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A History of the University of Missouri-Columbia
College of Human Environmental Sciences

Note to Researcher: The information about the College of Human Environmental Sciences found on this page was originally compiled in 1999. More current information about the College of Human Environmental Sciences can be found at the following URL:


The University of Missouri-Columbia Board of Curators authorized the establishment of a Department of Domestic Economy in the College of Agriculture in 1898; it was actually established, with the name of Household Economics, in 1900. At that time, programs included a one-year general course, planned for "young women who wished to fit themselves for the management of the home on the best economic and hygienic basis," and a two-year teacher's course intended "to meet the needs of those who realize the importance of Household Science and observing the demand for teachers' desire to specialize." During the first year classes were housed on the third floor of Switzler Hall and 31 young women were enrolled in the program.

In 1906, Household Economics was renamed the Department of Home Economics and a four-year program was established leading to a bachelor of science in Home Economics. The aim at this time was to correlate work in art and physical, biological, and social sciences with studies in home economics. In 1909 a master of science program was established and a master of arts program was established in 1915. A doctoral program was established in 1927.

Following the enactment of the Smith-Hughes Act for vocational education in 1917, a department of Home Economics Education was organized in the School of Education, making available a training program for teachers of Vocational Home Economics. Home Economics Extension programs were also initiated with passage of the Smith-Lever Act in 1914.

In 1917, a "household management house" was established to provide supervised practical experience for Home Economics students. In 1924, construction began on Gwynn Hall, the first Home Economics building. Stanley Hall, which was dedicated in 1961, later expanded the Home Economics facilities. Phi Upsilon Omicron, a national home economics honorary society, was installed at the University of Missouri in 1929. A second cooperative home management house, later renamed the Campbell-Harrison House, was organized in 1936.

Home Economics became a school in the College of Agriculture in 1960 and, although not officially departmentalized, retained sections which functioned as departments. In 1973, the school became the independent College of Home Economics. In 1988 the School of Social Work became part of the college, and the name was changed to the College of Human Environmental Sciences.


Note to Researcher: A list of the current departments in the College of Human Environmental Sciences can be found at the following URL:

Other Programs

  • HES Extension
  • HES Education
  • HES Journalism (From ca. 1955-1991, the School of Journalism and HES offered a cooperative program in HES Journalism)
  • HES Communications (From ca. 1940-1991, HES offered a graduate program in HES Communications)


Note to Researcher: Information on current administrators in the College of Human Environmental Sciences can be found at the following URL:

  • 1900-1903 Jane Zabriskie, Instructor in Home Economics
  • 1906-1909 Edna Day, Chair
  • 1910-1923 Louise Stanley, Chair
  • 1924-1925 Sarah B. Wingert, Chair
  • 1925-1926 Jesse Cline, Chair
  • 1926-1937 Mabel Campbell, Chair
  • 1937-1938 Bertha Bisbey, Chair (Acting)
  • 1938-1948 Florence Harrison, Chair
  • 1948-1954 Starley Hunter, Chair
  • 1954-1955 Elizabeth Hensley, Chair (Acting)
  • 1955-1977 Margaret Mangel, Chair/Director/Dean
  • 1977-2001 Bea Litherland Smith, Dean

Sources: University General Catalogs (C:0/51/1/); School of Home Economics Catalogs and Bulletins (C:5/12/1); HES Dean's Office - M. Mangel HE History Records (C:5/1/NP)

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Copyright © Curators of the University of Missouri 1997 - 2002
Published by: University Archives
Originally Prepared by Mary French: November 1999
Revised: 11 April 2002

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