The Deans' Bible: Five Purdue Women and Their Quest for Equality
The Deans' Bible: Five Purdue Women and Their Quest for Equality (ePub)
Like pearls threaded one-by-one to form a necklace, five women successively nurtured students on the Purdue University campus in America’s heartland during the 1930s to 1990s. Individually, each became a legendary dean of women or dean of students. Collectively, they wove a sisterhood of mutual support in their common—sometimes thwarted—pursuit of shared human rights and equality for all.
Dorothy C. Stratton, Helen B. Schleman, M. Beverley Stone, Barbara I. Cook, and Betty M. Nelson opened new avenues for women and became conduits for change, fostering opportunities for all people. They were loved by students and revered by colleagues. The women also were respected throughout the United States as founding leaders of the Coast Guard Women’s Reserve (SPARs), frontrunners in the National Association of Women Deans and Counselors, and pivotal members of presidential committees in the Kennedy and Nixon administrations.
While it is focused on changing attitudes on one college campus, The Deans’ Bible sheds light on cultural change in America as a whole, exploring how each of the deans participated nationally in the quest for equality. The story rolls through the “picture-perfect,” suppressive 1950s; explores the awakening 1960s of women’s liberation; describes the challenging 1980s, with AIDS and alcohol epidemics; and sails into the twenty-first century as a United States Coast Guard cutter is named after Dorothy Stratton and commissioned by First Lady Michelle Obama.
As each woman succeeded the other, forming a five-dean friendship, they knitted their bond with a secret symbol—a Bible. Originally possessed by Purdue’s first part-time Dean of Women Carolyn Shoemaker, the Bible was handed down from dean to dean with favorite passages marked. The lowercase word “bible” is often used in connection with reference works or “guidebooks.” The Deans’ Bible is just that, brimming with stories of courageous women who led by example and lived their convictions.
Tom Rudin, Senior Vice President, the College Board, Washington, DC
"Anyone who treasured his or her college experience will find this book compelling and captivating. Through the eyes of its five featured pioneers—and these deans were indeed pioneers in the sense they broke new ground in the ways that students were served, supported, and inspired while in college—the author gives us a moving and memorable sense of the sights, sounds, and passions of life on American college campuses from the 1930s to the present."
Raymonda L. Burgman, Director, HERS Institutes, University of Denver
"The Deans’ Bible celebrates a collegiate history that informs leaders about how to move any organization past a turbulent and distraction-filled time toward a system where organizational goals take center stage. Leadership requires self-awareness, an exhaustive inventory of local assets, and knowledge of the organization and national trends. The deans excelled in each one of these areas because of their core value to make a positive difference. Leaders, no matter the industry, will learn how to craft a legacy—strategically navigating changing trends with a welcoming and inclusive spirit."
Jane A. Hamblin, Executive Director, Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society
"Student affairs at Purdue University came alive on the first deans’ watch. They were bold in demonstrating how the 'old girls network' could work as well as the one belonging to the 'old boys,' and they were, to a woman, regarded in deans’ circles for their equanimity and strategic aplomb. In telling the deans’ story, the author showcases the roles these remarkable leaders played on the national stage of higher education."
Ilene Beckerman, author of Love, Loss, and What I Wore, adapted for the stage by Nora and Delia Ephron
"Angie Klink has woven the lives of these remarkable, courageous women educators into an inspiring narrative—scrupulously researched, wonderfully written. A compelling story and a joy to read."
Rusty Rueff | Chairman, the GRAMMY Foundation
"The Deans’ Bible superbly chronicles the indelible impact of five courageous, passionate, and caring women who led and fought for the advancement of women and higher education. This is the account of leaders who shared of themselves generously and set an example of professionalism for all they touched. These women were 'leaning in' long before others recognized that women could take their place in a leadership position."
About the Author(s):
Angie Klink writes biographies, histories, documentaries, children’s books, essays, and advertising copy. Klink was the scriptwriter for the 2013 documentary about public education, Rise Above the Mark, narrated by actor Peter Coyote. She is the author of Kirby’s Way: How Kirby and Caroline Risk Built their Company on Kitchen-Table Values (Purdue University Press, 2012), a spirited profile of one of the Midwest’s leading businessmen, his wife, and their company, the Kirby Risk Corporation. In her book Divided Paths, Common Ground: The Story of Mary Matthews and Lella Gaddis, Pioneering Purdue Women Who Introduced Science into the Home (Purdue University Press, 2011), Klink brings to life two remarkable female educators who improved the lives of American women. She also has authored the popular lift-the-flap children’s books Purdue Pete Finds His Hammer and I Found U. Klink is published in four titles for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She has won forty-four American Advertising Federation ADDY Awards and an honorable mention in the 2007 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. She holds a BA from the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University.