Marguerite Phillips Britton, Interview with Scarlett Andes, 2020


Marguerite Phillips Britton photo is cropped from the Mundelein College Class Photo for the Class of 1959, Mundelein College Records.

Interview Transcript


Marguerite Phillips Britton, Interview with Scarlett Andes, 2020


1959 Mundelein College graduate, Marge (Marguerite) Phillips Britton discusses her student life and subsequent career with Loyola graduate student, Scarlett Andes. Britton describes her English and journalism classes and her teachers, in particular the nuns, whom she characterizes as professional women. During her college years, Britton participated in multiple extracurricular activities including the debate team and the Skyscraper student newspaper. Britton’s social life at Mundelein is featured in her story, including her vibrant encounters with other students and faculty in Piper Hall, the Mundelein building’s elevators, the swimming pool, and the tea room. Britton recounts her early career as both a journalist and a mother and completes the interview by discussing women’s expanding career options.

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Date Created

July 15, 2020


Marge (Marguerite) Phillips Britton (née Phillips) was raised in Chicago, Illinois, about a mile from Mundelein College. Her mother took care of her grandmother, who lived in the same apartment building. After attending high school, Marge decided to go to Mundelein College to study English and Journalism. While at Mundelein, Marge and her friend from high school, Alice Bourke Hayes, founded a debate team and traveled across the country. Marge also worked on the staff of the Skyscraper student newspaper. While in school, she took a summer job at a local newspaper that began her career in journalism, which she pursued for many years, followed by many years working in public relations. Shortly after graduating from Mundelein in 1959, Marge met her husband, whom she married a few years later, and with whom she had six children. As of writing in August 2020, her children all live in Illinois, she has ten grandchildren, and she still lives in the same area of Chicago where she grew up.

Interviewer Biography

Scarlett Andes is a graduate student in the Public History Master’s program at Loyola University Chicago and is a Sesquicentennial Scholar at the WLA, working on projects to mark Loyola’s 150th anniversary. She grew up in Vernon Hills, Illinois and studied anthropology at the University of Illinois.

Time Log

Sister Ann Harrington, BVM
Interview with Scarlett Andes, July 21, 2020
Via Zoom
Time Log

0-5 minutes
Introduction, reasons for choosing to attend Mundelein, family, majors at Mundelein, class sizes, journalism class assignments
5-10 minutes
English classes, the nuns at Mundelein as professional women, other teachers, Father Clark taking students off campus to Hamilton’s, socializing at the Loyola Union, classmates, studying at Piper Hall
10-15 minutes
Piper Hall, working on the Skyscraper student newspaper, the Skyscraper office, being on the Mundelein debate team with Alice Bourke Hayes
15-20 minutes
Debate topics, other members of the team, traveling with the debate team, the debate coach, different treatment at non-women’s colleges, commuting to campus as a dayhop
20-25 minutes
Starting the debate team with Alice Bourke Hayes, living off campus, graduation, faculty, entertainment, Christmas, May Crowning
25-30 minutes
Religious attendance as personal choice, other 1950s events at Mundelein, BVM and lay faculty, Dan Cahill helping Britton make a decision about journalism jobs, first journalism job in Skokie, IL
30-35 minutes
Working while having children, laying out newspaper columns while in the hospital, working for the Lerner papers on the North Side of Chicago, working in Public Relations for the North Side Real Estate Board (later Chicago Association of Realtors), Britton’s children’s careers and families,
35-40 minutes
Meeting her husband, his career, sharing birthdays, memories of the Mundelein Tea Room and the Loyola Student Union, the Mundelein swimming team and pool
40-45 minutes
The Mundelein swimming team’s shows, the Civil Rights movement, student and faculty activism, covering activism in the Skyscraper, digitized Mundelein documents, staying in touch with Alice Bourke Hayes, story about Hayes’ boyfriend bringing fertilizer up in an elevator for Hayes’ biology project,
45-50 minutes
Story continued, the Mundelein elevators, encountering women religious in the elevators and discussing marriage, Britton’s career and marriage choices, Mundelein encouraging students to do anything they wanted to do, Britton and her classmates’ accomplishments after college, continuity of that lesson for today’s students, women’s career options when Britton graduated
50-55 minutes
Women’s career options, going back to school for continuing education


Marguerite Phillips Britton 2020 Index

MPB= Marguerite Phillips Britton 2020 Interview

Cahill, Dan MPB 25-30
Cecelia, Sister MPB 25-30
Chicago Association of Realtors MPB 30-35
Chicago Elevated Public Transit MPB 15-20
Chicago’s North Side MPB 30-35
Civil Rights Movement MPB 40-45
Clark, Father MPB 5-10
Como, Perry MPB 20-25
Dempsey, Michael, Ryan, Bp. MPB 5-10
Electoral College MPB 15-20
Floyd, George MPB 40-45
Gannon, Ida, BVM, MPB 20-25
Glencoe, Illinois MPB 30-35
Hamilton’s Bar MPB 5-10
Hayes, Alice Bourke MPB 10-15 MPB 15-20 MPB 20-25 MPB 40-45 MPB 50-55
Humphrey, Hubert MPB15-20
Illinois School District 211 MPB 30-35
Jergen, Carol Frances, BVM, MPB 20-25
Joliet, Illinois MPB 0-5
Journalism MPB 0-5 10-15 MPB 30-35 MPB 45-50
Labourie MPB 5-10
Lerner Newspapers MPB 30-35
Loyola University Chicago Lewis Tower MPB 35-40
Loyola University Chicago Madonna Della Strada Chapel MPB 25-30
Loyola University Chicago MPB 5-10 MPB 35-40 MPB 40-45
Loyola University Chicago Student Newspaper MPB 10-15 MPB 40-45
Loyola University Chicago Student Union  MPB 5-10 MPB 10-15 MPB 35-40
Loyola University Chicago Economics Department MPB 50-55
Mary Seat of Wisdom Parish, Park Ridge, Illinois MPB 5-10
Mundelein College Alumni Newspaper MPB 30-35
Mundelein College Auditorium MPB 20-25
Mundelein College Biology Department MPB 25-30 MPB 40-45
Mundelein College Chapel MPB 25-30
Mundelein College Christmas Candle Lighting Ceremony MPB 20-25
Mundelein College Class Days MPB 20-25
Mundelein College Class of 1959 MPB 20-25
Mundelein College Debate Team MPB 10-15 MPB 15-20 MPB 20-25
Mundelein College Graduation MPB 20-25
Mundelein College Library MPB 5-10
Mundelein College May Crowning MPB 20-25
Mundelein College Pendulum MPB 5-10
Mundelein College Piper Hall MPB 5-10
Mundelein College Skyscraper Building Elevator MPB 5-10 MPB 45-50
Mundelein College Skyscraper Student Newspaper MPB 10-15 MPB 25-30 MPB 40-45
Mundelein College Skyscraper Swimming Pool MPB 35-40
Mundelein College Skyscraper Solarium MPB 5-10 MPB 40-45
Mundelein College Swimming Team MPB 35-40 MPB 40-45
Mundelein College Tea Room MPB 35-40
Mundelein College Turtle Derbies MPB 25-30
North Side Real Estate Board, Chicago MPB 30-35
Northwestern University MPB 0-5 MPB 15-20
Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law MPB 35-40
Notre Dame University MPB 15-20
Public Relations MPB 30-35
R.R. Donnelley MPB 35-40
Rhodes Scholar MPB 15-20
San Diego University MPB 10-15 MPB 40-45
Selma Marches MPB 40-45
Shakespeare MPB 5-10
Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary MPB 25-30 MPB 45-50
Skokie, Illinois MPB 25-30
St. Francis School, Joliet, Illinois MPB 0-5
United States Air Force MPB 35-40
West Point Military Academy MPB 15-20
Winnetka, Illinois MPB 30-35
Winthrop Mansion MPB 15-20


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