Note: Ethel Lagarenne passed away on September 10, 2019 at age 107. This post was written in celebration of her 106th birthday in 2018.
On May 1, 2018 our oldest living alum, Ethel Lagarenne Hagquist, will turn 106 years old. Born in 1912, she lived on East 15th Street in Brooklyn. Ethel graduated cum Laude with the first graduating class of Brooklyn College 1932. Her father, John Lagarenne, was a NYC police officer who rose to the rank of Deputy Chief Inspector. In 1939, he was assigned to escort King George of England on his visit to the 1939 Worlds Fair at Flushing Meadows, Queens, NY.
Very active in student life, Ethel was a member of Alpha Delta Pi, President of the YWCA club, and on the Senior Prom Committee.
Brooklyn College was founded in 1930 when the popular Brooklyn branches of City College (for men) and Hunter College (for women) were combined to form the third college in what would eventually be known as the City University of New York. Ethel had been taking classes at the Brooklyn Branch of Hunter and in 1930 eagerly became a part of her borough’s co-ed public college. On May 15, 1931, in celebration of the first birthday of Brooklyn College, students performed Sophocles’ Antigone, which Ethel helped produce.
Upon graduation, Ethel worked in Macy’s earning $14 dollars a week. She later worked for an investment firm.
Ethel lived in Fresh Meadows Queens until the age of 101 and is now residing at Flushing House Assisted Living. She remains active in all that they have to offer.