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Interview with Marge Rowe

Elgin Community College Archives
Polly Nash, Interviewer |
Elgin Community College Archives |

0:00 - Introduction of Interview with Marge Rowe

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Partial Transcript: This is an interview with Marge Rowe, …

Segment Synopsis: Polly Nash introduces the interview, states why Rowe was selected to give her oral history, including the fact that she was both a student who subsequently became an employee by the college.

Keywords:

Subjects: Higher Education

1:02 - Rowe’s Personal History

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Partial Transcript: May we start out with a little bit about your own personal history?

Segment Synopsis: Marge shares that she is the youngest of 5 children, born in 1954 in Elgin IL to parents who both worked outside of the home. She clarifies that her father was a set screw machinist and her mother served as a church secretary as well as for her sister-in-law who had a secretarial service business. She recounts that all the children in the family had the opportunity to attend college and describes each of her sibling’s education and career path. Rowe explains that she attended Larkin High School, graduating in 1972.

Keywords: Chicago, IL; Crystal Lake, IL; Eleanor Handrock; Fred Handrock; Northern Illinois University; Sherman Hospital; United States Army; Valparaiso University

Subjects: Higher Eduaction

3:05 - Her Experiences as an ECC Student

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Partial Transcript: So, after you graduated from high school, what did you do?

Segment Synopsis: Rowe remembers that she came to ECC as a student right after she graduated from high school and talks about the stigma of not going away to college. She describes that during her first year as a student (1972-73), she took general education courses. After that, she explains that she explored the Dental Assisting Program and enrolled her second year at ECC, particularly intrigued by the fact that the program would prepare her for work within a year of study. Marge describes the program at that time, both the classroom and lab as well as the clinical assignments, further recalling that she also worked part-time while she was a student. She explains that she felt very prepared to be a dental assistant once she graduated from the program after a year.

Keywords: Dental Assisting; Nursing; Sandy Hameister

Subjects: Higher Education

5:43 - What ECC was Like from 1972-74

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Partial Transcript: So, can you tell us a little bit about what ECC was like…

Segment Synopsis: Marge describes the campus during the time she was a student, from 1972 to 1974. She explains that the campus was very new then, having been built only 2 years before. She recalls where her Dental Assisting classes were, specifically where Spartan Terrace had been later – in A Building – plus some of the labs in what was called North Annex. She also recollects where some of the departments and programs were at that time in the smaller campus.

Keywords: A Building B Building; Drafting; Greenhouse/Atrium; Gymnasium; Jobe Lounge; North Annex; Registration and Records; Snack Bar; Steinbach; Student Life

Subjects: Higher Education

8:13 - Influential Professors

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Partial Transcript: Can you talk to us about some of the professors who were influential…

Segment Synopsis: Rowe reminisces about an influential professor who taught photography classes then, telling where the program was housed. She explains that he was a “hippie” who influenced her as a young student. She also relates her experiences in the Dental Assisting program and the influence of Marilyn Westerhoff.

Keywords: A Building, 3rd Floor; Franklin “Bud” Brooks; Marilyn Westerhoff

Subjects: Higher Education

10:18 - Vivid Memories as a Student

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Partial Transcript: What were some of your most vivid ex…memories of your time here?

Segment Synopsis: Marge reveals some of her most intense remembrances while she was a student, including the fact that a young man drowned in the lake that is close to the college and how two “streakers” ran through the campus. She clarifies that she did not spend a lot of time on campus because she was working part-time concurrent with being a student.

Keywords:

Subjects: Higher Education

11:22 - Graduating from the Dental Assisting Program

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Partial Transcript: And, so, you completed the Dental Assisting certificate

Segment Synopsis: Rowe explains that she graduated from the Dental Assisting Program in the Spring of 1974, describing the photograph of her dental assisting class pinning. She also tells about her best friend in the class and what she eventually did after completing the program at ECC.

Keywords: District U-46; Northern Illinois University; Pat Juby McGough

Subjects: Higher Education

12:22 - Work Experience After Graduation from ECC

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Partial Transcript: And, so, after you graduated from ECC, what did you do?

Segment Synopsis: Marge depicts her work experience after she graduated from ECC, specifically recalling her work with a pediatric dental practice that had offices both in Elgin and Schaumburg. She elaborates that she progressed in her work to become a “Suite Coordinator” for Dr. Nickelson and recalls a time when she assisted in a hospital operation. She discloses that she married George while working for the dental practice, subsequently going to work as a bank teller and branch coordinator.

Keywords: Elgin Federal Financial Center; George Rowe; Nickelson, Channon and Riggs Pediatric Dental Practice

Subjects: Higher Education

14:50 - Rowe’s First Position at ECC

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Partial Transcript: I saw a position offered for an assistant office and budget manager…

Segment Synopsis: Rowe provides the background of the impetus for her application to work at Elgin Community College. She reveals that in 1987, after a summer of not working and needing a second income for the family, she decided to go back to work. She recalls how she took a part-time position in the Office of Student Life until another part-time position as secretary in the same department was vacated in 1991. At that point the college decided to combine those positions into one full-time position. As a result, she explains that she was hired as the Secretary to the Department, Marge elaborates, describing her budget responsibilities working with the various student organizations as well as all the departments that were in the student Life Division, including athletics, childcare and the snack bar. She recaps many of the challenges of working with the departments and the students involved in the student organizations, also expounding on the processes involved in creating requisitions and the type of computer print-outs that she would receive. She recalls several individuals who came to campus as part of the Student Life Speaker Series.

Keywords: Angie Garron; Belleville Community College; Dave Paeth; Diane Sanchez Peterson; Gayle Saunders; George McGovern; Lisa Johnson; Roe v Wade; Son of Jacques Cousteau; Steve Murray

Subjects: Higher Education

20:40 - Rowe’s Early Mentors at ECC

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Partial Transcript: Thinking about your early years, are there any individuals who mentored you?

Segment Synopsis: Marge reminisces about some of the individuals who mentored her at ECC.

Keywords: Carolyn Roller; Diane Sanchez Peterson; Support Staff of Elgin Community College Association (SSECCA); Susan Spengler-Abell

Subjects: Higher Education

22:35 - Effects of Reorganizations in the College

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Partial Transcript: You were not always doing requisitions and budgets for Student Life.

Segment Synopsis: Rowe describes some of the other responsibilities and other individuals with whom she worked in the Student Life Division. She explains some of the major changes that occurred within the Student Life Division, including departments and personnel which were added or moved to another division. She recalls the time when there was a large reorganization in which her supervisor’s position was eliminated which, in turn, eliminated Marge’s own position. She talks about how it wasn’t handled very well. Marge describes the various responsibilities she had in her new role in the Office of the Vice President of Teaching, Learning and Student Development and the difference in pace between working in that office compared to the Student Life office, particularly the decrease in student contact. She expresses the fact that this new position gave her an opportunity to see another part of the college.

Keywords: Admissions; Athletics; Childcare; Gayle Saunders; Kelli Sinclair; Mary Perkins; Snack Bar; Support Staff of Elgin Community College Association (SSECCA)

Subjects: Higher Education

26:49 - Celebrating ECC’s Anniversaries

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Partial Transcript: In addition to your myriad of activities as part of your work assignment, you were involved…

Segment Synopsis: Rowe elaborates about her involvement in activities outside of her work assignment. She recalls her efforts on behalf of three of the college’s anniversaries: it’s 40th, 50th, and 60th. She also reflects that it was a time of great change for the college, including large enrollment increases, many new buildings, additional staff, and new programs. She recalls her efforts in several activities that were inaugurated and are still occurring, including the first Women’s History Month’s activities, Veterans’ Day observances, her work on the support staff association, and the alumni organization.

Specifically, she depicts the first-time capsule that was buried in 1974 as part of the college’s 25th anniversary. She describes a photograph taken at the time of the opening and what they found in the buried vault. She further discusses how they selected items to be placed in the new vault to be buried as part of the 50th anniversary and how those items were preserved.

Keywords: Alumni Association; American Wilbert Vault Corp.; Art Andres; Carole Akemann; Diane Sanchez Peterson; Fitness Center; Fox Valley University Business Center; Gus Stuart; Gymnasium; Jerry Turnquist; Mark Kellenberger; Mike Alft; Robert Kiser; Visual and Performing Arts Center

Subjects: Higher Education

33:15 - Women’s History Month

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Partial Transcript: The other one at this point that I would like to ask you to talk about …

Segment Synopsis: Marge recounts the beginning of the activities of Women’s History month, including Living History, Inspiring Women Luncheon, African American Woman Luncheon, Latina women and students organized activities. She further reminisces about her work on the t-shirt project which displayed t-shirts made by women who had experienced domestic abuse.

She shares that she has done some of her own research on Mary Edwards Carpenter Lord of Elgin who lived in the late 1800s and died in 1905. She was, the wealthiest individual in Kane County when she died. Particularly interesting to Marge is the fact that when she died, Lord left financial support for educational institutions, including Elgin Academy, Beloit College, and 3 traditionally African American Colleges.

Keywords: African American college staff; Crisis Center of Elgin; Elgin History Museum; Elgin YWCA; Jane Barbosa; Judy Jobe; OLAS; Women’s Herstory Month; Women’s History Month

Subjects: Higher Education

37:33 - Honoring Veterans

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Partial Transcript: You were also instrumental in the veteran’s observances.

Segment Synopsis: Rowe describes her own personal interest in veterans, including the fact that two of her brothers served in the armed forces and her husband’s father was a bombardier in World War II. She illustrates how she has approached honoring veterans, beginning with a simple and short ceremony. She tells how many veterans were reluctant to talk about their experiences. She explains that there is now a Department of Veterans Affairs at ECC which is much more active now. She reveals how the ceremonies that honor veterans are often emotional times, particularly those who served in the Vietnam War.

Keywords: George Rowe

Subjects: Higher Education

39:16 - William Foulkes Support Staff Award

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Partial Transcript: So, can you tell us about the William Foulkes Award?

Segment Synopsis: Marge explains what she understands about William Foulkes and why there is an award named after him. She discusses how one is recognized for this award and how she felt receiving the award.

Keywords: Mary Perkins

Subjects: Higher Education

40:37 - Rowe’s Activities Outside of ECC

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Partial Transcript: Outside of ECC, what, um, programs have you been involved in?

Segment Synopsis: Rowe enlightens how her interest in history was reignited, explaining her support for the Elgin History Museum by doing some radio commercials and serving on its board as corresponding secretary and then president, in addition to several other positions in support of the Museum.

She tells about her activities in the annual Historic Bluff City Cemetery Walk (because she wanted to wear a hoop skirt). She describes in detail some of the history surrounding the walk and how the event happens. She elaborates the process that she and Linda Rock have followed over the course of a year in preparation for the event.

Marge reveals how she currently invests her time, including serving as a docent in the Elgin History Museum and working on a diorama of Elgin in 1855 for the children which she is enhancing by adding photographs.

Finally, she shares that she is continuing to research early women in the Elgin area.

Keywords: Bluff City Cemetery; Elgin Academy; Elgin Genealogical Society; Elgin High School; Elgin Historic Bluff City Cemetery Walk; Elgin History Museum (Old Main); Elmer Gylleck; Jerry Turnquist; Linda Rock; Mike Alft; Old Main Museum

Subjects: Higher Education

46:26 - Decision to Retire

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Partial Transcript: So, what made you decide to retire?

Segment Synopsis: Rowe explains that it was primarily an economic decision based on the negotiated agreement between the support staff and the college board. She also elaborates that her husband would turn 65 by that date which impacted her decision.

Keywords: George Rowe; Support Staff of Elgin Community College Association (SSECCA)

Subjects: Higher Education

48:05 - Friends of the Lords Park Zoo

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Partial Transcript: What about the Friends of ….

Segment Synopsis: Marge describes her fondness for the Lords’ Park Zoo and clarifies some of its history, including the fact that in 2008, the zoo was threatened to have to close because of the recession. The Friends organization was formed to help the zoo, keep it open and preserve it. She has served on the board and proudly expresses how it has been open for visitors (over 10,000 a year) for the past 5 years and tells how their current emphasis for fund raising is for educational and entertaining programs. She further explains the replacement process for animals and her own role in that process.

Keywords: Fermi Lab; Friends of the Lord’s Park Zoo; Gail Borden Public Library

Subjects: Higher Education

50:43 - Political Activities

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Partial Transcript: It looks like you – from this one photograph that I’m going to show you, that you’ve …

Segment Synopsis: Rowe describes her involvement in various political activities, specifically those that affect higher education. She also explains other things she has been doing during retirement.

Keywords: Armando Trejo; Carolyn Roller; Governor Rauner; Marilyn Westerhoff; Springfield, IL; Susan Spengler-Abell

Subjects: Higher Education

52:14 - Significant Individuals at ECC

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Partial Transcript: A couple of things before we close. As you’re thinking about…

Segment Synopsis: Marge recounts the individuals at ECC who were particularly significant to Marge during her years of work at Elgin Community College.

Keywords: Amybeth Maurer; Carolyn Roller; Diane Sanchez Peterson; Elgin History Museum; Ernie Broadnax; Jane Barbosa; Joyce Fountain; Project 231; Susan Spengler-Abell

Subjects: Higher Education

55:48 - Reflections on Her Life as a Student and Employee at ECC

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Partial Transcript: As we close, may we have some final reflections from you…

Segment Synopsis: Rowe portrays how she originally came to ECC as a young person who didn’t know what her career path was going to be. She shares how pleased she is with what she did with her life and career. She comments on the importance of the vocational programs that ECC offers.

Finally, she reminisces about her experiences after 9/11 and how the college rallied together to support people impacted in many ways.

Keywords: George Rowe; Southern Illinois University

Subjects: Higher Education

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