Pfund, Marion C.(1897-2000)

Pfund, Marion C.(1897-2000)

Date Updated



Home Economics

Academic Rank

Professor and Department Head

Year Retired from SJSU


Educational Background

Yale University, 1928 Ph.D.

Vassar College, 1921 MA

Simmons College, 1919 BS

Teaching Experience

San Jose State College, 1958-1965

Brigham Young University, 1954-1958

Cornell University, 1928-1953

Vassar College, 1919-1924

Selected Publications

Chemistry and Food Preparation, a laboratory manual for students of Home Economics and the Hotel Schools. Lithoprinted by Edwards Bros., Inc., Ann Arbor, MI, revised last in 1955 (168 pp.).

Home Canning and Canning at Home, Cornell Bulletins for Homemakers (261 & 583), New York State College of Agr., 1933 and 1943 (64 pp.).

Pickles and Relishes, Cornell Bull. for Homemakers (294), NY St. Coil. of Agr., 1934.

Milk and Cheese, Cornell Bull, for Homemakers (389), NY St. College of Agr., 1936.

The Culinary Quality of Apples, Memoir 225, Cornell Univ. Expt. Sta. 1939 (73 pp.).

Nature of Darkening of Cooked Potatoes (with Nutting), Science, 92, 356 (1940) and Food Res., 7, 48‑55, 1942.

The Iron Content of Potatoes (with Nutting), Food Res., 7, 210‑17, 1942.

Linespread, An Objective Test for Consistency (W. Grawmeyer), Food Res., 8, 105‑8, 1943.

"Chemistry in the Home Preparation and Preservation of Food," Journal of Chem. Educ., 19, 138, 1942.

Food Research in 1942 Britannica Book of the Year, 287‑9, 1944.

"Home Economics in 1943 and 44," Brit. Book of the Year, 338 and 340, 1944, 1945.

Personal Commentary

Following are edited excerpts from an article that was published in Human Ecology News, Cornell University, February 1992:

"The importance of the family was central to home economics" says Marion C. Pfund, "and the national de‑emphasis on a strong family life may have contributed to the phasing out of the traditional home economics curriculum at secondary schools and colleges throughout the country. The changes have excluded the family as a subject of study; thus courses that provide information pertaining to the bringing up of healthy and stable children and their responsibilities as family and community members are no longer available in the grade schools. The results of a deteriorating family life are all too evident... in the national epidemics of drug abuse, violence, teen pregnancy, and overall decline in personal values."

During my childhood the love and care given me by my family provided the emotional strength that sustained [me] throughout life. Strong family support gave me the will to attend college and ultimately earn a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Yale, not a common event for women in 1928. Pfund worked for a chemical company for a year (1927‑28) while she finished writing her thesis, then accepted a teaching and research position at Cornell University. In 1936, while on sabbatical leave, she took a 6‑month tour around the world using 12 different ships. After 25 years of service, she retired from Cornell in 1953.

In 1954, she accepted an offer from the president of Brigham Young University to convert their Department of Home Economics to a College of Family Living, and to become the first dean of their new College. An original two year assignment stretched into four. Then she accepted an offer from the president of SJS to head the college's home economics department. After seven years in that position, she officially and finally retired in 1965.

She now lives in a retirement community along the beach in La Jolla, CA, where she swims nearly an hour a day and generally leads the life of someone years younger. No cane yet!

The following quote is typical of so many I have received from former students and many others when they read the article: "I am of the generation that was required to take Home Economics in junior high school (1956‑58), and I am forever indebted to my teachers. I sew, cook, do needlework, have raised 2 children and know that the experience and training I received in Home Economics was invaluable. My hat's off to you!"

Date Completed: 10/96

Adapted from: Biographies of Retired Faculty San Jose State University 1997: A Project of the Emeritus Faculty Association of San Jose State University. San Jose, CA: The University, 1997.


Pfund, Marion C.(1897-2000)