Dorothy Jean Kerr ’44
B.A., Denison University
M.A., Columbia University
Citation awarded June, 1999
Dorothy Jean Kerr is retired from her life-long work on behalf of the American Youth Foundation (AYF), a national organization committed to Christian leadership training of young people. The AYF sponsors camping programs as a major part of its initiatives.
Following her graduation from Denison, Dorothy Jean pursued graduate studies in religion at Iowa State College on a Danforth Graduate Fellowship. In 1959 she earned the M.A. in Guidance and Student Personnel Administration from Columbia University Teachers College.
Dorty joined the AYF in 1946. Over the years, she work touched the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of girls. Her assignments included Co-Director of the Girl’s Camp (1946-59), Director of the Girls’ Camp (1960-80), and Associate Director of Leadership Conference and Conference of Faculty Members (1946-81). In 1989, she received the Emeritus Award for Outstanding Leadership and Dedication to the Camping Association, an award sponsored by the American Camping Association (ACA). Dorty’s professional work included terms as Secretary and Vice President of the ACA, as well as committee work for that organization.
As a volunteer, Dorty has contributed her services to Downtown Activities for Women of St. Louis, the University City Historical Society, the Friends of University City Library, the St. Louis Central YWCA, Zonta International, and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae Association. For more than sixty years, Dorty has been an active member of the American Baptist Church. She has served Denison as Career Advisor, St. Louis Alumni Club Program Chair, fundraising volunteer, and Reunion Co-Manager.
Dorty attended Denison from her home in Dayton, Ohio. For the past fifty years, her home and professional associations have been in St. Louis, Missouri. Her sister, Marjorie Kerr Schlosser, is a member of Denison’s Class of 1947.