It’s Graduation Day!

Today I am graduating from Indiana University with my Master of Library Science. (Ok, the picture is from my undergraduate days.) I initially made the decision to pursue this career path because I saw it as an opportunity to keep my passion for genealogy close to my work. After a year and a half of classes and a wonderful internship at a genealogy library, I’m thrilled with my choice. While I don’t know where my degree is going to take me just yet, I’m excited about my future! Speaking of which, if you know anyone looking for a librarian…

Just for kicks, here’s a photo of my sister and I at our high school graduation with my grandparents, Bill and Peggy Straughen. Can you tell how thrilled I am?? With that expression you’d never expect I would have gone back for another round of school!



I thought today would be a fun opportunity to look back at the college experiences of my grandparents.

Anderson 1943 Yearbook MH 3 - Copy

Milton Hartzell Anderson, Citadel Military College, Charleston, SC, 1941-1943

Milton attended the Citadel Military College where he majored in Business Administration. He was never able to graduate because the junior class, who had all enlisted in the Army Reserves in May 1942, were activated in 1943 when the Army was short on trained officers in Europe. They were nicknamed “The Class that Never Was.” Milton never returned to finish his degree after WWII because his father died in December 1945 while he was still on active duty in Paris and Milton took over running the family business (for a related story see this blog post). This is his 1943 yearbook photo.

Bell 1943 Photo Marilynn Yearbook Ohio State - CopyMarilynn Ruth Bell, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 1943; Dennison University, Granville, OH, 1944

Marilynn began her freshman year at OSU where she lived in Mack Hall and worked on the yearbook. For her sophomore year, she transferred to Dennison University, a small private college north-east of Columbus. There she joined the Delta Gamma sorority. Marilynn left college after her sophomore year. She is pictured here in her freshman yearbook photo.

Straughen 1958 Yearbook William J 2 - CopyWilliam Joseph Straughen, Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA, 1950-1954; Hahnemann Medical College, Philadelphia, PA, 1954-1958

Bill attended Juniata College thanks to the generosity of a neighbor (you can read more about him in last week’s post). Through four years of hard work Bill continued on to medical school at Hahnemann Medical College (now part of Drexel University). He did an internship at Harrisburg Hospital, which is where he met my grandmother, and completed his residency at Madison General Hospital in Wisconsin. The photo here is from his final year at Hahnemann.

2017-09-23 21.36.23 - CopyPeggy Ann Barbour, Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA, 1955-1957; Harrisburg Hospital School of Nursing, Harrisburg, PA, 1957-1958; Wright State University, Dayton, OH, 1969-1973

Peggy attended Lebanon Valley College because that was where her dear neighbor had gone to school. She didn’t stay long, after her sophomore year Peggy decided to attend nurse’s training at Harrisburg Hospital, where she met her husband Bill. She didn’t finish her training because nursing students were not allowed to be married. Peggy returned to school while living in Dayton and her children were in high school. She earned a degree in Religion and graduated summa cum laude. She proudly displayed her Wright State diploma on her kitchen wall for the rest of her life! Somehow Peggy never made it into a college yearbook photo, but this was her high school senior yearbook photo.

Did any of your ancestors attend college? How did you learn about their education? Tell me about it the comments below!

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