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Service League History

Founded in 1895 by University of Chicago faculty wives as "The University of Chicago Settlement League", to meet the needs of the Mary McDowell settlement house, The University of Chicago Service League announced its intention "to arouse interest in and to give financial support to the University Settlement House, to study sociological questions and to promote social intercourse."

Early members lobbied for education and sanitation reform and in the 1920s purchased land and built a summer camp for inner city children and their families. Over the years, the Service League has supported various philanthropies through fund-raising activities.

Over the years, Service League members have supported the programs of Settlement House founder Mary McDowell and her successors in myriad ways. They volunteered in Settlement House programs in the Packingtown neighborhood, lobbied for education and sanitation reform, and in the twenties, purchased land and built a summer camp for inner-city children and their families. League members have continuously supported League philanthropies by staging imaginative benefits and fund-raising endeavors.

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