In the last issue of the Alumni Pipeline, readers were asked if they remember former MC admission representative Irma Allen, who at 92 is alive and well and living in the St. Louis area. Three alumni said they did, indeed:
Do I remember Irma Allen?
As a high school senior at Jersey Community High School in Irma's hometown of Jerseyville, Ill., I had long made up my mind to attend University of Illinois. After being accepted, I visited the Champaign campus with my family and was overwhelmed by the size of the university.
Feeling I wasn't ready for such a huge school, I began leafing through the many college recruitment materials I had received in previous months and came upon information from Monmouth College about a scholarship competition. But the competition was only a week away! My high school guidance counselor put me in touch with Irma, the area representative for MC. Finding myself on her doorstep a day or two later, I was ill-prepared for the force of nature I was about to encounter.
Upon ringing her doorbell, I was promptly ushered in and given an application to complete. I barely had a chance to blink. Within minutes, Irma was on the phone with the MC admissions office, had me admitted to the college and entered in the competition. My first visit to the campus was that very weekend.
I adored the size of the campus and the friendliness of students, faculty and staff. I found high school friend Heidi Schwab (now Saddoris) was a student there, met many wonderful people, was offered a scholarship and knew I had found my home for the next four years.
Once on campus, I was fortunate to be employed in the admissions office and enjoyed extending my association with Irma through her campus visits with prospective students. Irma also loved hosting her recruits at a backyard swim party before the beginning of each school year. I think she considered each and every one of us as her own.
I continue to live in the Metro East area and have the pleasure of running into Irma from time to time. Her 90th birthday celebration was a beautiful day in Jerseyville, and I was happy to have the opportunity to visit with her for a short while on her special day.
This amazing woman is responsible for many, many students having had the experience of Monmouth College. Thankfully, I am one of them.
Do I remember Irma Allen? How could I ever forget her!
Paula Rundell Brooks ’83
I am one of the many students Irma Allen recruited to attend Monmouth. If it hadn’t been for Irma, I may not have attended college at all. As the first person in my family to attend college (to include the first of 22 cousins), it was a huge step for me and my family. Irma was always there helping me and my mother navigate the maze of paperwork and decisions, and making the right things happen to get me to college – and to Monmouth College in particular.
Since graduating from Monmouth, I’ve gone on to obtain three graduate degrees, have retired from a successful Army career, and am now enjoying challenging and rewarding work in my “second career.” I owe so much to Irma Allen and will be forever grateful for all of her personal attention, caring and assistance.
Susan Sandner Gibson ’81
Deputy General Counsel, Management
Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Oh my, I will never forget Irma Allen! She is the number one reason why I chose Monmouth College. I never wanted to visit any other college, and I never did. I thought larger college campuses were too much for me and Monmouth was the right fit, because of the small class sizes. When Irma invited me for a visit to Monmouth College, I was so excited, but a little worried that I wouldn't be able to attend due to the cost. I still remember riding up to MC with other students from the Alton area, and we had so much fun. She definitely made the trip memorable. Every time she took prospective students to MC, she would take them to a restaurant on the way. She pointed out a favorite landmark of mine on the way, which was a windmill. Every time I see that windmill, I think of my first trip to MC. Now, my mom and I both love that windmill because I told her how much it meant to me. When we finally arrived at MC, Irma had arranged a stay with a current student and we got to experience dorm life. She had meal tickets for us and all the extras! After a couple visits, Irma sat down with my mom, who was a single mother at the time, and helped her with the financial aid packet. Unbelievably, I received a lot of financial aid and grants to attend for my freshman year. I could not believe that I was going to college! Ever since I graduated, I wanted to be an "Irma Allen recruiter" for other students. I take prospective students to MC every chance I get. I also worked at a college and I was able to assist students with their college choices, and I was also able to help parents with questions they had about the whole college admission process. I cannot thank Irma enough for such a wonderful experience and for introducing me to Monmouth College. One time I saw her at Walmart and gave her a great big hug. She still remembered me, and I felt so honored. THANK YOU IRMA ALLEN for lifelong memories!
Kimberly Griffin Cruz ’84