Piper, Elsie Ford, 1883-1958
- Existence: 1883-1958
Elsie Ford Piper was born at Alma, Nebraska, in 1883, the daughter of Joel and Jennie Proctor Piper. Her father was a pioneer educator and former Secretary of State from 1885-1897. Piper received her early education in the Lincoln Public Schools and pursued her undergraduate study at the University of Nebraska, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree in 1904. While a student at the University, Piper and her sister, Jennie Lou Piper, were instrumental in founding the Zeta Chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi.
Following her graduation from the University, Piper began her teaching career as principal at the high school in Stanton, Nebraska, a position she held until 1907. In that year she was appointed head of the Latin department at Hastings High School and went on to serve as principal at the high school in Ashland, Nebraska from 1909 until 1910. From 1910 to 1917, she chaired the Latin department at Wayne State Teachers College. She left her position there to pursue a course of graduate study at Stanford University. Returning to Wayne in 1918, she resumed her post as head of the Latin department and became Dean of Women.
In 1925, Piper left Wayne to become Assistant Dean of Women in charge of Housing at the University of Nebraska. While at the University, Piper actively engaged in the promotion of better standards and facilities for women's housing. She helped develop a room assignment system designed to bring together women with similar interests and backgrounds. She also promoted the construction of adequate, comfortable on-campus residence halls for women.
Piper served yearly terms as Acting Dean of Women in 1930 and 1938. She was twice elected President of the Nebraska Association of Deans of Women, and in 1942 was cited at the convention of the National Association of Deans of Women for her outstanding work. Piper was also affiliated with the DAR, the PEO, the American Association of University Women, Alpha Lambda Delta, and Mortar Board.
In 1950, Piper retired from her career, and in 1957, was honored by the dedication of Elsie Ford Piper Hall at the University of Nebraska. Piper died at her home in Lincoln December 20, 1958.