nd birthday. As a freshman, she felt the sting of rejection on her Aug. 18 birthday when she failed to make the "All-American" twirling line. Although she entertained the notion of giving up twirling, she continued to practice.

"Every time I saw the marching band I felt like I should be out there as well," Woodward said.

Woodward auditioned and made the line in 2000, and was named a Silver Twin in 2001.

"I'm very excited," Woodward said of her new position. "I really want to challenge myself this year to do harder tricks and continue to increase my skill level. I also want to set a positive example in leadership, ability and attitude, not only for the band but for every person I encounter from elementary schools to nursing homes."

Andrews and Woodward will make their first appearance with the Purdue "All-American" Marching Band at the Aug. 31 Illinois State game in the newly renovated Ross-Ade Stadium. The four women not named to solo spots will become part of the "All-American" Twirling Line along with freshman Tracy Johnson from San Gabriel, Calif.

Purdue "All-American" Marching Band director David A. Leppla also has announced that the band department's 48-year custom of auditioning solo twirlers in the fall will be replaced with spring auditions in 2003. The move aligns Purdue with other major university band programs, which use auditions as a tool to attract top twirling talent from across the nation.

Alisha Bane Kuckartz, auxiliary adviser for Purdue University Bands, says she believes the move to spring auditions will bring more competitive twirlers to campus and should allow the Silver Twins to reappear on the football field in future years. She also says it will bolster the reputation of twirling excellence at Purdue as the university prepares to celebrate 50 years of the Golden Girl tradition in 2004.

Former director Al Wright began the Golden Girl tradition in 1954 when quarterback Lenny Dawson was referred to by the press as Purdue's "Golden Boy." Wright put gold sequins on Juanita Carpenter and named her the "Golden Girl." After Dawson graduated his nickname faded, but the Golden Girl has continued as a nationally recognized Purdue tradition.

CONTACT: Kathy Matter, (765) 496-6785;

Writer: Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704,

Source: Kathy Matter, (765) 496-6785,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Publication-quality photographs of Robyn Andrews and Krista Woodward are available at and Media interested in interviews should contact Kathy Matter, Purdue bands public relations director, at (765) 496-6785.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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