Mary Elizabeth Kirkham

Honored by:Carolyn Errington
Brick location:H:2  map

My friendship with Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Kirkham began when we were both teaching in the English Department of Iowa State University and it continued after retirement until her death in May, 1996. Betty had in large measure the basic qualities for a friendship: dependability, kindness, honesty, loyalty, trustworthiness; but she had in addition a quality of mind that made her exceptional as a friend.

Her fine intelligence had been disciplined by a splendid formal education and a lifetime of demanding experience. She was capable of carefully examining new ideas; and she was willing in conversation to share all that she gained from extensive reading of books and periodicals. As a consequence the back and forth of our conversation over the years was spirited and always--always--interesting.

I choose to place a brick in the Plaza of Heroines inscribed with Betty Kirkham's name as a fitting way to honor her memory.