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Women's Studies

3 Generations of Women

Women were first admitted to degree programs at what was then Loyola University in 1950, when the Graduate Division was created on the Westchester campus. The English Department's graduate curriculum included an emphasis in English and American literature. One of its first students was Octavia Seawell Walstrom, who obtained her M.A. in 1958. At this time, Loyola University admitted only men as undergraduate students.

In 1990, her daughter, Nancy W. Jabbra, came to Loyola Marymount University to head what was then the Women's Studies Program, which had existed since 1977. With the merger between Loyola University and Marymount College in 1973, the undergraduate programs became coed and gradually women entered faculty, staff, and administrative positions.

In 2003, Nancy Jabbra's daughter Mary E. Jabbra (now Mary Jabbra Britt) entered Loyola Law School, receiving her J.D. in 2006. The first woman had entered the Law School with its founding in 1920.


  1. Octavia Walstrom, with Dr. Frank Sullivan, Professor of English, and her three children, Diana, Nancy, and Peter. Graduation, 1958. Photo by Douglas P. Walstrom.
  2. Nancy W. Jabbra, 2005. Photograph by Matthew Mishory.
  3. Mary E. Jabbra & Joseph G. Jabbra, Ph.D., 2006. Photograph by Bob Knight.