Ladies’ Night: The Bars that Shaped Mundelein College

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Figure 1. A group of students celebrate their coming graduation at the annual “100 Days Party” at Hamilton’s Bar and Grill.

College campuses are complex organisms. They are made up of students, staff, faculty, halls, arenas, and libraries. The college experience is comprised of classes, organizations, student jobs, and groups of friends. For many students, the bars, clubs, and restaurants play a large part in not only their college experiences, but also of the college environment at large. Socialization is an integral part of college and one of the major factors that perspective students consider when choosing an institution. This was just as true for the students attending Mundelein College as it was for any student at any other university. While conducting interviews for the Share Your Story: Student Life at Mundelein Oral History Project, Mundelein alumnae often reflected on their experiences in these public social spaces as some of the most memorable. Local bars and restaurants like Hamilton’s and The Red Garter, while gone, live on in the memories that were made there. Mundelein yearbooks are filled with joyful pictures of these locales and the events and parties that went on there. From “Ladies” Night” to the “100 Days Party,” Mundelein students understood the importance of balancing academics with social activities. In remembering Mundelein College, we must accept a truth that where college students attend classes, they also attend parties, bars, and clubs.

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