Dorothy Goodwin

Dorothy Goodwin

Induction Category:
Politics, Government & Law

Born: 1914

Died: 2007

Inducted: 1994

Town: Mansfield

Dorothy Goodwin’s long and distinguished career as a public servant in the federal government and as an educator at the University of Connecticut was capped by five terms in the state’s General Assembly, where she represented the towns of Storrs and Mansfield from 1975 to 1985.

Granddaughter of Francis Goodwin, for whom Hartford’s Goodwin Park is named, and daughter of Charles Goodwin, who wrote the legislation establishing the Metropolitan District Commission, Dorothy Goodwin was born and raised in Hartford, Conn. She attended the Oxford School and the Milton Academy in Milton, Mass. She then went on to Smith College where she graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in sociology. She joined the Bureau of Indian Affairs as an intern in 1937 and was later hired by the Interior Department and sent to India during World War II.    

After the war, Goodwin joined the U.S. Foreign Agriculture Organization and was sent to Japan. She returned to Hartford in 1952. In 1957, she received the University of Connecticut’s first Ph.D. in agricultural economics and began a long career at the university, teaching economics at UConn until 1965 and then becoming Director of Institutional Research and Assistant Provost. Goodwin retired in 1974 and, in 1975, was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly from the 54th District. As chair of the Education Committee, she demonstrated her dedication to Connecticut’s schools. This also earned Goodwin her greatest recognition as a lawmaker as she crafted the compromise leading to the reorganization of higher education and, in 1979, shepherded the school equalization plan through the Assembly, creating new formulas for state educational aid for cities and towns.

Her legacy to the education of Connecticut students was exemplified by her appointment in 1982 as the co-chair of the General Assembly’s Education Commission. After retiring from the General Assembly, Goodwin was appointed to the Connecticut State Board of Education by Governor William O’Neill. In addition, she served on the board of trustees of Hartford College for Women and on the University of Hartford’s board of regents. She received numerous honors, including the Connecticut Humanities Council’s 1991 Wilbur Cross Award in recognition of a career that combined distinguished scholarship and teaching with public service.

Goodwin died in her home in Bloomfield, Conn., in June 2007 at the age of 92. A portion of her estate was given to the UConn Foundation to establish the Dorothy C. Goodwin Fund for Teacher Preparation to improve teacher quality.


During This Time
1946 - 1965: Women’s Activism in Conservative Times