1926-35 • Establishing an Identity
Humble beginnings gave way to modest successes during St. Joseph’s second decade, even as the country suffered an economic collapse at the hands of the Great Depression. Reaching 439 students in 1935, the college’s rising enrollment was supported by the addition of two buildings and the purchase of other property for continued expansion.
Increasing its draw on area students, the College secured full accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and a permanent charter from the New York State Department of Education.
St. Joseph’s also expanded its curriculum to include child development classes. This led to the creation in 1934 of one of the East Coast’s first laboratory preschools. The program’s success established St. Joseph’s as one of the best and most innovative institutions for teacher preparation in New York City, a reputation it continues to enjoy.
Mary Elizabeth McLoughlin Farrell ’25
St. Joseph’s College first alumni director • U.S. Navy lieutenant during WWII
For a century, St. Joseph’s College has been known for its family-like community. Small class sizes, personal relationships with faculty and an extended alumni base: hallmarks of a close-knit education.
However, for its first two decades, SJC’s family was considerably smaller. The initial graduating classes were numbered in the teens and it took years to build up a significant alumni base.
Thankfully, during the 1930s, that slowly expanding number was bolstered by one family: The McLoughlins.
Ms. Farrell, after serving as a U.S. Navy lieutenant during World War II and raising a family of seven children, would become the College’s first-ever alumni director in 1966, connecting graduates to their friends from decades past.
From her early years at SJC, Ms. Farrell helped start many initiatives at SJC, including the Alumnagram newsletter, the annual phonathon, the Alumnae Annual Giving program and collecting alumni vital statistics to increase interest and support. After her passing in 2009, St. Joseph’s College dedicated its alumni room in Tuohy Hall to Ms. Farrell and established the Mary E. McLoughlin Farrell ‘35 Scholarship.
– DAVID HENNE