In Memoriam

Norma Jean Anderson (1931-2006)

Norma Jean Anderson, professor emerita of education and former associate dean of student and alumni affairs at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, died recently at her home in Shutesbury, Massachusetts. She was 74 years old.

Anderson graduated from high school in Springfield, Illinois, at the age of 15 and then immediately enrolled at the University of Illinois. After graduating from college in 1956 she was the second African American hired as a schoolteacher in Springfield, Illinois. She later earned a doctorate in counseling and organizational psychology at the University of Illinois.

After completing her doctorate, Anderson was named assistant superintendent of schools in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1970 she joined the faculty at the University of Massachusetts. She taught there for nearly a quarter of a century before her retirement in 1994.

As associate dean, Anderson was responsible for creating a more diverse student body at the graduate school. She recruited both Camille and Bill Cosby, who both earned doctorates at the university.