Doris M. Seward


Gertrude Rich Award (1986)
Indiana University Bloomington
B.A., 1938
Distinguished Alumni Service Award (1976)
B.A., 1938


Educator and writer Doris M. Seward was born March 26, 1917, in Bloomington to Fred and Dorothy Seward. A graduate of Bloomington High School, Seward attended Indiana University, where she was a Phi Beta Kappa, a member of the Mortar Board, and graduated in 1938. She went on to earn her master's and doctoral degrees from Syracuse University and did graduate work at Columbia University, Union Theological Seminary and the University of Minnesota. While at Syracuse and Minnesota, she served on administrative staffs and was an Assistant Dean of Women at Purdue University as well as Acting Dean and Associate Professor there in the 1950s.

From there, her career as a teacher and administrator flourished. From 1957 to 1966, she served as Dean of Women and Professor of Education at the University of Kentucky, and was the school's Dean of Student Affairs Planning in 1967. Next, became a Professor of Human Development and Executive Assistant to the President of Pennsylvania State University in 1970. She retired in 1984.

After retiring in 1984, Seward returned to Bloomington. She donated 20 acres of land purchased by her father in 1928 to the Hilltop Educational Foundation in 1991, which became the Fred Seward Nature Preserve. She was also active with the IU Friends of Music and Friends of Art, and served on the Elizabeth Sage Collection board. She also helped establish the Bloomington Community Foundation, and was a frequent contributor to The Herald-Times.

IU honored her with the Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 1976.

Seward was also the member of countless organizations aimed at bettering the lives of women. She was a member of the U.S. Delegation to the World Confederation of Organizations of the Teaching Profession, where she inaugurated the Housemother's Training School to educate and prepare women assuming positions of house director and house mothers for fraternities and sororities. Additionally, she was President of the National Association of Women's Deans and Counselors, chairman of the University Division of the National Association of Women Deans and Counselors, and a member of the American Association of University Women, the American Personnel and Guidance Association, the YWCA, the Conversation Club, and many, many more.

She was named a Kentucky Colonel and was the recipient of the Gertrude Rich Award.

She passed away in Bloomington at the age of 82.