Jean Jacob Parrish was a member of the graduating class of 1938. During her time at Uni, Parrish was a part of the Girl’s Athletic Association (GAA) her freshman year. Later during her senior year, she served as Class President and was also on the Commencement Committee. After Parrish graduated from Uni, she went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree from the U of I, and her Master’s and PhD from Harvard University.
Parrish later became a French professor at Cornell University where she was the first woman to head a department in Cornell’s largest college, the College of Arts and Sciences. Parrish also went on to teach at Rutgers University later in her career where she stayed until she retired in 1991. At Rutgers, Parrish held positions as the Associate Provost and Federated Chair of Foreign Languages, Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature, and Director of Graduate Studies.