Boasting a curious nature, Dr. Delores Phife Buford always enjoyed detail work and wanted to be helpful. Developing leadership skills while she was still in high school, she was an expert debater and won a number of debate tournaments while in high school and college. Drawing upon these experiences, she began her journey in education in light of her desire to aid others. At the inception of her career in 1954, she served as a teacher within the Dallas Independent School District, later going on to serve in the same position within the Fort Worth Independent School District. From there, she became a steering committee member of the junior great books program within the Greenville County School District.
First joining the administration and then the faculty of Furman University in 1974, Dr. Buford was a research associate in the Office of Installation Planning and Research and an instructor of educational research, many positions that she held for 25 years prior to her retirement in 2000. She received a 25-year pin at her retirement party. Alongside her primary endeavors, Dr. Buford served as a member, board of directors member and secretary of Education Communications between 1986 and 1993, having also been affiliated with the Mental Health Association of Greenville County in 1984. Likewise, she participated with the Greenville Fine Arts Festival Committee and is a past president of the Eastside High School Parent Teacher Association.
Civically involved as well, Dr. Buford has sat on multiple committees for her local church, where she was also deacon and president of deacons. Affiliated with the American Association of University Women since 1969, she has since served the organization on the board of directors of the Greenville branch and on the executive board of directors of the South Carolina branch, as well as president and state secretary. Likewise, she maintains involvement with PEO International as a past state executive board member, president, nominating committee member, chairman and trustee of the continuing education program.
Other civic endeavors to Dr. Buford’s credit have included serving as president, president-elect and secretary of the South Carolina Association for Institutional Research, member of the North Carolina Association for Institutional Research, chairman of the Roundtables, and chairman of the contributed papers committee of the Southern Association for Institutional Research, among many others.
As a testament to her success, Dr. Buford won a Best Paper Award from the Southern Association for Institutional Research in 1985. Likewise, she was the recipient of two Service Awards from the Mental Health Association in 1977 and 1993. Notably, a scholarship was named in her honor by the Greenville branch of an educational foundation, in light of her exceptional contributions to academia.
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