Helen Dickman Shaw didn’t say much but she really didn’t have to. When it came to education, her actions spoke louder than her words. An educator and scholar, Shaw believed so much in education that she left a large portion of her estate to The College of New Jersey. Upon her passing in 2000, the College received a bequest of $180,000.
To keep her name and passion for education alive, the College has established The Helen Shaw ’36 Endowment Fund. Proceeds from the fund will provide financial support for an annual staff excellence award.
Little is known about her life, but it is believed that Shaw was originally from Finland and was adopted by a family in New York. She lived in Spring Lake, New Jersey and graduated from Asbury Park High School. Shaw began her college career at Panzer College of Physical Education and Hygiene before it merged with Montclair State College. She transferred to the State Teachers College (STC), which is now TCNJ.
In 1936, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education. According to her friends, Shaw cherished her fond memories of the College. After graduation, Shaw taught physical education at Asbury Park High School and earned a master’s degree from Rutgers University. Shaw lived most of her adult life with her longtime friend Helen Hurd, the former dean of students at Rutgers University. At the time of her death, Shaw was a Highland Park resident. An animal lover, Shaw had a deep admiration for nature. She owned property in Maine and when she died, her ashes were scattered in her favorite Maine cove. Her passion for the College, however, still remains in a very meaningful way at Hillwood Lakes. ( Profiles in Giving, TCNJ Report of Gifts, 2001-2002)