150 Years of Women
Several alumnae groups make an impact that is felt across Northwestern — through financial support for people and programs, the creation of continuing education programs that share the University’s academic resources with the greater community, and professional opportunities that develop the next generation of women leaders.
On a Saturday afternoon in late March, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Genevieve Thiers ’04 MMus opens the balcony doors of her home in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. She sets her iPhone on a music stand and cues up the app that will be her accompaniment.
Jasmine Warga ’10 won a John Newbery Honor in January for her recent book "Other Words from Home," a story about a 12-year-old Syrian refugee named Jude who lives in Ohio with her mother while her father and brother remain in Syria. The award-winning young adult author shares how her family’s immigrant background shapes her writing.
Kristen Schaal ’00 makes an indelible impression. Her sweet, singsong and slightly manic voice belies the many comically subversive roles she has played, but no matter how sly her portrayals, you always feel like Schaal is letting you in on the joke.
A chance encounter at a used-book store sent Brigid Hughes ’94 on a mission to rescue the forgotten work of a once-celebrated Chicago author. Bette Howland was “one of the significant writers of her generation” in the words of Saul Bellow ’37, ’62 H, but her work had nearly been lost to history when Hughes came across her 1974 memoir, W-3.
Many Northwestern alumni consider themselves Wildcats for life, but when you spend three years playing the role of Willie the Wildcat, it becomes part of your identity. Zoe Goodman proudly served as the University’s mascot from 2010 to 2013.
In April 1992 — just a few weeks before graduating from Northwestern with a degree in communication studies — Megan Conway Romano walked into Charlie Trotter’s on Halsted Street in Chicago looking for a job in the world of food. Even though she had no formal training, she eventually landed a position in the kitchen, working for a few hundred dollars a week.
Louise Kiernan’s reporting at the Cook County juvenile court profoundly changed her understanding of journalism and how she wanted to approach it. She says journalism education at its best brings us into the places and lives that transform the way we think about the world.
It was a century and a half ago that women were first given the opportunity to enroll at Northwestern as undergraduates. To mark the 150th anniversary of coeducation we are championing our remarkable community of individuals, who have taken risks, charted their own course and inspired change throughout our history and today.
After earning her performance studies master's degree, actor and writer Ashley Nicole Black ’08 MS became a TV star. She hopes her career sets an example for other diverse voices.