The MacCurdy House is a Women's Resource Center and community for WST minors. For more information and application to the MacCurdy House, contact Kevin Carmody in the Student Life Office.
The Alma College Women's Issues Advisory board began a discussion of a women's house in the fall of 1991. They envisioned a center that would offer not only housing for women students but provide various resources, including information about women's issues, conferences, scholarships, activities and events. The college accepted their proposal to convert the Plaxton House to a women's house, but before that could be done, former Alma College librarian, Helen MacCurdy passed away leaving her residence to the institution. Her family was contacted about the possibility of using her home as a women's center. This request was met with an enthusiastic response from her niece, Jean H. MacCurdy, a vice-president for Warner Brother's Studios in California. Renovation on the house began in June of 1992 and was completed by the following fall when women first moved in.
That summer brought an important acquisition to the Women's House. Retired MSU women's studies coordinator, Dr. Joanne Rettke, donated her sizable collection of women's books and resource materials to the house. These were catalogued and placed in the house library. Dr. Joe Walser helpfully requested the Women's Group, both affiliates of the Presbyterian Women in Lake Huron Presbytery, for the donation of household items and art works.
In addition to providing student housing, the MacCurdy House includes the following functions:
- Housing a collective library of literary and media materials and various resources concerning professional associations, conferences, scholarships, and events.
- Providing a place for meetings, study, receptions and small programs to promote interactions among students, faculty, staff, and the Alma community.
- Maintaining a list of community volunteer opportunities for students who are interested in enhancing the advancement of women.
- Furnishing a space for the exhibition of women's art work and portraits of significant women in history to highlight their many achievements.
In October of 1992, the MacCurdy House hosted a Homecoming Open House which attracted close to 100 visitors to the new facility. House members gave tours, giving a brief history of the acquisition and development. A group of faculty and students from the CMU Women's Studies Program attended to express support for our resource center and its students. In December of 1992, the house hosted a potluck dinner in honor of visiting writer, Lucille Clifton, and since that time many speakers and writers have enjoyed similar gatherings with students and faculty there.
At the MacCurdy House, there is plenty of room to discuss women's issues.