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Three of MacMurray College's Presidents Had DePauw Ties

September 24, 2015

East College is 1An article tracing the history of presidents at MacMurray College in the Journal-Courier of Jacksonville, Illinois, notes that three of the institution's previous leaders have connections to DePauw University.

"James Jaquess became the first president of the Illinois Conference Female Academy after its establishment in 1846," writes Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree. "Born in Posey, Indiana, in 1819, Jaquess received his bachelor's degree in 1845 from Asbury College (now DePauw University) before receiving a master's degree from McKendree College in 1848. As a member of the Illinois Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, he worked throughout Illinois. After leaving the school, Jaquess acted as president for another college before serving as an army chaplain during the Civil War. Jaquess died in 1898."

MacMurray's ninth president, Louis Norris, served from 1952-1960. "It was while he was a professor at DePauw University that he was offered the position of president at MacMurray College for Women. During his tenure, Norris help in the establishment of the MacMurray College for Men in 1955, although the two genders remained separate until 1967. After leaving MacMurray, he continued in education before moving to Washington, D.C. Norris died in 1986."

The 11th president of MacMurray, John Wittich, led the college from 1968-1980. "Born and raised near Chicago, Wittich received degrees from DePauw University, the University of New Mexico and Stanford University before beginning a career in higher education. Wittich took over the position as MacMurray president after a stint as the executive director of the College Student Personnel Institute in California. During his time at MacMurray College, Wittich was instrumental in improving the college's finances and maintaining a peaceful atmosphere during several years of protesting by students. After leaving, Wittich continued in education." (at left: Wittich in 1962)

John J. Wittich '44 worked for his alma mater for a decade, beginning in 1952, serving as director of admissions and the Edward Rector Scholarship Foundation.

Mark J. Tierno took over as MacMurray's 16th president this fall.

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