In Memoriam: Maxine R. Colm, 1932-2019

Maxine R. Colm, the first woman to serve as vice president of the University of Delaware, died on November 21. She was 87 years old.

A 1949 valedictorian of Port Richmond High School in Staten Island, New York, Dr. Colm earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She went to earn a master’s degree in educational administration at Rutgers University in New Jersey and an educational doctorate from the University of Delaware.

Dr. Colm began her career as a grade school teacher at an Army base in Texas. She then held an administrative post at Glassboro State College in New Jersey (now Rowan University) and later at the New Jersey Department of Higher Education.

In 1989, Dr. Colm joined the University of Delaware as vice president for employee relations. She was the first woman to serve the university as a vice president. She served in that role for nearly two decades. Later, Dr. Colm was associate provost and assistant to the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. She also taught in the university’s School of Education.

“Our university community is stronger because of Maxine Colm,” said Dan Rich, University Professor of Public Policy and former university provost. “She introduced dozens of policies and practices to make UD a better place to work. She also was an outspoken advocate for a more diverse and inclusive campus community. Maxine was the quintessential problem-solver, trusted and relied upon to provide advice and counsel to all parts of the campus community.”

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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