Dr. Myron Jefferson Wilcox, Professor of Education, University of Northern Iowa, passed away at Walnut Creek, California, on November 30, 1969. Dr. Wilcox became a member of the Department of Education of Iowa State Teachers College in 1922 as an instructor. He was advanced to the rank of professor in 1945. He assumed emeritus status in 1960 and resigned as a member of the staff in 1966.
Dr. Wilcox was born in 1892 in Kucheng (Fuhkien Province) China to the Reverend and Mrs. M. C. Wilcox, who were Methodist missionaries to China. He was survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and his three sons, John, Ralph, and William, all active in fields of education in California.
Anyone who worked closely with Dr. Wilcox realized his scholastic ability and the fine quality of his mind. He received the Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell College in 1914, the Master of Arts degree from the University of Iowa in 1917, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree from the same institution in 1932. He also attended Teachers College, Columbia University. He was awarded membership in Phi Beta Kappa, was a member of the National Education Association and the Iowa State Education Association, and was active in the affairs of Phi Delta Kappa, the educational fraternity.
He was a science teacher at Toledo, Iowa, 1914-1915, and an Assistant Supervisor of Educational Research at Detroit, Michigan, before becoming a member of the Army of the United States in World War I (1917-1919) as a First Lieutenant. After returning from service, he became Principal of the Phillips School, Des Moines (1919-1920) and Superintendent of Schools for two years at DeWitt, Iowa, before joining the staff at Iowa State Teachers College.
Outside of his classes, Dr. Wilcox contributed much time to University affairs, particularly in the area of faculty welfare. He was an astute leader and a discerning guide in establishing and perfecting the retirement annuity system now in existence. He was a member of the Retirement Annuity Committee from 1943-1955 and was an advisor after that time. He also was an important member of the Committee on the Administration of Faculty Personnel, 1951-1954, and again from 1959-1960. He was a respected member of committees on Student Efficiency, Instructional Research, Instructional Load, and the Junior High School SubCommittee of the Curriculum Committee. He became a valued advisor to many members of the staff and the administration as a kind of elder statesman, always thinking through problems presented to him and responding with great care in a quiet, deliberate, and incisive manner.
Dr. Wilcox was an advisor to many Elementary Education majors and originally taught areas of elementary education. Later, most of his teaching was in the area of Educational Psychology.
Dr. Wilcox made a great impression on a long line of students and staff members of the University of Northern Iowa through his disciplined mind and his orderly approach to the solution to problems. He was truly a gentleman and a scholar. He was widely respected for his intelligence and his alert mind, his keen insight, and his wry humor. He will be remembered in the community as a good neighbor and a good citizen.
Clifford L. Bishop
Walter D. DeKock