Senn Exhibit at the Museum
By: Kathy Gemperle
The Edgewater Historical Society decided to offer a small exhibit about Senn and its graduates with a reception from 1-4 on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday about 20 people attended and spent time watching some alumni videos and looking at old yearbooks. Gloria Evenson was there to talk about her grandmother, who received a two year diploma in Stenography in June 1915. We also got a look at her diploma and a letter of recommendation.
One family of Lerners stopped by, Steve and his wife, and brother Jon Lerner. They reported that their mother also graduated from Senn and we found her photo in the 1930 yearbook. As the afternoon wore on most people gathered to look at the yearbooks. Surprisingly some loyal members also stopped by even though they had not attended Senn.
Steve Lerner agreed to do an oral history with Steve Simons and Dorothy Nygren. Steve Simons, also a Senn grad, found his freshman photo in one yearbook and recorded his own oral history. Another grad, Mata Colores Hanson, recorded an oral history on Sunday. Thanks to all of them.
The exhibit featured some of the most famous Senn Grads from years past. It was interesting to see a little bio of such people as William Friedkin and Harvey Korman. We learned that Irna Phillips originated the idea of the soap opera and, of course, Herblock was world famous for his political cartoon. An interesting note – he started using the one name signature while a freshman at Senn.
Girls athletics was prominent at Senn even before Title IX. Annette Rogers was an Olympic gold medal winner in 1932 and 1936. Many of the successful journalists were on the staff of the Senn yearbook, the Forum or the Senn News. Many successful theater people were in the drama club at Senn. If the mission of a high school is to expose you to career options and requirements to enter those careers, then Senn did its job well.
The most recent report on Nicholas Senn High School is that it has achieved a number one rating as a school in Chicago. Congratulations to all Senn Graduates and all who came to share in the celebration of one hundred years in Edgewater.
The exhibit continues until December 29th.