|Julia Huiskamp DC `57|
Julia Huiskamp DC `57
What being an alumna means to me…
Manhattanville College was an experience in making lifelong friends, of learning about serious scholarship, and of developing a religious and ethical framework with which to approach the problems of life.
Although I have worked with very poor persons of a different race for most of my professional life, and my companions at Manhattanville were generally from a much more privileged background, the lessons of respect for the person, and the admonition to judge by character, not by externals, has stood me very well.
The rigorous scholarship demanded at Manhattanville has also stood me well when developing arguments for social advocacy. Manhattanville was not about the superficial. Life is not about the superficial. How great to have learned that lesson in college!
Sr. Julia Huiskamp was born in Keokuk, Iowa, and graduated from public high school, entering Manhattanville as a freshman in 1953, graduating with a BA in political science in 1957.
After working briefly as a reporter-photographer for a small daily newspaper in Iowa, Sr. Huiskamp entered the Catholic religious order of Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul. She went on to teach grade school for four years and then attended St Louis University to obtain a Master's of Social Work degree. After obtaining the MSW, she was sent to Marillac House, a large multi-purpose settlement house on Chicago’s west side. She did a variety of social work tasks, ending up as administrator from 1979-85. In 1985 Sr. Huiskamp was sent to East St Louis, IL to begin some new work for the poor.
The new work was Griffin Center, a public-private partnership with the East St Louis Housing Authority which provides after school recreation, tutoring computer access to some 460 very low income children who reside in six public housing complexes. They also operate summer day camps for the same children. All services are free.
Sr. Huiskamp is currently business manager of the Agency and does social work with the families of the children. She has also been involved in advocacy for programs which assist very low income families at the state and national levels.
Recently, she received the St Vincent de Paul medal from DePaul University in Chicago, the St. Rose of Lima life time award from Aquinas Institute in St Louis and the Liberty Bell award from the St Clair Co Bar Association.