Mary Jane Stevenson
Mary Jane Stevenson was the dean of women at Bucknell University for 24 years, and was a national leader in her field. She also served as assistant to the dean of students and national executive director and secretary of Alpha Lambda Delta, the freshman scholastic honorary society. Her work was so valued by the society that an annual Alpha Lambda Delta scholarship was named in her honor.
"There was always an eye open toward development," Stevenson said about her career at Bucknell. "It was delightful to work in such a progressive environment." Her professional success was a result of many factors, but perhaps the most debt is owed to two rare, but important qualities Stevenson possessed: authority and nurturing. She cared not only about Bucknell students' academic experience, but about their spiritual experience, as well.
The Class of 1954 said it best when they described Stevenson in their yearbook, which they dedicated to her. "High ideals and a strong belief in the worth of every student as an individual have made Miss Stevenson beloved and respected by all Bucknellians," they wrote. "Her sympathetic understanding of both administrative and student problems is rarely equaled and her sense of fairness and unbiased judgment have made us trust her. But more than anything else, Dean Stevenson has become a symbol of all that is kind and good." Stevenson made it clear the feeling was mutual.