Lucille Holt
Lucille norton morning star 1935-09-18

Full name

Lucille Norton Holt

Alternative names

Lucile Norton Holt

Presence at Shimer


Presence on Earth



Academy period alum


Seattle, WA

Lucille Holt, née Lucille Norton, was a student at Shimer College during the Academy period, enrolling in the junior college division in 1935.

Prior to enrolling at Shimer, she had been enrolled at the University of Chicago, but was withdrawn when her uncle (Charles Walgreen) learned that she had been exposed to Communistic influences at the University, which led to a national scandal and an investigation by the Illinois state legislature. The controversy appears to have originated in part from the presence of works by Karl Marx among the readings for the course now known as Social Sciences 1.

If indoctrination was attempted, it does not appear to have been successful. In 2000, Mrs. Holt donated more than $1300 to the Dan Quayle presidential campaign.[1]

Shimer connectionsEdit


  • in "Girl Quotes Professor As Approving Free Love", UP, Reading Eagle, 1935-05-25:
    Chicago, May 15 (U.P.) -- Charges by Charles R. Walgreen, millionaire druggist, that his 18-year-old niece was taught to approve Communism and free love at the University of Chicago were substantiated today in records of a state senate investigating committee by the niece herself, Miss Lucille Norton.
    Before the legislative committee adjourned its hearing indefinitely yesterday, Miss Norton, a freshman at the university until Walgreen had her withdraw several weeks ago, testified that required class readings led her to approve of Communism, even at the cost of violent revolution.
    University students who jammed the hotel room in which the hearing was held delayed proceedings with laughter when Miss Norton quoted Prof. Frederick L. Schuman, of the political science department, as approving free love.
    Schuman testified earlier that if he ever made a statement regarding free love it was in a spirit of levity.
    "It never occurred to me," said Miss Norton, "that he was insincere."
    She did not lay responsibility for her conversion to Communism directly at the door of faculty members, but said she "gained the feeling through readings and contacts that Communism would be an excellent form of government once it were established, despite the fact that its installation would undoubtedly necessitate a revolution."
    "I do not believe in Communism now," she added.
    Harry D. Gideonse, associate professor of economics, answered her statement with an analysis of the university's required reading for freshmen. He found 55 pages describing Communism in a total of 5,987 pages in a year's work.
    Walgreen, who testified two weeks ago that he thought the university menaced by "something very like a cancer," directed his attorney in presentation of his charges.
  • in "Walgreen's Niece Enrolls at Shimer School", Rockford Morning Star, 1935-09-18, p. 1:
    Miss Lucille Norton, comely 18-year-old Seattle, Wash. girl, whose withdrawal from tbe University of Chicago last spring at the behest of her uncle, Charles R. Walgreen, drug store magnate, led to an investigation of alleged communistic “influences” at the university by a state senate committee, registered yesterday afternoon at Prances Shimer junior college and preparatory school, which is affiliated with tbe University of Chicago, officials of the institution at Mount Carroll, Ill. announced last night.
    Simultaneously with the announcement that Miss Norton had enrolled at the Shimer school, it was revealed that the University of Chicago had accepted Mrs. Ruth Walgreen Dart, daughter of Mr. Walgreen, as a graduate student on the Midway.
    Mrs. Norton will attend classes in the college division at the Mount Carroll school, officials reported. After registering yesterday, Miss Norton returned to Chicago, preparatory to taking up residence at a Shimer dormitory Thursday, when classes for the fall semester will be convened.
    Walgreen, appearing before tbe senate investigating committee last May, charged that free love was advocated at the University of Chicago and that his niece bad been indoctrinated with communistic teachings.
    Leading figures at tbe extensive hearing included Walgreen, Harold Swift, president of tbe university board of trustees, President Robert Maynard Hutchins, Joseph P. Fleming, attorney for Walgreen, and State Senator Charles Baker of Monroe Center, a member of tbe investigating body.
    At the close of tbe legislative investigation tbe university was cleared of tbe "red" charges.
    The Frances Shimer college and preparatory scbool has been affiliated with tbe University of Chicago for many years.
  • in Robert M. Hutchins: Portrait of an Educator, Mary Ann Dzuback, 1991, p. 163:
    In 1935 Charles R. Walgreen of the Walgreen Drug Stores family accused the university of betraying the public trust by using subversive materials in Social Sciences I. His niece, Lucille Norton, was a student in the course until Walgreen withdrew her from the college after hearing her description of the class and the required reading, including a work by Karl Marx. He wrote Hutchins an angry letter in April claiming that Norton had been exposed to "Communistic influences" and suggested a public meeting to discuss the issue. Hutchins refused. He informed Walgreen that the university would not respond until he supplied evidence to support his contentions. Dean Brumbaugh of the college and Social Sciences I faculty members tried to correct Walgreen's misperceptions but were unsuccessful.



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