University of Iowa Honors Its First Woman Vice President

brodbeck_colorMay Brodbeck was the first woman to serve as vice president at the University of Iowa. She was vice president for student affairs and dean of faculties at the university from 1974 to 1981. Before joining the administration at the University of Iowa, she taught philosophy at the University of Minnesota for 25 years and serve there for two years as dean of the Graduate School.

Dr. Brodbeck was a native of New Jersey. She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at New York University in 1941 and later worked on the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb. After the war, she earned a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Iowa.

Upon her retirement from the University of Iowa, Dr. Brodbeck said, “I remember too well being virtually the only tenured woman in liberal arts in a huge university. I was tolerated and even pampered because I was among so few. Now it is less lonely for women and how much richer we and the universities are for it.” Dr. Brodbeck died in 1983, two years after her retirement.

Now the University of Iowa is honoring Dr. Brodbeck by renaming its Distinguished Achievement Award for Faculty. The honor will now be called the May Brodbeck Distinguished Achievement Award for Faculty.

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