Kathleen Riley, Interview with Melissa Newman, 2022


Kathleen Riley (Photograph provided by Interviewee)

Interview Transcript


Kathleen Riley, Interview with Melissa Newman, 2022


Kathy attended Mundelein in the 1960s, a contentious time in America, and as a result learned a lot about herself and her ideals regarding religion, feminism, and social justice. She talks about riding down to Alabama during her freshmen year to participate in the civil rights march that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led from Selma to Montgomery in March of 1965. Her experiences from that led her to become an Upward Bound counselor when the program started up the following summer. She also remembers the Speakeasies Mundelein held where people from all walks of life would come and speak to students about their lives and experiences. Influential professors for Kathy include Sister Sharon Rose, Ann Matasar, Russel Barta, and Al Miller.

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Date Created

March 10, 2022


Kathleen (Kathy) Riley was born in Chicago, but moved with her family to Hammond, Indiana when she was a child. They moved back to Chicago when Kathy was fifteen. She became aware of Mundelein College through a flyer posted on a bulletin board at her high school and liked the scholarship and housing options. Kathy lived at Northland Hall five days a week with her roommates Kelly, Diane, and Janice.

Kathy majored in journalism and social science with a concentration on political science and graduated in 1968. She wrote for The Skyscraper newspaper, which was under the supervisor of Sister Sharon Rose, and was an Upward Bound counselor over the summers.

She moved to Denver, Colorado in her twenties and attended graduate school. Then moved to Japan and taught English there for twenty years. Kathy has since moved back to Denver and has been retired for ten years.

Interviewer Biography

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

Time Log

[0:00 - 5:00]: Introductions, Kathleen’s family and upbringing, how she ended up at Mundelein, and commuting and living on campus.

[5:00 - 10:00]: Campus living, roommates, and nightly prayers.

[10:00 - 15:00]: Campus activities, the Skyscraper school newspaper, trying to go on a trip to Selma for the last leg of Martin Luther King Jr.’s march.

[15:00 - 20:00]: Campus job and going to the march.

[20:00 - 25:00]: Upward Bound, picking a major, and wanting more autonomy for the school newspaper.

[25:00 - 30:00]: Upward Bound in depth.

[30:00 - 35:00]: Classes Kathleen took and professors she had. Secular Buddhism.

[35:00 - 40:00]: More classes and professors. Dating scene at Mundelein.

[40:00 - 45:00]: Dating scene continued. Off-campus places frequented. How Mundelein has changed over the years.

[45:00 - 50:00]: Mundelein changing continued. Loyola’s impact on Mundelein when Kathleen went there. Favorite on campus spots. Vatican II.

[50:00 - 54:43]: Favorite memories from Mundelein and wrap up.


Art Institute, KR 40-45

Baez, Joan, KR 15-20

Barta, Dr. Russell, KR 35-40, KR 50-55

Bible, KR 30-35

Buddhism, KR 30-35

BVMs (Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary), KR 40-45, KR 50-55

Catholic/Catholicism, KR 0-5, KR 5-10, KR 10-15, KR 30-35, KR 35-40, KR 40-45, KR 45-50, KR 50-55

Chicago, KR 0-5, KR 10-15, KR 15-20, KR 35-40

Christianity, KR 50-55

Civil Rights Movement, KR 15-20

Coffey Hall, KR 5-10

Confederacy, KR 15-20

Cook County, KR 5-10

Communist, KR 5-10

Denver, Colorado, KR 0-5

Diane, KR 5-10

Engaged Buddhism, KR 30-35

Gloria, KR 25-30

Hammond, Indiana, KR 0-5, KR 40-45

Janice, KR 5-10

Japan, KR 0-5, KR 30-35

Johnson, Lyndon B., KR 20-25

Kelly, KR 5-10, KR 10-15

Lady Lourdes, KR 0-5

Lake Michigan, KR 40-45

Learning Resource Center, KR 45-50

Loyola Avenue, KR 40-45

Loyola University Chicago, KR 15-20, KR 45-50

Lutheran, KR 45-50, KR 50-55

Macy’s, KR 40-45

Madonna della Strada, KR 30-35

Marshall Fields, KR 40-45

Martin Luther King Jr., KR 10-15, KR 15-20

Matasar, Dr. Anne, KR 20-25, KR 50-55

McCormick Lounge, KR 5-10

Miller, Al, KR 35-40

Montgomery, Alabama, KR 10-15, KR 45-50, KR 50-55

Moran, Gay, KR 40-45

Mundelein College, KR 0-5, KR 5-10, KR 10-15, KR 15-20, KR 20-25, KR 25-30, KR 30-35, KR 35-40, KR 40-45, KR 45-50, KR 50-55

Northern Illinois University, KR 40-45

Northland Hall, KR 5-10, KR 25-30, KR 45-50

Notre Dame University, KR 35-40

Palatine, KR 0-5

Phil, KR 35-40, KR 40-45

Pope Francis, KR 50-55

Pope John XXIII, KR 45-50

Protestant, KR 0-5, KR 30-35

Putin, Vladimir, KR 20-25

Red Garter, KR 40-45

Rose, Sister Sharon, KR 10-15, KR 20-25, KR 35-40

Rush Street, KR 40-45

Russian National Committee, KR 20-25

Sangha, KR 30-35

Secular Buddhism, KR 30-35

Selma, KR 10-15, KR 15-20, KR 20-25, KR 50-55

Selma-Montgomery March, KR 20-25

Sheridan Road, KR 40-45

Simon and Garfunkel, KR 10-15, KR 40-45

Sisters of Loretto, KR 35-40

Skyscraper (Building), KR 5-10, KR 10-15

The Skyscraper (newspaper), KR 10-15, KR 15-20, KR 20-25

Smith Corona, KR 5-10

Speak Easy, KR 5-10, KR 10-15

Steinmetz High School, KR 0-5, KR 40-45

Tea Room, KR 45-50

Thích Nhất Hạnh, KR 30-35

Upward Bound, KR 5-10, KR 10-15, KR 15-20, KR 20-25, KR 25-30, KR 50-55

Vatican II, KR 45-50

Vietnam War, KR 20-25, KR 30-35

Women’s Leadership Program, KR 45-50

Yellow House, KR 40-45, KR 45-50


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