Mary Louise Allen

Mary Louise Allen, 1928

B.A., Denison University
M.A., Smith College


Citation awarded on Saturday, June 1, 1968

With one out of 12 births in the U.S. is illegitimate today, Miss Mary Louise Allen has dedicated her life to providing casework, adoption counseling, group therapy, educational courses, legal help, financial assistance, room, board, and medical care to these mothers and babies. She has served so ably as director of one of the nation’s most valuable agencies for social betterment.

Since 1958, Miss Allen has served as executive director of the Florence Crittenton Association of America, Inc., Chicago, a national standard-setting “chain of homes” for services to 14,000 unmarried mothers a year. Her wise leadership and deep understanding has led to an impressive expansion in Crittenton services. She has served in many roles in many organizations, including as: the chosen delegate and workshop leader of the White House Conference on Children and Youth (1950-60); visiting casework consultant of the Family Welfare Association and Institute of Almoners in London, England (1954-55); assistant professor of the School of Social Service Administration at University of Chicago (1955-57); district supervisor of United Charities, Chicago (1952-54); and executive director of the Family and Children’s Agency, Canton, Ohio (1947-52). Miss Allen has also worked with welfare agencies in Kansas City, Mo., Baltimore, and Cincinnati. She also serves the advisory board of the National Council on Illegitimacy and numerous other professional associations.