Dean of Women 1902-1922
Myra Beach Jordan, the new dean of the women of
the literary department, whose maid
en name was Myra Beach, was born
in Calhoun County, Mich., near
Battle Creek, March 17, 1864. She
was graduated from the Battle Creek
High School in 1881, and for eight
years thereafter she taught in the Battle Creek schools. In 1889 Miss Beach
entered the literary department of the
University and remained two years.
In 1891 she became a teacher of English
and history in the Salt Lake City
high School. After two years in this
position, in August of 1893, she was
married to Mr. Fred P. Jordan, assistant in the general library in charge
of the catalogue.
Since returning to Ann Arbor as a
faculty woman, Mrs. Jordan has been
active in the religious and charitable
work of the city and University, and
especially in social work among the
University girls. She has been most
of the time on the advisory board of
the Women's League, for a portion
of the time president of the Hospital
Circle of the King's Daughters, and
continuously chairman of the commit
tee on work for children in the hospitals.
The duties of her present position
include no teaching, but are instead
of an advisory—or, should occasion
require, disciplinary — nature. Its
effects must come largely through
her personal contact and personal influence with the young women of the
University. In furtherance of this
purpose, "organization" and red tape
will be depended upon to the smallest
possible degree; informal personal acquaintance to the very greatest. She
hopes to make the women's building
the center of the social—using social
in the broadest sense—life of the
University women. With this end in
view, the office of the women's dean
has been moved from the faculty room
to the parlors of the women's gymnasium. Informal "at homes" will be
held there also from four to six one day
of each week. The informal nature of
these meetings will be insisted upon.
The Michigan Alumnus, October 1, 1902, Page 18
Myra Beach Jordan, '93, who was responsible for the organization and establishment of social life of the women on Campus when she served as Dean of Women, and in whose honor Jordan Hall (women's residence hall) was named, died at her home in Ann Arbor, October 23. She had been in failing health since the death of her husband, Frederick Parker Jordan, '79, last March. Mrs. Jordan was appointed as the University's second Dean of Women in 1902, occupying that position until her retirement in 1922. Famous for her ability to call every girl on Campus by name during her first years as Dean, Mrs. Jordan organized and established the first League houses and later helped to interest alumni in residences for women, assisting in obtaining Martha Cook, Helen Newberry and Betsy Barbour dormitories. She wrote the first Junior Girls' play, and inaugurated the now traditional Senior dinner preceding the play organized Senior Society, and honorary society for independent women; and established Wyvern, junior honorary society.
Born in Calhoun county, Michigan, March 17, 1863, Mrs. Jordan attended Battle Creek High school before entering the University, where she became a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She taught at Salt Lake City for a period after two years an undergraduate at the University, returning to Ann Arbor in 1893. It was at this time that she married Mr. Jordan, an Assistant. Librarian at the University for many years.
After retiring from active work at the University, the Jordans lived in Italy and traveled abroad for two years, and later made many return trips. They had spent the last ten years in Ann Arbor. Alice Lloyd, present Dean of Women, said: "Mrs. Jordan built well for the women of Michigan in establishing finer living standards and in giving special attention to organization which would be of value in student government and in the development of leadership. The finest memorial she can have is found in the many organizations which she originated and supported and which are still a vital part in the life of the women of Michigan."