Marilyn 1964

Which Menaul School teacher had the biggest impact on you?

Ruth Barber

What was your favorite class?

Trigonometry – I was the only girl in the class!

Describe an unforgettable memory associated with Menaul School:

During a school vacation a few of us were there to take the college entrance exams. We decided to leave the dorm after lights out to meet the boys by the football field. We went to the drive-in – Larry’s, I think. We returned to the football field and Rusty acted like the announcer for a football game. We returned to the dorm without further incident.

Do you remember what it felt like to be a part of the community at the school?

We were like one big family.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to students coming behind you?

Enjoy your time at Menaul and pay close attention to your school work and join in activities.

One quarter of our students come from abroad, or other states. What is your favorite thing about living in New Mexico?

I live in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. New Mexico is unique among the US states. Learn about all the cultures and visit as many small towns as you can. Santa Fe is my hometown so I recommend you spend time at “The City Different.” Much to see and enjoy!

Why Menaul?

Menaul made it possible for me to even think about going to college because my older sister also was a Menaul graduate. Her ashes were spread in the area adjacent to Barber Hall. Her name was Olivia Evalyn Vigil McCoy, class of 1955.

Olivia Evalyn Vigil McCoy
January 24, 1937 – March 7, 2015


My earliest memory is as a child of 4 or 5. Evalyn was 10 or 11. We are playing school. She is the teacher, of course. She has a primary reader to use. Evie is patient with me as “the teacher” works with the student and I learn to read before ever entering any school building!

I remember being jealous of her independence when I was in grade school. Our mother was working as a cook at Allison James for the evening meal. The plan was that Evie should be home to watch me after school and then prepare supper including making tortillas for the family evening meal. Apparently one or both of my brothers refuse to eat without tortillas. I run home just hoping she isn’t there so I can go to the neighbor’s house to use the phone to call Mama to tell on Evalyn.

Evalyn moves away from home to live at Allison James in 9th grade. After that we never lived together again. Although we didn’t live in the same house we write letters to each other. I am always eager to get her letters. She describes a life at Menaul and then at college at Macalester in St. Paul that I yearn for. She is meeting such interesting people from all over the world! She plans to be a social worker and therefore so do I. She entered a 3-year combined program at the University of Chicago and McCormick Seminary earning a master’s degree in social work and a certificate in Church and Community.

Following her first year in graduate school I was fortunate to be admitted to Macalester. Evie and I board a train at Lamy together to get me settled in St. Paul. We stay with the Homer Townsend family. Mr. Townsend had been the superintendent at Menaul and is now working at Macalester. Evie and I interview families for me to live with and work for board and room. After I am settled, she continues on to Chicago. We increase our letter writing. After my sophomore year in college, Evie has completed her degrees and lives and works at Howell House, a settlement house operated by the Presbyterian Church. My guess is that she decided to do that to save money so she could pay the remainder of my bill at Macalester College so I could live the last 2 years of my college time in a dorm, which was my preference.

Evie worked for many years at Howell House and then at United Charities of Chicago as the leader of a small group of workers at the Henry Horner Homes, a huge public housing project. She was then recruited to begin a Bachelor’s social work program at Northeastern Illinois University.

Evie and Marilyn

What are you up to now?

I am Professor Emeritus from Metro State University in St. Paul, Minnesota. However I continue to teach one class online every semester. I try to visit New Mexico every summer.

Sea la luz!

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