Rod Library--Special Collections
Marion McFarland Walker
Minutes of the Senate Meeting
July 1, 1957
Docket No. 588
The Chairman called for Miss Mary Dieterich to read the following resolution regarding Mrs. Marion McFarland Walker.
Mrs. Marion McFarland Walker
Mrs. Marion McFarland Walker, who for thirty years served the Iowa State Teachers College, first as a member of the English department and at a later period as Dean of Women, died at her home in Hemet, California on May 4, 1957.
Mrs. Walker was born on June 12, 1861, at Mount Pleasant, Iowa, the daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel McFarland and Mary McFarland. Her father lost his life in the battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, in 1862. Her mother married Mr. Peter Melendy, pioneer citizen and public leader of Cedar Falls, and Mrs. Walker spent her early years in this community.
She was graduated from Ferry Hall, Lake Forest, Illinois in 1880, and after a year of additional study at Ward-Belmont Seminary, Nashville, Tennessee, she went abroad, spending most of a year in France.
From 1890 to 1897 she served on the staff of this college as Professor of Applied English. Following her husband's death, she returned to the staff as a substitute teacher in English, in 1907-08, and was appointed by President Seerley to the position of Dean of Women in 1908, serving on the faculty until her resignation in 1929.
As the first woman to hold this newly-created position, Mrs. Walker played a major and indispensable part in the educational and cultural development of Iowa State Teachers College, in a period of rapid change and expansion. During this time the change in student housing from private rooming houses to dormitories was begun, with the building of Bartlett Hall in 1914. The Y.W.C.A., throughout this period, was a leading organization on the campus, and Mrs. Walker did much to encourage and strengthen its program and activities. The influence for good which she exerted in the lives of countless students can never be measured. She combined a warm and gracious personality with genuine sympathy and understanding, in all her relationships with both students and staff. She devoted her efforts and energies to maintaining the highest standards of social and ethical conduct, and to broadening and enriching the cultural and social program in the students' college experience. In the wise and kindly guidance which she gave, her chief and sincere concern was always for the welfare of each individual student.
We honor the memory of Marion McFarland Walker, for her years of unselfish and devoted service to Iowa State Teachers College, and for her lasting contribution to its growth and development as an educational and cultural force.
C. W. Lantz
G. W. Robinson
It was moved by Miss Dieterich and seconded by Mr. Dee that this resolution be spread upon the minutes of the Faculty and that a copy be sent to relatives of Mrs. Walker. The motion was adopted unanimously.