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Cecilia J. Lauby-Ryan leaves legacy for teacher education

Cecilia J. Lauby-Ryan

Cecilia J. Lauby-Ryan, one of Illinois State University’s most distinguished faculty emerita, passed away this May.

Lauby left the University a substantial gift to support excellence in teacher education.  Half of her gift will be used for the Dr. Cecilia J. Lauby Teacher Education Center and half to establish the Dr. Cecilia J. Lauby Endowed Fellowship in Teacher Education. The fellowship will focus on professional development, educational activities and an increase in the work with school districts, which will further Illinois State University’s reputation for excellence in educational practice.

Lauby was hired by Illinois State Normal University President Raymond Fairchild in 1949 to improve the clinical teaching experiences of the students by creating the first Office of Student Teaching (now the Office of Clinical Experiences and Certification Processes).  Prior to her arrival, all student teaching experiences were offered through the University Laboratory Schools. Lauby’s task was to work with school districts across the state to offer supervised student teaching in a variety of schools.

Lauby created a model of student teaching experiences that was copied by universities across the nation.  She continued to lead the student teaching experience area until she retired in 1973, at which time the University had increased from 2,000 to 20,000 students.  Lauby was honored by the College of Education when they named the Dr. Cecilia J. Lauby Teacher Education Center for her.

“Illinois State boasts a worldwide network for student teachers to gain experiences, and the University owes its very first links to Cecilia Lauby,” said President Al Bowman. “We are honored to have been associated with this cherished scholar, who reached out to us yet again with a major estate gift to help ensure that Illinois State maintains its reputation of excellence in teacher education.”

Lauby received her Ed.D. from Indiana University.  She served at Illinois State University as the coordinator of Student Teaching from 1949 to 1959, as director of Student Teaching from 1959 to 1966, and as head of the Department of Professional Laboratory Experiences in the College of Education from 1966 to 1973.

During her 24 years at Illinois State, Lauby was instrumental in establishing a wide network for student teachers and was influential in the implementation of the transition of Illinois State Normal University from a teacher’s college into the multi-purpose Illinois State University of today.

In addition to authoring many books, Lauby edited Theoretical Bases for Professional Laboratory Experiences in Teacher Education, Forty-Fourth Yearbook, and was cited for her discussion of the philosophy, theory and principles of student teaching supervision.

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