IMG_0488All four levels of Querbes Scholars traveled last week into Chicago for an unforgettable enrichment trip. Literally, when they started their tour at Holy Name Cathedral and learned about a hit on a Northside mobster, that took place on its front steps, they knew this was not just any other tour.

Sure enough, students and their moderators traveled back in time to Prohibition-era Chicago, during the 1920s and ’30s to learn about rival gangsters, think Al Capone, Bugs Moran, and John Dillinger, to name a few, and see some of their hangouts.

Saint Viator students filled up two buses to take the Untouchables Tour, one of Chicago’s Original Gangster Tours, for a firsthand view of the city’s mob era history.

IMG_0492“I liked learning about the criminal history in Chicago, which isn’t what you typically learn,” said Kate Hannon ’21.

Her classmate, Ryan Jusinski ’21, agreed, adding: “To learn about such famous parts of Chicago history that textbooks don’t teach us, was really neat.”

The gangster tour was the first trip of the year for these Querbes Scholars. As part of the academic and enrichment program, scholars leave Saint Viator at least one time each semester for extended learning outside the classroom walls.

These trips, combined with invited speakers and challenging coursework fulfill the program’s mission, which is to foster personal growth, intellectual independence, and faith enrichment.

IMG_0486Matt Rapala ’19 said he was fascinated to learn just how these different mob bosses rose to power: “It was interesting to learn how Chicago was split into factions under the different crime bosses, the Irish, Italian and Sicilian.”

Finally, Allison Bosshart ’19 said that going on the Untouchables Tour opened up a whole new chapter of Chicago history that she was eager to learn more about.

“From listening to our tour guide’s authentic Chicago accent to seeing famous sites, like the Biograph Theater where Jon Dillinger was killed; or the site of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre,” Allison said, “the Untouchables Tour revealed an interesting side of Chicago’s history.”