2:00 p.m., Nov. 19, 2008--Lila C. Murphy, who served as the second chairperson of what is now the University of Delaware's Department of Human Development and Family Studies, died Nov. 16. She was 78.
Dr. Murphy joined the University of Delaware faculty in 1981 as professor and chairperson of what was then the Department of Individual and Family Studies in the then-College of Human Resources. While chairperson, she was responsible for the development of a doctoral program in family studies, the first Ph.D. program in the college.
Her teaching, research and consulting interests focused on women and leadership, and women and work issues. She completed two national studies; one on women in vocational education leadership positions and the other of the impact of vocational education sex equality legislation. She developed a new program for the undergraduate students interested in social services, entitled Community and Family Studies.
Among her many honors, she was the first recipient of the University's E. Arthur Trabant Award for Women's Equity.
When she retired in 1991, students established a scholarship in her name.
A native of New Hampshire, she graduated from Hillsboro High School and received her baccalaureate and master's degrees from Keene State College and a doctorate from Ohio State University. She was a home economics teacher in New Hampshire and Connecticut and coached girls' basketball for many years. She was employed by the New Hampshire State Department of Education for 15 years. While with the state, she served as consultant for home economics education, director of secondary vocational education, assistant and acting chief of the Division of Vocational Education and director of the Research Coordinating Unit.
Dr. Murphy was responsible for the development and initial implementation of the Twenty Area Vocational Educational Centers throughout the state of New Hampshire in cooperation with state and local educational, business and industrial leaders.
In 1978, she joined the National Center for Research in Vocational Education at Ohio State University. She developed the National Academy for Vocational Education, the professional development arm of the national center. The academy provided in-service opportunities for national and international leadership personnel.
Dr. Murphy served on and chaired numerous state, university and national committees. She was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi and Omicron Nu honor societies plus related professional organizations. She received many awards, including an Outstanding Alumni Award from Keene State College.
She is survived by brothers, Hall and Floyd Murphy of Hillsboro, N.H., and Jerry Murphy of Mt. Ayer, Iowa; sisters, Tessie Murphy of Manchester, N.H. and Rita Dunlap of Antrim, N.H., and many nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Lila C. Murphy Fund for Leadership and Equality, Development Office, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716.