MacMurray Dedicates Historical Marker As A Part of Alumni Weekend Activities

By Benjamin Cox on June 24, 2023 at 5:13pm

Far left: President David Ekin '77 stands next to Alexis Moore '20 as she reads the inscription of the new MacMurray College Historical Marker on the corner of East College and Clay Street. Near right: Dr. Raymond Thompson '61 and Dr. Allen Croessman '68 nearest to the marker listen to Moore read the inscription.

Approximately 75 MacMurray College alumni and friends of the college gathered at the corner of Clay and East College this afternoon to dedicate a brand new historical marker.

Executive Director of the Illinois State Historical Society and 1975 graduate of MacMurray College William Furry began the dedication ceremony held within Annie Merner Chapel due to the heat. Furry says that the marker is one of three that commemorate colleges of significant importance to the state’s history that are no longer active institutions. Furry asked members of the audience to shout out names of members of the MacMurray family that have passed away. He says by uttering their names and by placing the marker, the ideas and the legacy of the college will continue to be remembered for years to come.

The Illinois State Historical Society in partnership with Bound To Stay Bound Books and the MacMurray College Foundation and Alumni Association partnered together for funding to make the new marker.

Dr. Allen Croessmann, a 1968 graduate and former chairman of the MacMurray College Board of Trustees was also another who spearheaded the movement to get the marker placed. Croessmann took members of the audiences on an audio tour of the college’s buildings – ones that are no longer standing as well as current structures – giving brief histories of many of the structures. Croessmann also shared remarks from the archives from speeches given by Lyndon B. Johnson, when he visited the school as then-Vice President in early 1963 as well as words of advice given to graduates by former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt at the college’s commencement in 1947.

The revitalized Old Main marker that sits with the cornerstone of the 2nd Main Hall, which sits in front of the present-day Morgan Co. Health Department complex at East State and North Clay.

President of the MacMurray Foundation and Alumni Association David Ekin gave special thanks to Croessman and the Class of 1974 for sponsoring the update of the Main Hall cornerstone monument that was already in existence at the corner of East State and North Clay in front of the present-day Morgan County Health Department. Ekin also provided special thanks to Otto Roman, the current owner of Rutledge Lawn, where the new monument was placed as well as to former MacMurray staff member and 2004 graduate Sharon Mather in arranging for the marker’s installation.

The ceremony was bookend by a bagpipe-led processional of those in attendance from Annie Merner Chapel outside to the new marker’s site. Alexis Moore, a 2020 graduate, which was the final class to graduate from the school, provided the first reading of the marker to everyone in attendance.

Earlier in the day, the MacMurray Foundation honored several students with scholarships at McClelland Dining Hall as well as 6 alumni for their work towards the last legacy of the college.

The MacMurray College Foundation and Alumni Association announced earlier in the weekend that next year’s alumni weekend has already been planned for the weekend of June 20-24, 2024.