By Darrell Ann Stone, Director of the Student Advocates Office
The Division of Student Affairs (DSA) would like to pause on the loss this past year of a dear colleague and friend, Pamela Freeman. Pam served as Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Office of Student Ethics and Anti-Harassment Programs (now Office of Student Conduct) in the Division of Student Affairs from 2001 to 2011. She passed away peacefully in her sleep on December 27, 2020 from ALS.
Pam spent decades dedicated to the mission of Higher Education and Student Affairs. She tirelessly served campus in myriad roles including adjunct assistant professor in the School of Education. Her prestigious and prolific career was centered on supporting, educating, and guiding generations of students serving in leadership beside Dean of Students Michael Gordon, Richard McKaig, and Harold “Pete” Goldsmith. Her influence mentoring young professionals was revered. Her leadership monumental.
Associate Dean Freeman formed the foundations for several current Division of Student Affairs offices and programs, including Student Conduct, Student Advocates, and Bias Incidence – just to name a few.
By example, Pam was first hired as an assistant to the dean for the first iteration of Student Advocates Office (SAO) in 1981/82 and later became its first full time coordinator, followed by being its first full-time Director. Forty years later and SAO is still going strong! It now has a team of professional staff and volunteer advocates that process over 2,500 cases per year. Pam remained a fervent, dedicated advocate by nature in every single role she had during her long and productive DSA career.
It is Pam who co-created IU COMU (Commission on Multicultural Understanding) with Bill Shipton from Residential Programs and Services. The work of COMU facilitated numerous committees, educational campus student programs, and retreats. Each were designed to include leadership led by a team of diverse student, faculty, and staff representatives. COMU worked to increase IU diversity and inclusion, while advocating to change campus policy and procedure barriers on campus along the way. Pam’s personal commitment to social justice and equality were woven into each phase of her career, both large and small, personal and professional. Her passion was simply inspirational.
Dr. Pam Freeman’s myriad professional achievements and awards are non-paralleled to the personality that delivered them. Pam Freeman was notably one of IU’s kindest, most humble servants. She was known for her warm smile. She met every single student with respect, care, and concern. She exuded patience and taught those around her to be thoughtful, non-judgmental, and compassionate in their replies. Some may remember that Pam actually ate her lunch every single day with her husband, sitting at a small table in the Indiana Memorial Union (IMU) downstairs café.
Pamela Freeman was survived by her husband of 47 years, Doug, and two children, Ross Freeman and Lynn Freeman Keller (Shawn Keller), and her three grandchildren Addison, Zoey & Maxwell Keller.
We honor Dr. Freeman and remember all she taught us.