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McCollum, Margaret, 1916-2006



  • Existence: 1916 - 2006


Margaret Ruth Kampmeier McCollum, a volunteer and leader in civic affairs and women's organizations, was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1916. She attended Coe College for one year and received her bachelor's degree in mathematics (actuarial science) from the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa) in 1937. Kampmeier graduated magna cum laude and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. In 1939, she married Harold McCollum, who also graduated from the University of Iowa in 1937 with a degree in actuarial science. The couple had four children: Laura, Thomas, Carol, and Gordon. McCollum was an actuary clerk for Acacia Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Washington, DC, in the late 1930s, and an actuary for National Travelers Life Co. in Des Moines, Iowa, in the 1960s.

Margaret McCollum was active in a wide range of women's and civic organizations. She was president of the Des Moines branch of American Association of University Women (AAUW) from 1960 to 1962 and president of the Iowa Division of AAUW from 1968 to 1970. She was also president of the Des Moines Council of Parents and Teachers from 1959 to 1960, active in the Iowa Council for Better Education, and served on the boards of Polk County Easter Seal Society, League of Women Voters, YWCA, United Way, Community Blood Bank, National Conference of Christians and Jews, Des Moines Tennis Association, and various advisory committees to the Board of Education and City Council.

In 1966, Margaret McCollum was selected by the Jaycee-Ettes as " Des Moines' Outstanding Woman of the Year," and in 1967, she was named University of Iowa Representative Mother of the Year. She was selected for this honor by the Student Government Organization, having been nominated by two of her children, who were then students at the University of Iowa.

McCollum was also voted Iowa's Mother of the Year in 1971 by a state-wide panel of judges, after the Des Moines branch of the AAUW nominated her for this honor.

In 1973, McCollum was elected to the Des Moines City Council, but she resigned after eight months explaining that she needed more time for her family and other activities. Because she did not serve the full term, she voluntarily returned all campaign contributions to her donors and her salary to the city.

McCollum was very involved in American Mothers, Inc. (AMI) during the 1970s and 1980s. AMI began in 1933 as a division of the Golden Rule Foundation. Its objective is "to develop and strengthen the moral and spiritual foundation of the family and the home." McCollum served as president of the Iowa affiliate, Iowa Mothers Association, in 1973, and was a member of the national board from 1978 to 1987, and the treasurer of the national organization from 1982 to 1987.

McCollum represented Iowa in the National Senior Olympics in 1989, 1991, 1993, and 1995. She won the silver medal in tennis singles in the 70-74 age division in 1989, a gold medal with her husband in mixed doubles in 1989, and a gold medal in women's doubles for the 75-79 age division in 1993.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Margaret McCollum papers

Identifier: IWA0143

Des Moines resident who was a leader in women's organizations including American Mother's Inc., PTA and AAUW.

Dates: 1942-2008