Austin College senior trustee Dr. Jane D. Moorman ’48 died July 8 in Oakland, California, at the age of 88. She served as an active member of the College’s Board of Trustees from 1971 to 1996. She chaired the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board from 1981 to 1996. Additionally, she was the keynote speaker at the College’s Founders Day celebration in November 1984.
A native of Sherman, Jane was part of a family who was very influential in the history of Austin College. She was the daughter of Elizabeth and James Bolling Moorman, a long-time dean of the College. Jane went on to become an educator and professional in her own right.
Something of a woman ahead of her time, Jane returned to Austin College in 1971 to deliver a speech, “The Role of Women in Contemporary Society,” in which she told students, “Women in our society are taught to fulfill the expectations of others; men to fulfill their own.” But, she did tell students that the rigidity of male-female roles was changing and more choices were coming for women. Asked when that equality might be expected, she answered, “It could be tomorrow afternoon for a very determined woman, but generally I couldn’t give a time estimate. I’m afraid this ‘movement’ may be like some others—vocal support but no concrete action.” Jane herself may have helped bring about a level of change.
Upon graduating from Austin College, she earned a master’s degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Ph.D. at the University of Kansas-Lawrence. Her career included a stint as the head of public relations at the Hockaday School of Dallas before taking on the role of associate dean of students at Austin College. She next became an instructor in the school of education and counselor in the Guidance Bureau at the University of Kansas while completing her Ph.D. in educational psychology and guidance.
She spent the next several years at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she worked as a counseling psychologist, then assistant professor to special assistant to the dean of student affairs, to assistant dean of students. In 1968, she became assistant to the president of Barnard College. She held that position until becoming director of counseling and psychological services at the University of California-Berkeley, where she retired.
Dr. Moorman received many awards for her professional career, including Austin College’s Meritorious Service Award and Distinguished Alumni Award.