Jean Campbell, CEW Founder, 1918-2016

CEW mourns founder Jean Campbell who died Saturday, March 19th, 2016. She was 98 years old.

As one of the founding creators of the Center for the Education of Women in 1964 (then the Center for Continuing Education of Women), Jean Campbell was the first director of CEW until she retired in 1985. After earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in education at Northwestern University, she eventually moved to Ann Arbor in 1946, becoming active in the League of Women Voters. As the director of CEW, she led the Center through its self-creation in the beginning years and oversaw its development as a functional and respected unit. Campbell was instrumental in molding the Center into a place that addressed the needs of individuals, provided new knowledge about women’s lives through its research, and represented the needs of women across the University to its executive officers.

In the fall of 1970, to mark the 100th anniversary of the admission of women to the University of Michigan, Jean Campell used $7500 in private donations she raised to create the CEW Scholarship program. The scholarship program flourished over the years and continues to this day, having awarded over 1600 privately funded scholarships  and fellowships. In 1982, Jean inaugurated the Visiting Scholars program at CEW. The Jean Campbell Research Fund continues to fund scholars from across the country and the globe who come to CEW for a semester of research. Jean herself played a significant role nationally in the development of research on women’s education and its uses. She helped to found the National Coalition for Research on Women’s Education and Development, was a founding member of the National Council for Research on Women, and was a program participant in the first International Interdisciplinary Conference on Women.

Jean’s contributions to the knowledge base regarding women in education and that of continuing education are widely accepted. Her impact on the Center certainly accounts in great part for its longevity. Her impact nationally, however, can be seen in the development of Women’s Centers and research centers on women’s issues formed years after CEW was established. Jean’s contributions were recognized in 1996 when she was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame and in 2010 when the University of Michigan recognized her contributions and achievements by awarding her an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree.

She was a friend and a mentor to many, and will be greatly missed.


The family of Jean Campbell invites you to a celebration of her life and legacy on Saturday, 10 a.m., April 23, 2016 at the U-M Michigan League Ballroom, 911 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Valet parking will be available at the south entrance of the building. In order to assist the family in planning the event, we ask that you RSVP at the link below.


If you wish to make a gift to CEW in memory of Jean you may do so by clicking this link:  http://victo.rs/1RxKzg8.