Alumnae in Action: The History of Mundelein College Reunions and Homecomings

By Anna Kutter, with research assistance from Caroline Giannakopoulos 

Mundelein College reunions and homecomings offered alumnae the chance to revisit their college days throughout the political turbulence of the mid-to-late 20th century. Unlike many contemporary college reunion events & alumnae associations, these events didn’t focus solely on fundraising or seeing fellow alumnae. Instead, the emphasis was on the continuous provision of women’s educational opportunities, even long past students’ formal involvement with the college. 

Figure 1. Mundelein College alumnae attend a presentation at the college’s 1991 Homecoming. 
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Student Publications at Mundelein College

In order to celebrate the 90 year Anniversary of Mundelein College, the WLA applied for and received the Illinois History Digital Imaging grant. The IHDI grant is aimed at digitizing documents of historical significance and making them accessible at the Illinois Digital Archives. I have been lucky to be part of a team that is digitizing items from Mundelein College held at the WLA. We’re scanning and describing thousands of publications, photographs, and other items related to the history of Mundelein College so that they are more accessible to the public.[1]

Mundelein College Skyscraper staff celebrates receiving the All-American Honor Rating by the National Newspaper Critical Service of the Associated Collegiate Press. Pictured are Columnist Mary Anne Pope, Artist Diane Mazza, Contributor Carlotta Serritella, and Contributor Maureen Racine. This photo is from the Mundelein College Collection in the process of being digitized by the WLA. (1962-05-22)] [2] [ mc_student_pubs_0052].

Throughout the digitizing process, I’ve been fascinated by the rigor with which students published journals, newspapers, and pamphlets. Mundelein College students maintained a rich tradition of self-published literature of their sixty-year history. They collected articles and essays, cropped and captioned photos, and folded thousands of pages. The resulting, now digital, volumes demonstrate Mundelein College students’ work and the joy with which they performed it.

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