Patricia Graham

Member Since: 1979

Patricia Albjerg Graham was born in Lafayette, Indiana, February 9, 1935. She graduated from West Lafayette High School in 1952, entered the University of Wisconsin that year and returned in 1953 to West Lafayette to Purdue University from she graduated “with highest distinction” in 1955 and married Loren R. Graham the same day. Their daughter, Marguerite Elizabeth, was born January 12, 1957. She received a master’s degree from Purdue in 1957 and a PhD from Columbia in 1964. She has received 17 honorary doctorates. Her teaching career began in September, 1955 at Deep Creek High School, Norfolk County, Virginia, followed by Maury High School, Norfolk, Virginia in 1957-58, followed by St. Hilda’s and St. Hugh’s School, New York City from 1958-60, 61-63. In 1962-63 she worked as an administrative assistant for the Inter-University Committee on Travel Grants (organization managing the US/USSR academic exchanges) in Bloomington, Indiana followed by an appointment teaching at the Indiana University School of Education, 1965-65. In 1965 she returned to New York City where she led the Education Program and taught in the history department at Barnard College from 1965-1974. She became a professor at Harvard University in 1974 where she initially served as dean of the Radcliffe Institute and subsequently dean of the Graduate School of Education as Charles Warren Professor of History of Education. In addition she served as Director of the National Institute of Education in the Carter administration (1977-79). From 1991-2000 she was president of the Spencer Foundation. She retired from Harvard in 2021. She is the author of four books, and a number of articles. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. She was president of the National Academy of Education, served as chair of the board of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, vice-chair of the Central European University Board, and member of a number of other boards.

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