Patricia Albjerg Graham


Honorary Degree (1980)
Doctor of Laws
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: John William Ryan


Indiana University is always especially happy to be able to honor native Hoosiers who have achieved national distinction and renown. Patricia Albjerg Graham is one such person. She was born and raised in Lafayette and attended Purdue University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, taking a B.S. degree in 1955, and an M.S. degree in 1957. She then moved east to continue her graduate education at Columbia University. She developed the material from her doctoral dissertation into a study of the Progressive Education Association between 1919 and the mid 1950s, a publication which is unrivalled in its field for the care of its research and the elegance of its style. Dr. Graham subsequently published another major study of education in the United States, Community and Class in American Education, 1865-1918. Her outstanding contribution to an understanding of the history of American education has been matched by her diligent and tireless devotion to the practice and administration of educational institutions, both at the individual and the national levels. Dr. Graham's earliest teaching experience came in high schools in such diverse areas as Norfolk, Virginia and New York City.

She came to Indiana University in 1964 to serve as a Lecturer in the School of Education. The following year, she was appointed an Assistant Professor of Education, a position which she held until accepting a faculty appointment at Barnard College and Columbia Teacher's College in New York. In 1974, Professor Graham was appointed Dean of Radcliffe Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a post held simultaneously with a vice-presidency of Radcliffe College and a professorship at Harvard University.

Her successful career as a teacher and educational administrator gained for Professor Graham national recognition when she was offered in 1977 the Directorship of the National Institute of Education, an organization based in Washington, D.C. Her tenure as Director was marked by an unfailing intelligence, an astute diplomatic ability, and a tireless energy. The distinction which characterized Professor Graham's term as Director of the National Institute of Education has even further enhanced the respect and admiration in which she is held by her professional colleagues in both government and education. In 1979, Professor Graham returned to the responsibilities and pleasures of academic life when she accepted an appointment as the Charles Warren Professor at Harvard University.

While pursuing this remarkable teaching and administrative career, Professor Graham has still found time to be actively engaged in the administration of other educational institutions and associations. She has served on the Boards of Directors of Dalton School and of the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, and as a member of the Board of Trustees of Beloit College. As a member of the American Association of Higher Education, she has consistently contributed papers and lectures of the highest standard at its meetings, and in 1976-77 she was the Association's Director.

For her work as a scholar, teacher, and administrator, Patricia Graham has been honored elsewhere. In 1969 she was awarded a Fellowship from the American Council on Education at Princeton University. She has received honorary degrees from Harvard University and from Manhattanville College. In September 1955 Patricia Albjerg married Loren R. Graham. They have one daughter, Marguerite Elizabeth.