Dorothy Ganfield Fowler '23

1996 Distinguished Alumna Award

The Ganfield family name and legacy on the Carroll campus is great. Dr. William Arthur Ganfield was professor of history from 1904-1915 and president of the college from 1921-1939. He served as pastor in Green Bay (1901-04) before his service at Carroll as professor of history and political science. 

In 1915, he left Carroll for a brief time, serving as president of Centre College. He returned to Carroll in 1921 to accept the presidency, a position he held until his retirement in 1939. Dr. Ganfield and his wife Clara had five children who attended Carroll: Dorothy Ganfield Fowler '23, A. Boardman Ganfield '24, Elizabeth Ganfield Laatsch '27, Ruth Ganfield '31 and Jane Ganfield '32. Siblings, Dorothy Ganfield Fowler and A. Boardman Ganfield, received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996 recognizing their achievements during the 150th anniversary of the Carroll charter.

Dorothy’s life was marked by decades of educational interests and professional achievements. The academic life surrounded her from childhood. Dorothy graduated from Carroll in 1923 majoring in mathematics and a minor in history and government. She went on to receive her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1928.  

In 1930, she began teaching U.S. history and foreign policy at Hunter College and in the graduate division of the City University of New York for over forty years. She was elected chairman of the history department, which at that time included fifty professors. She held that position from 1962-1968.Upon the retirement of her husband, they moved to the Netherlands, where Dorothy spent a year as a Fulbright visiting professor at the University of Utrecht. She retired from teaching in 1972.  

Fowler was author of numerous articles and several books on American political and constitutional history. In 1981, well into her retirement, she completed a major study: “A City Church: The First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York: 1716-1976.” She was a staunch supporter of Carroll and generous benefactor establishing several endowed funds in her family’s name to support scholarships and programming in music and the library.

Dorothy died in May 2000 just short of her 98th birthday.

Give Back and Get involved

Panoramic View of campus