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Former Radcliffe College Dean Frances R. Jordan Dies at 81


Frances Ruml Jordan, a former dean of Radcliffe College, died in Boston last Sunday at the age of 81.

Jordan held the position of dean for academic affairs of Radcliffe from 1936-40. She was "a wonderful dean, the most wonderful dean for Radcliffe," Helen Homans Gilbert, a former member of the Radcliffe Council, said yesterday.

Graduated from Vassar College in 1921, Jordan received her master's degree in economics from Radcliffe in 1928, and was appointed tutorial secretary for Radcliffe later that year.

"I had known her since she came to graduate school; she was a very charming and able person," Bernice Cronkhite, former dean of Radcliffe Graduate School, said yesterday.

Jordan continued to work for Radcliffe, as assistant dean, acting dean and then as dean for academic affairs. "She was an extraordinary woman, very strong and with a brilliant mind," Susan Story Lyman, former trustee of Radcliffe, said yesterday.

The wife of Dr. Wilbur Kitchener Jordan, Frances Jordan ended her work at Radcliffe when her husband was appointed president of Radcliffe in 1943, because "she felt she couldn't keep on when Mr. Jordan was made president," Gilbert said.

Kathleen Eliot, former dean of Radcliffe said yesterday Jordan "had great dynamism and wit; her wit and vitality of mind stayed with her until the very end."

Although she ended her work at Radcliffe, Jordan remained active in the Boston community during the years of her husband's presidency, from 1943-60. She held the position of executive secretary to the Commission on Plasma Fractionation and Related Processes at the Medical School, was a member of the executive committee and of the board of trustees of Wheaton College, Abbot Academy, and the School of nursing of the Massachusetts General Hospital.

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