Meyer F. Nimkoff was elected Editor of Marriage and Family Living and took office on January 1, 1954. However, he completed the last 1953 issue as Gladys Groves retired. Here is an excerpt she wrote in welcome in the November 1953 issue: “The Journal is fortunate indeed to have secured the gracious acceptance of Dr. Meyer F. Nimkoff of the next term of editorship. All who have worked long in the field of marriage and the family know his high scholarship, clear thinking and originality, and value his human sympathies and integrity. Even newcomers in the study of marriage and the family […]
While Eleanor Smith Litwak was Executive Secretary, she conducted an analysis of the 1954 membership, which included a total of 2,535 members. She found a very diverse group. The highest professional representation was by home economists, social service agencies, Protestant ministers, and professionals in the fields of education and sociology. The next highest group comprised professionals from the fields of marriage and family living, child development postsecondary education, medicine/psychiatry, parent and adult education agencies, and governmental agencies. Litwak stated that the areas of law, recreation, and housing, which she considered important for family life, were underrepresented. Students made up only 3.4% of the members.
A new constitution changed the Board’s structure and redefined the advisory committees. Helen Hiltner resigned as Executive Secretary, leaving NCFR without any staff leadership for several months. Eleanor Smith Litwak was hired on a part-time basis in January 1954. By October of that year, Armond Willis was hired full time but was relieved of his duties less than a year later.
The following is an excerpt from Dorothy T. Dyer‘s Presidential Address: There is no single approach, no one answer to the complexity of problems in our lives today. To think so, or to act on such an assumption is to distort the real picture. The very interprofessional nature of the NCFR offers the opportunity for cooperative creative work. It is my hope that we may grasp this opportunity more firmly, communicate more clearly, and combine our efforts more effectively so that the tremendous power and potential as yet untried may be used increasingly for helping families all over the world […]
In 1953, Robert Foster became NCFR’s 10th president. From 1932 to 1947, he was the head of the Family Life Department and Director of Marriage and Parental Counseling Services at the Merrill–Palmer Institute. He then was a professor of family relations and sociology at the University of Kansas. In 1950, he was named Director of the Marriage Counseling Service and Training Program at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, KS, and in 1959 he joined the staff of the Tulsa, OK, Psychiatric Foundation. As NCFR President, he appointed several committees, including one to study and clarify the relationship of the sections in the overarching organizational framework. […]
The 1953 Annual Conference in 1953 was held August 31–September 2 at the Kellogg Center in Lansing, MI. The main theme was “New Strength for the Family Today.” In 1953, a conference evaluation committee recommended a more structured approach to program planning. They recommended that the NCFR President-Elect become the chairperson for the program planning. The program committee should consist of the local site chairperson, section chair, and additional persons appointed by the program chair. This reconstruction underscored the vital role that the sections would play in conference preparation. The preplanning emphasis assisted the council leaders in guiding the course of the conferences, […]
By 1953, only 16 new members had been gained, for a total of 2,422. The controversy over membership policy continued. Howard Stanton was appointed to chair a membership analysis committee. He found several startling facts. First, of the 7,164 individuals who had joined NCFR at one time or another from January 1, 1930 through January 1, 1951, only 54%—3,912—had renewed their membership. Expectations of new members had not been met. Even the membership drive initiated at the 1953 Annual Conference at Rutgers University did not succeed. Read the 1952 membership recruitment letter
In 1953, President John O’Grady appointed Dorothy Dyer to chair a committee to deal with the journal relationship problems plaguing Marriage and Family Living (MFL). Her report, which clarified the management and operations of the journal, was submitted at the 1953 Board meeting. Most notable was the stand on developing relationships with other organizations. The individuals responsible for the journal would continue to make the financial decisions. At no time would space be sold to another organization without express approval of the Board of Directors. Editorships were rotated, and Editors were ex-officio members of the Executive Committee. The Editorial Council would […]
As NCFR reorganized, it became clear that the delegation of authority between the national office and the affiliates needed better clarification. Affiliate dissatisfaction was evident and demanded immediate attention. In 1953, President Robert Foster appointed another committee to investigate this relationship. David Fulcomer chaired that committee, which presented 20 recommendations for reinforcing the bond between NCFR and its affiliates. These efforts would continue for a long period of time. Read the 1953 Report of the Committee on the Relationship Between the National Council on Family Relations and Its Affiliates Despite these few years of crisis and reorganization, NCFR continued to reflect its […]
In 1952, NCFR was instrumental in organizing a Midwest Ad Hoc Conference on the proposed U.S. Family Department of Welfare. The purpose of the conference was to facilitate interprofessional consideration of family welfare and the implications of a proposed federal welfare department. It took place in Chicago on February 27, 1953, and was sponsored by NCFR, nine midwestern state councils, and several other organizations. NCFR President Robert Foster presided over the conference. Chair of the day was Fred Hoehler, CEO of the Citizen’s Committee of Greater Chicago and former Director of the Illinois Department of Welfare. Keynote speakers were Helen Ross, Administrative Director of […]