Elizabeth Hoyt

Honored by:The Economics Department
Brick location:PAVER:22  map

Economist, social scientist and philosopher, Elizabeth E. Hoyt has lived her ideals of scholarship and made classic contributions to the literature of social and economic development. She has used her knowledge influence and personal resources to facilitate the modernization process for people whose value systems were learned under village or tribal conditions. Elizabeth E. Hoyt was born January 27, 1893, in Augusta, Maine. She received a B.A. degree from Boston University in 1913, an M.A. degree in 1924 and a Ph.D. degree in 1925, both from Harvard University (Radcliffe Graduate School). She was an instructor at Wellesley College before coming to Iowa State as a faculty member in 1925, where she spent the next 55 years. Dr. Hoyt also held a research position with the National Industrial Conference Board, where she compiled a cost of living index in 1915 which later developed into the present Consumer Price Index. Miss Hoyt received a Fulbright award in 1950-51 to do research on social conditions in Africa at Makerere College Kampala Uganda. One result of her African experience was a program of upgrading libraries. In the 1970's a library in South Africa was named in her honor. She also participated in standard-of-living studies in Japan China Guatemala and the West Indies. Dr. Hoyt authored five books and numerous professional papers. She was listed in the first edition of Who's Who in American Women in 1954. Other honors included the Distinguished Service Award from Radcliffe College in 1964 and the Faculty Citation from the ISU Alumni Association for long outstanding and inspiring service on the university faculty. Dr. Hoyt's 65-year career was best known for a lifetime of devotion to humanitarian economics. Her teaching was a pioneering effort in the new field of consumer economics; in this area she touched the lives of thousands of students. Her research on levels and standards-of-living benefited people of many cultures in Africa Central America and the United States. She always gave help generously to students, colleagues and friends--a keen mind guided by a warm heart. In her will, Dr. Hoyt created the Elizabeth E. Hoyt Fellowship Fund at Iowa State University in 1982, one of the largest gifts from a faculty member. The gift was designated for funding international work of Iowa State University and particularly to help needy students from foreign countries study here. "Goodness, it's my life," Miss Hoyt said of her work. "If I didn't do it you might ask me why." Her interest in trying to provide realistic educational experiences for people in underdeveloped countries continued until her death in 1980 at the age of 87.


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Elizabeth Hoyt
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