Dr. Lydia Inman Fjeld gave selflessly to Truman throughout her life. She arrived at the University in 1973 after accepting the position of head of the Division of Home Economics. Shortly thereafter, in 1975, she was named dean of graduate studies, a position she occupied until her retirement in 1983.
Inman Fjeld provided strong leadership at a pivotal time in the University’s history. At her retirement banquet, Deena Fowler (’75) delivered an address where she shared her observation that, “Dr. Inman fostered our growth, as well as her growth. She focused on others’ strengths rather than on their shortcomings. She uncorked human resources rather than keeping the lid on.”
Some of the many honors over the course of Inman Fjeld’s career include being named a General Foods Fund Fellow while a student at the University of Minnesota, earning a listing in the 1975 edition of Outstanding Educators of America and receiving the 1977 Merit Award from the Dairy Council of Greater Kansas City.
While Inman Fjeld’s service to the University ended in 1983, her role as one of Truman’s benefactors had just begun. In 1988, she added the moniker of Philanthropic Fellow to her many accomplishments. This designation was publicly recognized by then-University President, Dr. Charles J. McClain at the annual John R. Kirk induction ceremonies. The foundation that Inman Fjeld and her colleagues helped create and strengthen through their charitable giving contributed to the transformation of Truman into the nationally recognized university it is today.
Inman Fjeld passed away March 13, 2015, at the age of 96. Through her estate, she has contributed $25,000 to the Truman State University Foundation to fund the Dr. Lydia Inman Fjeld Scholarship Endowment. Her generosity will ensure that her passion for fostering growth and uncorking human potential will continue through the scholarship she created.