Class of '33 Alumna Celebrates 98th Birthday
Meg McGinn wanted to do something special to mark the 98th birthday of her grandmother, Margaret Lyons Mathieu '33—so she contacted Marsha Stiles, director of Alumni Relations. "My grandmother is a very special person," McGinn wrote. "She is well-versed on history and current events, and although she cannot get around like she used to, her mind and spirit are as sharp as ever! She is very humble; however, for her birthday, I was hoping your office could do something to acknowledge her in some way."
On October 6, Peggy Mathieu's birthday, Marsha Stiles and Patti Price, director of planned giving, drove to Newtown Square, Pa., to help Peggy celebrate the occasion, along with Peggy's daughters, alum Margot Mathieu Andrews '67 and Mimi Mathieu McGowan, and granddaughter Meg McGinn. Old photos and scrapbooks prompted stories and memories of Peggy's Moravian experiences.
Margaret Lyons Mathieu was born in Easton. Her mother died when Peggy was just six, and she was raised by her grandparents. Encouraged by an aunt who valued education, Peggy received a scholarship to attend Moravian Seminary and College for Women. She commuted by trolley from Easton's Centre Square to Bethlehem's Main Street each day, and still recalls the cold winter walks from the trolley stop to campus. She remembers many of her classmates by name, and several photos captured a novel "wedding" event, when the freshmen "brides" married junior women who were dressed in tuxes!
Although Peggy's degree was in education, the economic depression made finding work difficult in 1933. Still, she was hired as a secretary for Ingersoll Rand, where she met her future husband. The family of six (one son and three daughters) lived in Phillipsburg, N.J. After Peggy's husband died at a young age, Peggy taught elementary school in Harmony, N.J.
Peggy Mathieu's family has grown to include thirteen grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren. "My grandmother is so proud of her Moravian education," said granddaughter Meg McGinn. "Her grandmother and aunt made a point of ensuring that she receive a very good education and career. She accomplished both through Moravian."
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