Alice Lloyd became Dean of Women in 1930 and served until her death in 1950. Before her appointment as the Dean of Women she had been a part of the three-person Women's Advisory Council that took over the roll for three years. During the twenty years that she held the position she led women students through two major events, the Great Depression and World War II. Both events had profound effects on women on campus, particularily concerning women's housing. Overcrowding and lack of sufficient housing plagued the entirety of Dean Lloyd's time at Michigan. Housing was a major focus for her as she tried to create an adequate housing environment for the women students.
Mosher-Jordan Hall opened in 1930, but by the 1940’s the women’s housing shortage reached its most acute point. During World War II while servicemen were being housed in the dormitories, fraternities were rented to house women students.1 When the war ended and men returned to campus in large numbers and took back the fraternity houses, women's overcrowding issues began again.
In 1945, the first enrollment cap for women was instituted, allowing only as many women as there were housing spaces available to enroll. A year after the cap was instituted the Junior Girl’s Play was called “There’s Room for All,” a satire on the housing crisis.2
Dean Lloyd was somewhat critical of what she saw as a new breed of women coming to campus and attributed the need for a Dean of Women to the students she saw as less academically focused. She believed there was a large group of women on campus who were “socially inclined and not only light-hearted, but light-minded.”3
However, Dean Lloyd fiercely believed in a woman’s right to education. In a response to an article written by the New York Herald on the success of women colleges, an article she called “rather unnecessary at this period in the history of the education of women,” she pointed out the continued academic success of women at Michigan — consistently better than that of the men of the school — and their contributions to academic life on campus including achievements in both the arts and sciences.4
Alice Lloyd served as the Dean of Women until her death in 1950. The new women’s dorm was named after her shortly after.
1. The President's Report to the Board of Regents for the Academic Year, 1944-1945, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 27.
2. Wilfred Byron Shaw, The University of Michigan, An Encyclopedic Survey, Part IX: Student Life and Organizations. The University of Michigan, 1866.
3. Alice Lloyd, “I have chosen informally” speech, December 11, 1934, Alice C. Lloyd Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.
4. Alice Lloyd, “The recent controversy,” Michigan Daily, November 22, 1946, Alice C. Lloyd Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.