Barbara Hague '70 '71 MA

Barbara Hague graduated from Northwestern with a bachelor's degree in 1970 and a master of arts in 1971. Since then, she has been very active in the Northwestern community, most recently serving on the board for A Day With Northwestern, the annual day of presentations and lectures from prominent Northwestern faculty and alumni. For more than 45 years, alumni, students, parents and friends have returned to campus for the conference. This year's A Day With Northwestern takes place April 9. Find out more here, and follow along on social media with the hashtag #ADayWithNU. Here, Hague shares why the day means so much to her.


How long have you been attending A Day With Northwestern?

On and off over the years since I graduated. I was an A Day With Northwestern executive board member from 2003 to 2015, as well as the board chair from 2010 to 2011 and board advisor from 2013 to 2015.

What do you love about A Day With Northwestern?

The variety of presentations. It's always about learning something new and keeping up with the research that goes on at NU. I particularly enjoy the sessions on medicine, literature, history and art.

Do you have any special A Day With Northwestern memories?

From my tenure on the board, I am most proud of the Victor Goines luncheon keynote in 2010 when I was chair, which was an amazing program that drew rave reviews from the attendees. As board advisor, I started a subcommittee on social media that was enthusiastically embraced by the board and resulted in hiring our first intern, an outstanding student who created several videos of last year's presenters. My aim was also to promote social interaction and friendships between the board members with optional activities such as a summer barbecue at our house, after-meeting gatherings at Prairie Moon, and one memorable (though sparsely attended) field trip to a company owned by one of our ADWN presenters. Other board members picked this up and carried it forward with a before-meeting dinner and social time before the meeting, and so forth. I saw myself as the unofficial Den Mother of the group and had so much fun with it!

What do you remember most about your time at Northwestern?

The late 60s were a time of many changes and led to questioning of so many assumptions my fellow students and I were raised with: protests against the Vietnam War, beginnings of the second wave of feminism, the sexual revolution, civil rights. It was a challenging and exciting time and place to be young. I was an English major and my favorite professors were Dean J. Lyndon Shanley (who remained a personal friend) and Jean Hagstrum, a brilliant man with many forward-thinking ideas about the university, such as interdisciplinary studies.

What have you been up to since you graduated?

I own an editorial services business, Barbara U. Hague Editing and Proofreading. My husband and I have lived in Des Plaines, Illinois since 1978, where we raised our children. Our older daughter, Sarah, got her degree in theatre at Northwestern in 2004. I am active in several women's organizations, and as an alumna served on the NU reunion committees in 2010 and 2015. We're big music and theatre fans and have enjoyed many of the offerings at NU over the years, including the Waa-Mu Show. When I'm not working, you can find me out walking in the city parks, or leaping out of my comfort zone at the Trapeze School New York — Chicago.

What are you most excited for this weekend?

It's always hard to choose which sessions to attend, but this year I am looking forward to hearing Brian Wesbury's latest take on the economy; he's a big hit with the audience and always has something interesting to say. Also Dr. Douglas Vaughan, who will discuss the latest findings on aging (now why would I be interested in that?), and the Block Museum session on avant garde art with Corinne Granof. This year's Board has lined up a couple of outstanding keynotes: jazz great Orbert Davis and Howard Tullman, CEO of 1871. I'm also looking forward to seeing my old board buddies and finding out what everybody's been up to. Helping to plan and work this event was a big part of my life for a dozen years; this year I'll be able to kick back, sit in the audience, and enjoy the show!