Larson College’s living legacy on display at Arnold Bernhard Library throughout Women’s History Month

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs hosted on Thursday two members of Larson College’s final graduating class at the Arnold Bernhard Library for the unveiling of a new exhibit commemorating the private women’s college’s merger with Quinnipiac in 1952.

Ruth Barnett ’52 and Anne Balogh ’52 embraced in front of the exhibit and immediately began reminiscing about their time as students, swapping stories about their families and the many get-togethers that kept them connected to fellow members of Larson’s alumnae chapter over the years.

Barnett, 90, and Balogh, 91, both of whom majored in medical studies at the two-year college before embarking on pioneering careers in the industry, were led to a brief ceremony before serving as the guests of honor at a luncheon, during which a slideshow offering a rare glimpse of Quinnipiac history was shown.

“The mounting of this exhibition has been a wonderful way for the library to present to the campus community and visitors to the university an important chapter in Quinnipiac history, a chapter that continues to impact Quinnipiac today,” said Bob Young, Quinnipiac’s public services librarian.

Young was introduced by Heather Alpaugh, senior director of alumni affairs, who thanked the two women for their many contributions to the alumni community and for serving as ambassadors for such a pivotal moment in Quinnipiac history.

“With it being Women’s History Month, we could think of no better way to partner with our friends and colleagues at the library than with this exhibit honoring our fabulous Larson College alumnae, and as you can tell by our smiles, we’re so excited to have you both here today,” Alpaugh said.

Among the items on display in the library rotunda are patches, pennants, copies of the school’s annual yearbook and other printed materials, a maroon-and-white Larson College banner and articles of clothing bearing the Larson name and insignia.

Additionally, archival photographs and press clippings will be mounted in various locations throughout the library for the duration of this month. The exhibit is the first in a series of planned retrospectives meant to honor Quinnipiac’s heritage in advance of the university’s centennial celebration in 2029.

Founded in 1911 by George Larson and his wife, Olga, Larson Shorthand Tutoring School was originally located at the corner of Church and Center Streets in New Haven before a series of moves led to a more permanent stay at 1450 Whitney Avenue in Hamden beginning in 1931. From the time of the merger in 1952 through the construction of the Mount Carmel Campus in 1966, the Larson complex — which included residential buildings and athletic facilities — served as Quinnipiac’s main campus.

Though initially conceived as a school for training students in shorthand, Larson Junior College delivered on its promise of “unique careers for modern young women” by expanding its curricula to include medical technology, secretarial science and fashion marketing. The school also prepared students to transfer to four-year colleges.

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