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Elizabeth K. Roper, 1923-2001
Elizabeth K. Roper, a leader in the development of UConn's continuing education program and in the establishment of the first women's center on campus, died Jan. 30. She was 77.
"She was the prime mover for all women's studies at the University. Her efforts spread from continuing education into the curriculum," says Galvin Gall, associate professor emeritus of economics and former dean of the Division of Extended and Continuing Education (now the College of Continuing Studies). "She was also enormously helpful in the early stages of the bachelor of studies program."
Roper received her bachelor's degree from Connecticut College and served as state president of the League of Women Voters in the mid-1960s. She joined UConn in 1964 to coordinate a continuing education program for women, one of the first in the United States. Her support of and interest in professional and personal growth of women was a unifying thread throughout her career in education and public service.
She was a leader in the establishment of not only the Women's Center but the Women's Studies Program and on-campus day care services and oversaw development of the University's first Affirmative Action Plan. She served as coordinator of continuing education for women, and then as assistant and associate dean of the Division of Extended and Continuing Education, before retiring in 1988. She served on the board of directors of the National University Continuing Education Association.
Roper was actively involved in state politics and civic activities, and served on a number of state commissions, local boards and civic organizations. She was a member of the Clean Water Task Force and the Commission on Clean Air under Gov. John Dempsey; was appointed to the Governor's Council on Voluntary Action by Gov. Ella Grasso; was elected to the Board of Selectmen in Darien and the Democratic Town Committee in Ashford; was a past president of the Connecticut League of Women Voters; and from 1987 to 1994, served as Democratic Registrar of Voters for Ashford.
Roper leaves three sons.
Memorial contributions may be made to the League of Women Voters, Connecticut 75th Endowment Fund, 1890 Dixwell Ave., Suite 113, Hamden, CT 06514 or send a check payable to the UConn Foundation Inc., to the Gall/Roper Scholarship Fund, Fund #30150-1700, 2390 Alumni Drive, Unit 3206, Storrs, CT 06269.