WMU News

Mary E. Burns

July 13, 2004

Dr. Mary E. Burns, a professor emerita of social work at Western Michigan University, died Feb. 25 in Zellwood, Fla. She was 88.

Burns moved to Zellwood in 1984 after retiring from the University in 1979. She joined the WMU School of Social Work as a full professor in 1969, serving as director of field education and chair of the school's curriculum committee. She wrote more than a dozen published articles in professional journals.

She received both bachelor of arts and master of social work degrees from the University of Michigan in 1936 and 1945, respectively, and a doctoral degree from the University of Chicago in 1958.

Before coming to WMU, she was professor of social work at the University of Michigan, 1960-69; was associate professor at the University of Texas, 1951-57 and 1958-60; and served on the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration as assistant professor during 1957-58 while on educational leave from U-T.

While at the University of Texas, she was on leave in 1954-55 as a Fulbright professor, consulting on fieldwork at three schools of social work in Egypt. From 1936 to 1950, she served as a caseworker, group worker and supervisor at a variety of public and private agencies.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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