Website Established For Research on MacMurray College’s Involvement in WWII

By Benjamin Cox on February 2, 2023 at 5:10am

Mary Anna Martin '43 attended MacMurray College prior to becoming a WASP during WWII. She remained an advocate for WASPs recognition for the entirety of her life.

The MacMurray College Alumni Foundation has announced some important completed research into MacMurray College’s involvement in World War II.

Coordinator of the MacMurray College Archive Collection and Jacksonville Area Museum Curator McKenna Servis has completed the research that focuses on the college’s complete involvement in the war effort. MacMurray was still an all-women’s college at the time so the focus is completely about women and the war effort, making it unique.

According to a press release from the Association, highlights of the research include a website full of stories and vintage photographs about MacMurray students at The research includes a statement from then-President Dr. Clarence P. McClelland about the evolving role and greater responsibilities women needed to assume during the war effort; information about students who left the college to assist and volunteer in the war effort across several different national facets like the Women’s Army Corp and the Women Air Force Service Pilots or WASPs, and a special page devoted to Hazel Sugawara.

Sugawara was a young woman of Japanese descent who lived in Seattle, who along with her family was relocated to one of the U.S. Internment camps in Idaho and was brought to MacMurray College as a part of the relocation of Japanese-American students. Photos of her and her families internment are also included in the collection.

MacMurray Foundation Chair David Ekin says that Servis’ research highlights the history of the now-closed college’s national importance and shows the need for further potential research into the records and archives of the college’s past. Ekin will be joining AM1180 WLDS for “What’s On Your Mind” later this month.