Gordon, Margo

Year Inducted: 
Margo Gordon
  • KU Director of Field Practicum, placing more than 300 students in their practicum positions
  • 1955: charter member of the National Association of Social Workers
  • 1983: Distinguished Alumni Award  from the George Warren Brown School of Social Welfare, Washington University
  • 1983: named Outstanding Faculty of the Year by the Social Work Alumni Society of KU
  • 1992: President of the Kaw Valley Chapter of the Older Women’s League
  • One of ten founders of Breast Cancer Action to provide mammograms for low-income women

Margo (Margaret) Schutz Gordon, Professor Emerita of Social Work at the University of Kansas, served many years as an outstanding educator and field instructor.  By the time of her retirement, she had placed more than 300 students in their practicum positions.

Ms. Gordon completed her BA in 1943 at Washington University at St Louis with majors in Psychology and Sociology.  She completed her Master in Social Welfare in 1944 at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, also at Washington University.  From 1944-1948 she taught there as an Instructor and Thesis Supervisor.  In 1948, she began a nine-year term in the Social Service Department at the Washington University Medical Center.  There, she served a variety of positions including Caseworker, Headworker for the pediatric service, Social Work Supervisor, Assistant Director, and Acting Director.  She returned to the School of Social Welfare to work as an Assistant and Associate Professor, and also served as the Director of Field Instruction from 1957-1970.  In 1983, the George Warren Brown School of Social Welfare honored her with the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Ms. Gordon began in 1970 at the University of Kansas as an Associate Professor, and later became a Professor and Director of Field Practicum.  In 1983, she was named Outstanding Faculty of the Year by the Social Work Alumni Society of KU.  That same year she moved on to status as Professor Emerita, but since 1986 she has remained involved as a part-time instructor-liaison.

She was a charter member of the National Association of Social Workers in 1955, and later served as a board member and 1977-78 President of the state chapter in Kansas.  She was also a member of the Council on Social Work Education, the American Association of University professors, and the National Conference on Social Welfare.

Professional consultations by Ms. Gordon were called upon for the National Institutes of Mental Health, a neighborhood health center in Louisville, Kentucky, a Shawnee Mission, Kansas hospital, curriculum development for Colorado State University, and field instruction program development for Southern University of New Orleans.  She was also one of ten women who started Breast Cancer Action to promote mammograms and discover ways to provide them for women of low income.

Ms. Gordon remained active in the Lawrence community even after her retirement.  She served on the Advisory Committee of the Community Services Department of Douglas County Senior Services, volunteered at the Lawrence Senior Center, and was active in the Kaw Valley Chapter of the Older Women’s League, which she was elected President of in 1992.

  • If you want to help others, it is important to know yourself, so be sure you are able and willing to do some introspection.
  • I have learned to stand up for what I believe.This can be hard sometimes when others think I am wrong and turn against me, but IF I am standing on solid principles, I stick with those, try to get others to understand, and eventually at least SOME of the things I believe in come to pass, and justice is served.I suppose a corollary is to be open to new ideas so that if indeed one of my beliefs turns out to be “bad” for people, I can discard it for another that does good for people.
  • For those folks entering social work: Be sure you really like people – of many kinds, and want to work WITH them, and NOT tell them what to do.
  • I have learned that looking for and building on the strengths in people makes life better all around.While this is an important concept in social work practice, it works for life as well.All people have strengths, though sometimes even THEY don’t seem to know it.If you can find those and help people know and work with them, their own lives will be better as well as the lives of those around them.

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