Eileen Drake, Interview with Melissa Newman, 2022


Eileen Jack Drake, 1970 (WLA, Mundelein College 1970 Yearbook)

Interview Transcript


Eileen Drake, Interview with Melissa Newman, 2022


Eileen Drake was a Social Science major and a Political Science minor, interested in journalism; she graduated from Mundelein in 1970. She talks of her time as a writer, editor, and occasional photographer for Mundelein’s student-produced newspaper, The Skyscraper, as well as the underground insert called Hades. Eileen discusses her decision to join the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) after her freshmen year at Mundelein in 1965. She returned to Mundelein in 1967-1968 as a BVM Novice, living at the Scholasticate. She talks of her decision to leave the BVM order in July 1968, yet continuing her studies at Mundelein until graduating in June 1970.

Content Note: These collections may include language or descriptions of events that may be upsetting to some users.

Date Created

January 10, 2022


Eileen Drake (née Jack) was born in Chicago on September 13, 1946 and moved with her family to Arlington Heights when she was six. Neither of her parents went to college, so Eileen and her three siblings were first generation college graduates. Eileen attended Catholic schools as a child, but did not choose Mundelein for its Catholic associations. She wanted to be a journalist and received a state scholarship, so she chose a college with a journalism program: Mundelein (Northwestern was her other option, but it was too expensive even with the scholarship). By the time Eileen began attending Mundelein, there was no longer a journalism major, but she was able to receive the training she needed through studying social studies, political science, and writing for the student newspaper, The Skyscraper. She enrolled at Mundelein in 1964 and graduated in 1970.
After her freshman year at Mundelein, Eileen joined the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) order to become a nun. She attributes this decision to her admiration for the Sisters teaching at Mundelein and the intellectual stimulation and challenges they imparted on their students. Eileen then left the BVM order after questioning some of the Catholic Church’s stances and the role of women in the church, particularly during a time of societal upheaval. At Mundelein, she was known as "Eileen Jack," Sr. Eileen Marie Jack, BVM, and then, "Eileen Jack" again at graduation. Her younger sister, Linda Jack, also attended Mundelein and graduated in 1972.
Working for The Skyscraper was a large part of Eileen’s time at Mundelein. Sister Sharon Rose was the moderator for the paper, and Eileen remembers having a good relationship with her as they discussed topics for articles. Eileen wrote numerous reviews on books and various art as well as editorial articles; she also photographed events for the newspaper. Eileen was also part of a coalition of editors that produced Mundelein’s underground newspaper Hades that was a 4-page insert in the Skyscraper. The Skyscraper ceased publication in 1969, which Eileen attributes to having more people wanting to physically participate in the political and social actions taking place around the country rather than write about them. She then began working in Mundelein’s public relations office where she wrote articles and took photos for the alumni and donor publication, Mundelein Today.

Interviewer Biography

Melissa Newman was a graduate student in the Public History program at Loyola University Chicago and a graduate assistant at the Women and Leadership Archives 2020-2022.

Time Log

[0:00 - 5:00]: Introductions, family background, how she ended up at Mundelein, love for journalism, picking a major, joining the BVMs and leaving them, and being the first novice or BVM on the student newspaper.
[5:00 - 10:00]: Why she left the BVMs.
[10:00 - 15:00]: Living in Scholasticate and the differences between nuns, novices, and students on campus.
[15:00 - 20:00]: Making friendships in the school newspaper, living in Coffey Hall, and living off campus.
[20:00 - 25:00]: Things she wrote for the newspaper and the underground inserts for the newspaper.
[25:00 - 30:00]: Issues with the newspaper, on campus job, and unrest in Chicago in late sixties, early seventies.
[30:00 - 35:00]: Story about Mundelein students evacuating a burning building the the Chicago Tribune calling them good students unlike the ones protesting and changes to Mundelein.
[35:00 - 40:00]: Taught to be fearless and confident in a male-dominated society and changes in curriculum.
[40:00 - 45:00]: How she met her husband at a mixer, classes she took, and professors she remembers.
[45:00 - 50:00]: Professors continued, no clubs outside of the newspaper, and overlap being Skyscraper and Mundelein Today publications.
[50:00 - 55:00]: Publications work continued and her younger sister attending Mundelein at the same time.
[55:00 - 1:00:00]: Panty raids from Loyola men, Loyola and Mundelein interactions, and her reaction to the merging of the two schools.
[1:00:00 - 1:05:00]: Finding Mundelein in Loyola and giving thanks for doing the project.
[1:05:00 - 1:05:46]: Wrap up.


Air Force Academy, ED 30-35
Albany, New York, ED 50-55
Arlington Heights, ED 0-5
Bend, Oregon, ED 0-5
BVMs (Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary), ED 0-5, ED 5-10, ED 15-20, ED 30-35, ED 40-45, ED 45-50
Catholic Church, ED 5-10
Cathy, ED 45-50
Chicago, ED 0-5, ED 10-15, ED 25-30, ED 45-50, ED 50-55, ED 60-65
Chicago Tribune, ED 30-35
Civil Rights Movement, ED 20-25, ED 25-30
Clark College, ED 10-15
Coffey Hall, ED 15-20, ED 35-40, ED 55-60
Democratic National Convention, ED 25-30
Detroit, ED 35-40
Dominicans, ED 5-10
Drake, Bruce, ED 40-45
Dubuque, Iowa, ED 0-5, ED 10-15, ED 15-20, ED 45-50
Eugene, ED 35-40
Fortune 500, ED 60-65
Gannon Center, ED 60-65
Hades, ED 20-25, ED 25-30
Illinois, ED 0-5
Illinois State Scholarship, ED 0-5, ED 25-30
Jack, Linda, ED 0-5, ED 50-55, ED 60-65
Jack, Mary Lee, ED 50-55
Jack, Sister Eileen Jack, ED 5-10
Jewish, ED 15-20, ED 40-45
Learning Resource Center, ED 30-35
Loyola University Chicago, ED 55-60, ED 60-65
Matasar, Dr. Anne, ED 15-20, ED 40-45
Mundelein College, ED 0-5, ED 5-10, ED 10-15, ED 15-20, ED 20-25, ED 25-30, ED 30-35, ED 35-40, ED 40-45, ED 45-50, ED 50-55, ED 55-60, ED 60-65
Mundelein Today, ED 25-30, ED 45-50, ED 50-55
National Trust for Historic Preservation, ED 35-40
Northland Hall, ED 40-45
Northwestern University, ED 0-5, ED 35-40
Palatine, ED 0-5
Reiher, Emily, ED 60-65
Rogers Park, ED 15-20
Rose, Sister Sharon, ED 10-15, ED 40-45
San Diego, California, ED 50-55
Scholasticate, ED 10-15, ED 15-20
Seattle, Washington, ED 35-40
Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, ED 45-50
Sisters of Mercy, ED 5-10
Skyscraper (Building), ED 10-15, ED 25-30
The Skyscraper (Newspaper), ED 0-5, ED 5-10, ED 15-20, ED 20-25, ED 25-30, ED 40-45, ED 45-50, ED 50-55, ED 55-60
University of Chicago, ED 35-40, ED 40-45, ED 55-60
University of Michigan, ED 35-40, ED 55-60
Washington, D.C., ED 35-40
Wayne State University Detroit, ED 35-40
Wikipedia, ED 60-65
Wilmette, ED 40-45
Women and Leadership Archives, ED 60-65
World War II, ED 0-5
World Wildlife Fund US, ED 35-40


The materials contained on this portal are freely available for scholarship, or non-commercial research under the “fair use” provisions of US copyright law. Prior written permission is required for any use that exceeds “fair use” including publication, broadcast, for placing on another web site, or for any paid or commercial use. Contact wlarchives@luc.edu.

Item sets