In The News

Mary Hegeler-Carus exhibit preview is March 3

This article originally appeared in The Southern Illinoisan

By Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE – An upcoming afternoon tea is the setting to preview a new exhibit at Southern Illinois University Carbondale that celebrates the life of an acclaimed female mining engineer, industrialist and philanthropist.

The traveling exhibit on the life of Mary Hegeler Carus will open in Morris Library next week. The library’s Special Collections Research Center is hosting a free event on Sunday, March 3, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the library’s third floor Rotunda and American Heritage Room.

The general public is welcome, and organizers are especially encouraging middle school- and junior high-age young ladies to attend. There will even be a few scholarships for the University’s popular Girls in Science camp awarded.

The event will feature opening remarks by Anne Cooper Moore, dean of Library Affairs; Lizette Chevalier, associate dean of the College of Engineering, and Laurie Achenbach, interim dean of the College of Science. Christina Gould, library specialist, will introduce the exhibit, “Petticoats and Slide Rulers: The Life of Mary Hegeler Carus,” and the event will include a meet-and-greet with students from the University’s Society of Women in Engineering chapter. The presentation will also feature scones, pastries, teacakes and tea.

Those planning to attend should RSVP by emailing Pam Hackbart-Dean at

Event sponsors include Morris Library’s Special Collections Research Center, the College of Engineering, and the Illinois Humanities Council.

The formal opening of the exhibit will take place at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5, in the library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

The exhibit highlights the life of Carus, who was the first woman to study engineering at the University of Michigan. She later became president of Matthiessen and Hegeler Zinc Co., in LaSalle, serving more than 30 years in the role.

The exhibit and programs feature the Carus family papers and other documents illustrating the role of women in engineering decades ago. For more information about either program or the exhibit, contact Hackbart-Dean at or by calling 618/453-1452.