COYLE, GRACE LONGWELL (22 March 1892-8 March 1962), sociologist, author, and educator, specialized in social reform through group activity while professor at the School of Applied Sciences of Western Reserve University (WRU, later CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY) for almost 30 years. She served as president of the National Conference of Social Work (1940), the American Association of Social Workers (1942-44), and the National Conference of Social Work Education (1958-60); WRU named the Grace Longwell Chair in social work in her honor (1961). Coyle was born in North Adams, MA, to Mary Cushman Coyle and John Patterson Coyle, a Congregational minister. She received a B.A. from Wellesley College in 1914 and a Master's degree in economics (1928) and a Ph.D. in sociology, both from Columbia University (1931). She belonged to Phi Beta Kappa. Her doctoral dissertation, Social Progress in Organized Groups, published in 1930, was a widely-used text. Before joining the WRU faculty in 1934, Coyle worked in SETTLEMENT HOUSES in PA and NY.
Coyle advocated for expansion of government services to help solve social problems, and, in 1942, was appointed to the federal War Relocation Authority. She continued to publish, works such as Study in Group Behavior (1937) and Group Work with American Youth (1948). Another book, The Social Sciences in the Professional Education of Social Workers (1957), was based on a study funded by the Russell Sage Foundation. Coyle served locally and nationally with the YOUNG WOMEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION (YWCA) and on the board of the CONSUMERS LEAGUE OF OHIO. Coyle lived in Cleveland with her long-term partner, Abbie Adella Graham, a writer and fellow YWCA secretary.