Dr. Joan Walters, first full-time female faculty member at Fairfield University, remembered fondly as she passes at age 86
(Posted on August 02, 2011)
Dr. Joan Walters, the first full-time female faculty member at Fairfield University and the first woman department chair of the Economics Department, passed away on Sunday, July 31, at age 86. She joined Fairfield in 1963 and enjoyed a long and distinguished career in which she oversaw the impressive growth and development of the Economics Department from 1975 to 1982. Admired and loved by fellow faculty and students alike, she retired in 1996 as professor emerita.
The esteem in which she was held is evidenced by her being honored with the Alumni Association's Distinguished Faculty Award in 1994 and the establishment of an endowed scholarship in her name. When Fairfield University named its roads on campus in 2004, one of them was named "Walters Way" in her honor.
In the classroom, where she taught banking, finance, international trade and government policy, Dr. Walters was known for being consistently innovative, incorporating computer simulations and multimedia presentations into her course delivery while developing new courses. Her students consistently outperformed their peers when given the nationwide Dante Money and Banking Test.
Dr. Walters served on every key faculty committee at the University, including the University Curriculum Committee and the Academic Council. She was published in numerous scholarly journals, including the prestigious Journal of Finance, and served on the boards of the Eastern Finance Association and State National Bank.
Prior to joining the Fairfield faculty, she had been in research in government, with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C., and in the private sector, with Citibank in New York City.
A summa cum laude graduate of Radcliffe College with a master's in economics and doctorate from Harvard University, Joan was named an Outstanding Educator of America and was listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who of American Women, and American Economic Review.
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Vol. 44, No. 13