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Julia A. Beveridge

Julia A. BeveridgeHad a 32-year involvement with Armour Institute of Technology, first through Plymouth Church and Armour Mission, where she taught practical skills to neighborhood children and served as librarian. Recruited by Philip Armour and Frank Gunsaulus to help staff Armour Institute from its inception, she served for six years as registrar and assistant librarian and then for twenty years until her death as librarian.

Julia Beveridge’s life typifies that of many late-19th—century women who were part of the settlement house and social service agency movements which provided a generation of immigrants with their first experience of American culture and education. Armour Mission, formed much in the pattern of Jane Addams’ Hull House, was one such institution serving the needs of European nationals and African-Americans who moved to Chicago’s Douglas, Grand Boulevard, Canaryville, and Bridgeport neighborhoods. At the Mission, Beveridge combined reading and practical education by establishing classes for legions of boys and girls.

Six years later, she became registrar of Armour Institute and the person responsible for enrolling young men and women in their college programs. Her longest tenure and greatest renown, however, came in her 20 years as librarian of Armour Institute of Technology. There she had daily interaction with hundreds of students, mostly young men, preparing themselves to be engineers, architects, businessmen, scientists and teachers. Her reputation is one of being universally respected and revered by these surrogate sons.

Beveridge died after a car struck her at the intersection at 33rd and State streets. Her memory has been memorialized by the women’s groups of Armour Institute of Technology and Illinois Institute of Technology with the establishment of a student scholarship award (1939 - ca. 1977) and a women’s honorary recognition award program (1990 - continuing).

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