Lenore Whitman McNeer

Lenore Whitman McNeer
Lenore Whitman McNeer

Time Period

1940 to Today

Notable Facts

Director of Vermont College's Mental Health Program and the Department of Human Services. Champion of women's rights locally and nationally, chairing the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women from 1970-1972 and serving as the Vermont delegate to the International Women's Year Conference in Houston, Texas in 1978.

Personal Information

Date of Birth

05/16/1922

Date of Death

06/12/1981

Primary Residence

Montpelier

Religion

Episcopalian

Ethnicity

Caucasian

Historical Significance

Lenore Whitman McNeer was Director of Vermont College's Mental Health Program and Department of Human Services. She was also a champion of women's rights locally and nationally, chairing the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women from 1970-1972 and serving as the Vermont delegate to the International Women's Year Conference in Houston, Texas.

McNeer was raised in West Virginia and was the first person in her immediate family to attend college. She graduated from Berea College in Kentucky with a BA in Sociology in 1944 and continued her education at the University of Chicago where she obtained a Master's degree in 1951. Her husband, Mason McNeer, got a job teaching at Norwich University, so the couple and their two sons moved to Montpelier, Vermont.

Lenore McNeer was employed as a psychiatric social worker for the Department of Mental Health before she joined the staff of Vermont College as an Assistant Professor and Director of Community Services. She later became Director of Vermont College's Mental Health Program and the Department of Human Services. McNeer served as a leader in the human services field and helped set the standards and the curriculum for human service programs on the baccalaureate level. She wrote numerous publications on a variety of topics ranging from depression to educational conditions seen around the world. McNeer continued to educate herself and received her doctorate in Human Services and Mental Health from the University of Massachusetts in 1975.

McNeer's other passion in life was women's rights. She chaired the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women from 1970-1972 and was a supporter of the National Equal Rights Amendment. She was chosen to chair the planning committee for the International Women's Year celebration in 1976 and planned a Vermont Women's Town Meeting for 1977. At that Town Meeting, she was elected as a delegate to the Houston, Texas, International Women's Year Conference and served as a floor manager there. McNeer became involved in the National Organization of Human Services Education and organized the New England Chapter of the national organization. When she died in June 1981, the organization created the Lenore McNeer award, which goes to a recipient "who has made a distinctive contribution to the field of human services as a practitioner or as an educator."

Organizations or Movements

  • Governor's Commission on the Status of Women
  • International Women's Year Celebration
  • Vermont Women's Town Meeting (1977)
  • Houston International Women's Year Conference
  • National Organization of Human Services Education
  • Church Women United
  • YWCA
  • American Association of University Women

Occupations

  • Assistant Professor, Director of Community Services, Director of the Mental Health Program and Director of the Department of Human Services at Vermont College
  • Psychiatric social worker for the State Department of Mental Health.

Education

  • A.B., Berea College, (1944)
  • M.A., University of Chicago, (1951)
  • Ed.D., University of Massachusetts in Human Services and Mental Health Administration

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • Trailblazing Women: Lenore McNeer Link

  • Allen, Pat. "Lenore Whitman McNeer." In Those Indomitable Vermont Women. Williston, VT.:Heritage Print & Copy, 2006.

  • Report Gives Status of Women in Vermont Link

  • Vermont Women's Town Meeting Link