Joyce Van Bussum Lawrence, ED.D.



Dr. Richard D. Howe, “Joyce Van Bussum Lawrence, ED.D.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed June 22, 2024,

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Joyce Van Bussum Lawrence, ED.D.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Richard D. Howe




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage



Dean Emerita, Cratis D. Williams Graduate School

Biographical Text

Dean Emerita, Cratis D. Williams Graduate School Joyce Van Bussum (November 16,1931-December 4, 2004) was born in Appleton, Wisconsin, the only child of Maijorie and Harold Van Bussum. Upon graduation from high school in Park Fall, Wisconsin, she moved with her family to Gainesville, Florida, where she enrolled at the University of Florida. While at the university, she was a member of Delta Gamma fraternity, Mortar Board Leadership Honorary, and other organizations. Lawrence earned her B.A. degree in education and moved to Duval County, Florida. She married the late Clinton B. Lawrence, and they were parents of four children. In 1966, she earned her master's degree in administration and supervision from the University of Florida. Lawrence taught in all grades of the elementary school and, for two years, directed the Early Childhood Center at Christ Methodist Church in Neptune Beach, Florida. In 1968, Lawrence accepted a position in the Department of Elementary Education at the University of Florida, where she worked for two years. She began work on her doctorate in curriculum and instruction, which was granted in 1972. Dr. Lawrence accepted a position at Appalachian State University in 1972, teaching early childhood, elementary, and middle-grade education until 1975, when she was appointed assistant dean of education. She joined the first group of seven women at Appalachian State to be selected for administrative internships for one year. Concurrently, she was selected by the American Council on Education for training in women's leadership/administrative activities. Dr. Lawrence directed, for three years, the Dean's Grant for Mainstreaming-a grant intended to support the new national law for the disabled and to train professors in educating teachers to provide regular education for the disabled. During this period, she met Edgar Dudley Greene, Jr., (June 7, 1940-May 17, 1999), a professor of biology who had earned his Ph.D. degree from Florida State University in 1970. Lawrence and Greene were married in 1977, and their extended family included Carol, Clinton, Catherine, and Cynthia Lawrence, Edgar Dudley Greene III, and four grandchildren. The Lawrences/Greenes lived in Boone until 1987, when they moved to their country residence on the New River. Lawrence was appointed the first woman dean of the Cratis D. Williams Graduate School in 1980, and, in 1983, her title was changed to reflect the addition of research and sponsored programs to the office. During her seventeen-year tenure as dean, the quality and quantity of graduate programs improved greatly, with systems put in place for evaluating programs, graduate faculty, and the quality of graduate students. Dean Lawrence was active in the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States and Canada, serving on the national board of directors, speaking and writing on various graduate topics, and conducting a national study on women in the graduate deanship. She assumed leadership roles in the North Carolina Graduate Deans' Association and in 1996-97 was elected president of the group. Dean Lawrence traveled extensively on behalf of graduate education at Appalachian State University, including trips to Taiwan, China, Russia, Poland, Hungary, Slovokia, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Dr. Lawrence worked particularly hard to recruit minorities and women to graduate education at Appalachian State. Major grants assisted talented undergraduate and graduate minority students, and she served as project director for more than seven years of funding. Lawrence was elected president of the Southeastern United States Patricia Roberts Harris Directors from 1994 to 1996. After holding numerous appointments and elected positions throughout her tenure as dean, Lawrence was elected president of the Southeastern Conference of Graduate Schools. In 1997, she was honored by her fellow deans for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate Education in the Southern Region. After Lawrence's retirement in 1997, she and her husband enjoyed antiques and landscaping activities until Dr. Greene's death in May of 1999. One of Dean Lawrence's most enjoyable activities was working on a memorial garden for Greene Woods, their family property in the Bethel community. Sources: Appalachian State University files and personal correspondence. -Dr. Richard D. Howe

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