Higher Education Ph.D. Dissertations


Melvene Draheim Hardee: Music Maker and Dreamer of Dreams

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Higher Education Administration

First Advisor

Michael Coomes (Committee Chair)

Second Advisor

Michael J. Zickar (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Maureen E. Wilson (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Dafina-Lazarus Stewart (Committee Member)


Dr. Melvene Draheim Hardee, a higher education administrator, scholar, and leader spent her weekends tending to a 900‐acre Georgia pine tree farm. Born in Clarion, Iowa in 1913, she earned degrees at Iowa State Teachers College, Teachers College Columbia University, and the University of Chicago. The majority of her professional career played out at Florida State University where she first served as coordinator of counseling and later joined Dr. Hugh Stickler and Dr. Raymond Schultz as one of the original faculty members of the FSU higher education graduate preparation program. Between 1958 and 1989, she advised 120 doctoral students to the successful completion of their degrees and she advised and mentored many more master's degree students. Hardee assumed leadership positions in several higher education professional organizations. This study sought to determine her contributions to the student affairs profession's philosophical and practical development especially in light of her time in history, a time when women were underrepresented in leadership roles.

Archival evidence was gleaned from two collections, the Melvene Draheim Hardee Papers housed in the National Student Affairs Archives located at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and The Melvene Draheim Hardee Center for Women in Higher Education Collection housed by Florida State University Libraries. This information was analyzed along with data derived from interviews with 16 former students and professional colleagues and one family member. The resulting chapters include an overview of Dr. Hardee's life, an analysis of her writings for publication, speeches, and presentations, and a compendium of recollections from people who knew her from a variety of perspectives.

Hardee contributed to the early development of faculty advising constructs, the development of an association for Southern student personnel professionals, and the Joint Statement on Student Rights and Freedoms. During her presidential term, she introduced the commission system to the American College Personnel Association. Her legacy at FSU includes the establishment of the Center for the Studies on Women in Educational Management Systems that was later named in her honor.