Cathy McLeod


Cathy McLeod, undated. (photo contributed by interviewee)

Interview Transcript


Cathy McLeod


Chicagoan, Cathy McLeod, Mundelein class of 1971, was interviewed by Loyola graduate student, Regina Hong. McLeod was a gifted math student who attended high school classes at the Illinois Institute of Technology. McLoed recalls that her classes were engaging, and her teachers, especially her instructor in argumentative writing, taught her critical thinking skills. During her tenure at Mundelein, McLoed opened a coffee house for her classmates, volunteered for Upward Bound, a summer program for inner city youth, and worked at an IIT affiliated computer center. Many changes took place during McLeod’s time as a student at Mundelein during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Those transformations, including a push for social justice and student activism after the 1970 shooting at Kent State University, framed McLoed’s experiences as a student at Mundelein.

Date Created

August 12, 2020


Cathy McLeod was born in 1949 and raised in Washington Heights, on the far South Side of Chicago, Illinois. She was the first in her family to attend college.

At Mundelein, she majored in mathematics, where she lived on campus at Northland Hall for all four years. McLeod ran a coffeehouse with her classmate for her sophomore and junioyears, submitted computer forms via teletype and worked as a resident assistant (RA) in her senior year. She also volunteered and worked as a math tutor for the Upward Bound program in her freshman and sophomore years and was actively involved in informal student activist efforts on campus.

After graduating from Mundelein, McLeod attended Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) for one year in a Master’s degree program. She then left to move to Cincinnati.

Interviewer Biography

Regina Hong is a graduate student in the Digital Humanities program at Loyola University Chicago and a Sesquicentennial Scholar at the WLA. She was raised in Singapore and lived in Japan for two years prior to moving to Chicago.

Time Log

[0:00 – 5:00]: McLeod’s family background, reasons for choosing Mundelein, reasons for getting interested in math in high school

[5:00 – 10:00]: Reasons for getting interested in math in high school, major at Mundelein, favorite classes at Mundelein, descriptions of memorable assignments in argumentative writing class

[10:00 – 15:00]: Memorable instructors, running the coffeehouse, food and activities at the coffeehouse

[15:00 – 20:00]: Reflections on the role and significance of the coffeehouse, Upward Bound program, memorable moments from the Upward Bound program

[20:00 – 25:00]: Upward Bound schedule in summer, reasons for involvement in Upward Bound, work at the Computer Center, description of teletype

[25:00 – 30:00]: Process of submitting programs remotely, math tutoring during college, reflections on the gender wage gap

[30:00 – 35:00]: Political orientation held during orientation week, ending of freshman tradition of wearing beanies, reflections on peers’ and own answers to what they wanted to get out of their time at Mundelein

[35:00 – 40:00]: Reflection on answer to what she wanted to get out of her time at Mundelein, Beanies and the Big Sister Little Sister program, on-campus activist efforts, March on Washington, Kent State Shooting strike, wearing peace symbols at graduation

[40:00 – 45:00]: Informal nature of on-campus student activist efforts, interactions between students holding different political opinions, faculty involvement in and reaction to on-campus activism

[45:00 – 50:00]: Perceptions of the different cultures in the two dormitories, how roommates were decided, increased diversity of residential student population, number of roommates in one room

[50:00 – 55:00]: Application process for becoming an RA [resident assistant], memorable and challenging moments as an RA, floor meetings

[55:00 – 1:00:00]: Individuals McLeod conferred with for challenging moments as an RA, new students’ apprehensions about the “L”, recollection of the night that Martin Luther King, Jr., was killed, RA duties

[1:00:00 – 1:05:00]: RA duties, Conference on Curriculum [CONCUR], reflections on leadership opportunities and significance of time at Mundelein [Section from 1:00:34:22 – 1:02:20:17 redacted due to privacy issues. See WLA archivist for more information.]

[1:05:00 – 1:10:00] Social events on campus, political climate and effect on social and sporting events, Candlelighting ceremony in dorms

[1:10:00 – 1:13:16] McLeod’s participation in religious activities on campus, reasons for shift in beliefs, current involvement in political activities, reflection on recollections


Anti-war Resistance Movement MC 40-45

Candlelight Vigils MC 35-40

Catholic Faith MC 1:05-1:10

Chicago 1968 Riots MC 55-60

Chicago Elevated Public Transit MC 0-5 MC 55-60

Chicago’s West Side MC 15-20 MC 20-25 MC 35-40

Cincinnati, Ohio MC 45-50

Civil Rights Era MC 15-20

Columbia University MC 30-35

Democratic National Convention, 1968 MC 40-45

Democratic Party MC 1:10-1:15

Feminism MC 1:10-1:15

Formula Translation (FORTRAN) MC 20-25

Fritz, Carol MC 10-15

Great Society Program MC 15-20

Illinois Institute of Technology MC 0-5

Illinois Institute of Technology Computer MC 20-25

Illinois Institute of Technology Gifted Program MC 5-10

Illinois State Science Fairs MC 5-10

Johnson, Lyndon Baines, U. S. President MC 5-10

Kennedy, Kathy MC 10-15 MC 40-45MC 45-50

Kent State University Shootings MC 35-40 MC 40-45

League of Women Voters MC 1:10-1:15

Loyola University Chicago MC 1:05-1:10

Loyola University Chicago Madonna Della Strada Chapel MC 1:10-1:15

Male and Female Wage Gap MC 25-30

March on Washington MC 35-40

Martin Luther King Jr. MC 55-60

Mary Jo, BVM MC 10-15

Moratorium March on Washington MC 30-35

Mundelein College Argumentative Writing Class MC 5-10

Mundelein College Big Sister Little Sister Program MC 35-40

Mundelein College Candle Lighting Ceremony for Engagement MC 1:05-1:10

Mundelein College Chapel MC MC 1:10-1:15

Mundelein College Class of 1970 MC 40-45

Mundelein College Class of 1971 Freshman Beanies MC 30-35 MC 35-40

Mundelein College Coffee House MC 10-15

Mundelein College Coffey Hall MC 45-50

Mundelein College Computer Center MC 20-25

Mundelein College Conference on Curriculum (CONCUR) MC 1:00-1:05 

Mundelein College Diversity MC 45-50

Mundelein College Dormitory Arrangements MC 50-55

Mundelein College Dormitory Culture MC 45-50

Mundelein College History Program MC 5-10

Mundelein College Lockdown MC 55-60

Mundelein College Math Program MC 0-5 MC 5-10

Mundelein College May Day Crowning MC 1:05-1:10

Mundelein College Northland Dormitory MC 10-15 MC 45-50

Mundelein College Philosophy Classes MC 5-10

Mundelein College Piper Hall MC 15-20 MC 40-45

Mundelein College Racial Tension MC 50-55

Mundelein College Resident Assistant MC 45-50 MC 50-55 MC 55-60 MC 1:00-1:05

Mundelein College Skyscraper Student Newspaper MC 30-35 MC 1:05-1:10

Mundelein College Student Strike MC 35-40

Mundelein College Yellow House MC 1:10-1:15

Northwestern University MC 1:05-1:10

Peace Activism MC 35-40 MC 40-45

Planned Parenthood MC 1:10-1:15

Saint Xavier College MC 0-5

Sit-ins MC 40-45

Sklencar, Marge MC 30-35

Social Justice MC 1:10-1:15

Students for Nonviolent Action MC 35-40

University of California Berkeley MC 30-35

Upward Bound Summer Program MC 15-20 MC 20-25 MC 55-60

Upward Bound Tutoring Program MC 20-25

Vietnam War MC 30-35

Washington D.C. MC 35-40

Washington Heights Neighborhood, Chicago, Illinois MC 0-5


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