Hazel Strayer was born in Lawn Hill, Iowa, in 1891. She attended Waterloo schools and received her A.B. degree in interpretative speech and drama from UNI in 1914. In 1923 she received her master's degree from Columbia University in English and drama. She began her career as a teacher at Independence (Iowa) High School. In 1916 she accepted a position in which she assisted Bertha Martin in the teaching of oral interpretation and drama at UNI in the Department of Languages, Speech, and Literature. When Martin died in 1929, Strayer was asked to continue directing productions in her place. She rose to the rank of professor in 1947.
Strayer continued her professional development through leaves of absence and by participation in theatre productions. She received an award for distinguished service in 1941. She retired in 1956 and died in 1959 in New York City.
Compiled by Susan Witthoft; edited by Gerald L. Peterson
Special Collections and University Archives