Department of Women's and Gender Studies University of Missouri Department of Women's and Gender Studies

Luverne Walton Biography

Luverne Walton joined the MU faculty in 1966, the same year in which she received her Ph.D. in German from Indiana University in Bloomington. By 1968, she was Associate Professor of German with tenure, and she Luverne Waltonchaired the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies from 1968-69 and again from 1972-74. During those years, she also chaired the very first Status of Women Committee at MU (in the College of Arts and Science) which did so much to raise the salaries of women faculty who had been victims of gender discrimination.

She went on to chair the newly established Chancellor's Committee on the Status of Women, and her important and courageous committee work on behalf of women faculty, staff, and students became a model for many of the faculty who subsequently served on or chaired committees responsible for gender equity at MU.

In 1974, Dr. Walton was appointed Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs, and served from 1977 until 1981. With this appointment she became the first woman at MU to hold a regular appointment in the central administration. She soon became known for striving for perfection, being sensitive to the concerns of others, and making decisions that were objective and fair to all. This she accomplished without diminishing her advocacy for women's rights. For several years she headed the campus-wide review of recommendations for faculty promotion and tenure, a role that required great sensitivity and skill.

During her years in central administration, Dr. Walton also played a crucial role in the development of Women Studies at MU. Through her efforts, support for the Women Studies Program was consolidated in the Provost's Office, and Women Studies made the transition from an informal, "coordinated cafeteria" of women-related courses and activities to a coherent, academically-respected program with a full-time director. Later developments in the program – such as the hiring of faculty appointed in Women Studies, and the achievement of departmental status in 2007 – were possible only because of the solid foundation that Dr. Walton helped establish.

After leaving the Provost's Office, Dr. Walton served as Director of the MU Center for International Programs and Studies, a position that allowed her to extend her commitments to multi-disciplinary education into a global arena. Even after some years of retirement, she returned to MU in 1995-96 to serve as Assistant Director of the Museum of Art and Archaeology during a difficult transition period.

During and after her years at MU, Dr. Luverne Walton was frequently recognized and honored for her many forms of service to the University and particularly for her dedication to improving the status of women at MU and in the community. It is in remembrance of these efforts, in recognition of her courageous work on behalf of women, and in gratitude for her many contributions that the MU Women's and Gender Studies Department seeks to honor her with a scholarship in her name.


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Department of Women's and Gender Studies | College of Arts and Science | University of Missouri
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Last modified: 19-May-2016