Faculty image Myra Beach Jordan Dean of Women Administration
Biography/Memoir

 

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

 

                                              

Memorial

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."

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