Mildred Chapin Papers

Mildred Chapin as Puck, 1932

The Student Life & Culture Archives recently received the papers of Mildred Ruth Chapin, thanks to the generous donation of her daughter, Amy Klohr.

Mildred Chapin attended Sullivan Township High School in Sullivan, Illinois and graduated in 1930. She then attended the University of Illinois, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Lambda Delta, Iota Sigma Pi, Omicron Nu, and the president of Phi Upsilon Omicron.[1]

Not only was she a member of various honor societies, she was highly involved in in the McKinley Foundation. She served on the student council for two years and was a member of the McKinley Mimes for three years. As head of the dramatic department of the McKinley Foundation, she played Puck in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Pauli Arndt in Channing Pollock’s “The Enemy.” During her four years at University, she attended a speech given by Jane Addams, listened to Sergei Rachmaninoff in concert, watched John Philip Sousa direct his band, and attended countless University dances. Valedictorian of the class of 1934, Mildred Chapin obtained her degree in home economics and continued with her Masters, earning a $300 scholarship for the continuance of her studies.[2]

Fictitious certificate, 1936

After spending time at Iowa State College teaching nutrition, in 1941 the Board of Trustees appointed her instructor of Home Economics with a $2,000 salary.[3] Even as an instructor, Chapin continued her extracurricular interests. She was elected as vice-president of the University Woman’s Club[4], a Y.M.C.A. board member[5], and served on the Student Affairs Audit and Supervision Committee from 1944-45.[6]

She continued teaching at the University of Illinois until 1946, when she took a sabbatical to continue her graduate studies at Ohio State University.[7] As a prospective candidate for the open position of Dean of the College of Economics, Chapin’s aim was a doctorate in home economics and higher education. It was in an education graduate class that she met Paul Klohr; her future plans changed dramatically.[8]

Upon completing the sabbatical, Chapin resumed her previous Illinois position in the guidance and placement of home economics students and counseling for the student personnel bureau until her resignation in 1948.[9] She married Paul Klohr shortly thereafter and continued to teach part-time at Ohio State University. They remained married until her death in 1982.

Mildred Chapin, Illio, 1945

The papers of Mildred Chapin include a family history, grade-school memory book, graduation certificates, and a scrapbook from her college years containing programs, dance cards, news clippings, graduation cards, photographs, and brief descriptions of notable events.

Note: the Mildred Chapin Papers are not yet processed and therefore unavailable to the public. All information located in the Mildred Chapin Papers, unless otherwise noted.


[1] Illio, 1934, p. 54.

[2] University of Illinois, Board of Trustees Report, 1936, p. 198.

[3] University of Illinois, Board of Trustees Report, 1942, p. 531.

[4] “University Woman’s Club President Elected,” Daily Illini, April 26, 1941, p.2.

[5] Illio, 1944, p. 213; 1945, p. 167.

[6] “2 New Members Named To YMCA Board,” Daily Illini, October 30, 1941, p.2.

[7] “Home Economics Names 12 New Instructors,” Daily Illini, October 4, 1947, p.1.

[8] Interview of Paul R. Klohr by Robert W. Butche, Ohio State University Archives,

[9] University of Illinois, Board of Trustees Report, 1948, p. 1118.

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