Mac Made Me...
Lila Underwood Judkins '36
Lila Underwood Judkins has been giving back to MacMurray College for 53 years. She has decided to commemorate her 54th year in a special way.
The eldest of five children, raised in a parsonage, Lila came to MacMurray College for Women in 1932. Like many students of the time, she recognized the opportunity at hand and took advantage of her time at MacMurray – relishing campus living, joining the Belles Lettres society, the Home Economics Club, and Madrigals and devouring her studies.
Upon graduating with a degree in vocational home economics in 1936, Lila took a teaching position at Roberts Township High School. Fresh from MacMurray, full of ambition and confidence, at the request of the State Office, she founded the department of home economics and helped write the official course of study for the state of Illinois.
In the following years she embraced the home economics skills she honed at MacMurray in a much more personal way when she married Muryl Sturm and became a mother of two sons. After her young husband purchased the local drug store, Lila, a forward thinker, embarked on a new career as the area pharmacist. She commuted over 200 miles each week to attend a private pharmacy school in Chicago, then apprenticed to the former owner, and became one of the first three women to be a registered pharmacist in the state of Illinois. When the family pharmacy closed in 1971, she took advantage of her newly-freed schedule and used her time to serve the surrounding communities’ pharmacies as a part-time relief pharmacist, which she continued for 17 years.
As a couple, Lila and Muryl were active volunteers in their community, showing their steadfast commitment to serving others. When Muryl passed away after 47 years of marriage, Lila established an educational endowment fund in his memory.
Lila was blessed to find love again in her life, marrying Wallace Judkins just after her retirement in 1988. Wallace shared Lila’s spirit of giving, and together they continued to offer support to those in need. A particularly notable example was the building of a Methodist church in Zimbabwe, which officially opened on January 11, 1998.
MacMurray College served as a pillar in the foundation upon which Lila continues to build her life. In 2006, Lila was honored by her alma mater and the MacMurray College Alumni Association as the 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. She continues to embrace the College’s motto of knowledge, faith, and service. The daughter of a clergyman, she attended MacMurray thanks in part to scholarships, loans, and a position in the Henry Pfeiffer Library.
Recognizing the support that made her education possible and wanting to affirm her commitment to the College, Lila made arrangements long ago to include MacMurray in a bequest. With the support of her family, in her 54th year of giving to MacMurray, Lila decided to alter her plans. Instead of including the College in her will, she contacted MacMurray and created the Lila Underwood Judkins ’36 Scholarship Fund, a fund that will assist in enabling the daughter of a current clergyman to receive a MacMurray education. Through her generosity, a young woman who may not have otherwise been able to afford a private, liberal arts education will enroll at MacMurray this fall and Lila will see first-hand how her generosity helps transform a life.
Lila Underwood Judkins, Class of 1936, MacMurray College thanks you!