Two Quill and Scroll members share their lives since high school
Literally cutting and pasting is what it took for Dolores Strauss and her fellow students to create their high school newspaper in 1947. The Quill and Scroll alumnus described the detailed process of typing everything and using make-up pages to actually paste the content on the page before sending it to the printer. Everything was done by hand.
Strauss is just one of the many Quill and Scroll alumni who went through the process of publishing a high school newspaper without a computer. Jack Egan, a 1951 graduate, also understood what it meant to write without a computer – a foreign concept for many high school students today.
As Quill and Scroll looks back at 85 years of service, the organization spoke with two alumni whose experiences differed greatly from current high school students.
Strauss recently gave her grandson’s new wife, a schoolteacher, her Quill and Scroll pin on a chain to wear around her neck. The Quill and Scroll alumnus said the honor society is a great organization. She continues writing.
“I guess I loved the use of the English language,” Strauss said. “I used to write to express myself with words. I just didn’t write a sentence, I used a lot of adverbs, a lot of expressions.”
A 1947 graduate of Roosevelt High School in Yonkers, N.Y., Strauss was the managing editor of the student newspaper, The Crimson Echo. After graduation, she was planning to attend the Columbia School of Journalism in New York but instead got a job during the summer at Good Housekeeping magazine, a part of the Hearst magazine group. When a position opened in the makeup department at Harper’s Bazaar, the company sent Strauss there to fill in. She ended up staying in the position and writing for the magazine for several years. Strauss called it a “lucky break.”
Strauss then went on to raise her family and also owned a Bed and Breakfast in the 1980’s.
The optimistic Strauss also put together the special 50th reunion 1997 edition of The Crimson Echo. She keeps busy and is currently creating a scrapbook for her children. When she is not in New York, Strauss also spends six months a year in Maine hosting at a Bed and Breakfast.
“I’m in my early 80’s but I’m still working,” Strauss said. “I’m enjoying life.”
Jack Egan also appreciated his time in Quill and Scroll. Egan was the ninth member in the Big Inch Club, an honor Quill and Scroll presented to high school students who produced 10,000 column inches – the equivalent of writing an entire front page of a newspaper for three months. Egan was the sports editor for his high school newspaper at Joliet Catholic High School in Illinois. Most of his inches appeared in the Joliet newspaper, The Herald News, where he reported on Catholic High sports and spent one summer working full time in the editorial department.
After graduating in 1951, Egan attended the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champagne. He also later earned an MBA from Northwestern University. Egan worked at the Chicago Sun-Times as a sports reporter for several years before joining the public relations department at J. Walter Thompson. After his time there, Egan went to work at the Continental Bank, the largest bank in Chicago at the time, and ended his career there as the senior vice president of corporate communications.
“High school journalism was the key,” Egan said of his expansive career.
For both Strauss and Egan, being on their high school newspaper staffs paved the way for their journalistic and related professional careers.