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Polly Reinicker and Catherine Bieber
During the College of Education and Human Development's 2013 Celebration of Excellence, Polly Reinicker (left), recipient of the Catherine Bieber Scholarship for Academic Achievement and Leadership, posed with her benefactor "Kitty" Bieber.

In Memoriam: Catherine 'Kitty' V. Bieber

Photo by Duane Perry

Former dean was a positive force in family sciences at UD

Catherine “Kitty” V. Bieber, former associate dean of the University of Delaware’s College of Human Resources (now the College of Education and Human Development), passed away on Nov. 11, 2017. A private memorial service was held to honor her.

Dean Bieber received her bachelor’s degree from Drexel University, her master’s from the University of Delaware and continued advanced work at the University of Pennsylvania.

She was a member of the UD faculty, starting in 1956, and served as associate dean of the college and associate professor of home economics education (now Human Development and Family Sciences) from 1969-79. During her tenure as associate dean, she was appointed acting dean on two occasions: in June 1972 and again in December 1975. While it has been 25 years since Dean Bieber’s retirement, her legacy is honored by the many individuals she inspired over the years.

Always the consummate professional and yet extremely humble about her accomplishments, Dean Bieber was the recipient of a UD Excellence in Teaching Award in 1964 and named emeritus associate professor and associate dean of the College of Human Resources in 1989.

She was a trailblazer, serving as an early advocate for professional women, diversity and gender equity -- eagerly participating in many UD activities and committees, as well as national professional organizations. These included Kappa Omicron Nu, a national home economics honor society, which she was instrumental in establishing on the UD campus; and the American Association of Family and Consumer Science.

A true Blue Hen, she was admired and appreciated by her colleagues and students for her devotion to mentoring both students and faculty, with a caring manner and the highest of standards. She established a scholarship benefiting students in HDFS who demonstrated academic achievement and leadership and took delight in following the success of her recipients.

Dean Bieber will be fondly remembered by students and faculty alike as a positive force in their lives, who continued to be a guiding influence long after their departure from UD.

An avid UD football fan for many years, Dean Bieber and her husband could be found, on any given Saturday, supporting the team in Delaware Stadium.

Dean Bieber is survived by her husband of 68 years, Homer “Ace" Bieber, and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Catherine Bieber Scholarship for Academic Achievement and Leadership in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, University of Delaware, Office of Development and Alumni Relations, 83 East Main St., 3rd Floor, Newark, DE 19716.

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