May 02, 2019

Finding Kate: The Unlikely Story of 20th Century Healthcare Advocate Kate Macy Ladd

Meryl Carmel’s Finding Kate gives a voice to the forgotten women of the Gilded Age.
  • Finding Kate, By Meryl Carmel’74

As an heiress to the Standard Oil company, Kate Macy Ladd could have spent all of her life in leisure, but she used her money and influence to champion affordable medical treatment and the education of men and women in health professions. She established convalescent homes for medical patients who had trouble affording the care they needed and founded the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, which gives grants to students entering the medical field.

The author, a teacher who later pursued a graduate degree in history, discovered in the process of conducting research for this book, that Kate Macy Ladd had employed a nurse to oversee the free women’s convalescent home she established in Peapack, N.J. in 1908. The nurse, H. Estelle Dudley, turned out to be the great-great aunt of Carmel’s Beloit roommate, Millicent Dudley Lake’74.


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Natasha Islam, a Beloit College sophomore, stood quietly all evening in Moore Lounge on March 27. Her sign lists the names of Iraqis killed in Baghdad in 2007 by Blackwater guards.

The Controversial Speech That Never Happened

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