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Foster, Mary Louise, 1921-2012



  • Existence: February 18, 1921 - August 28, 2012

Biographical Information

Mary Louise Foster, a native of Harrisburg, Indiana, studied Home Economics at Purdue. Foster earned a Bachelor’s degree in 1939 and a Master’s degree in 1950. After graduation she taught Home Economics in local public high schools, including the first home economics class for boys at Harrisburg High School.

Foster returned to Purdue in 1955 as a professor in the Family and Consumer Sciences Department, where she served as an instructor of the Home Management House course. Foster helped to develop the first program in Home Economics at the University of Vicosa in Brazil, working there from 1960 until 1965. She officially retired from Purdue in 1987, but continued on as an Academic Advisor in the Department of Consumer Sciences and Retailing.

Mary Louise Foster served a total of almost sixty years at Purdue. She received the Helen B. Schleman Gold Medallion award in 2000 and the Special Boilermaker Award from the Purdue Alumni Association in 2005. A scholarship in her name has been established by the former Consumer and Family Sciences Student Council (later the Health and Human Sciences Student Council).


MSO 1, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Oral History Program collection, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Mary Louise Foster papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 469
Abstract This collection documents the work of Mary Louise Foster during her time at Purdue as a faculty member.
Dates: 1900 - 2010; Majority of material found within 1950 - 1970