I am deeply saddened by the news that Nancy Dye, Oberlin’s 13th president, has passed away. Nancy had a profound, positive effect on Oberlin College and Conservatory, building our international engagement and profile, stabilizing and strengthening our finances, and expanding our curriculum. She was also instrumental in crafting and writing Oberlin’s 2005 Strategic Plan.
Nancy remained a stalwart supporter of Oberlin’s people and programs throughout her life. I was very glad that we could honor her by naming the Nancy Schrom Dye Lecture Hall in the Oberlin Science Center for her in October 2013. Among the many accomplishments in her legacy, I particularly appreciate Oberlin’s partnerships with Posse, QuestBridge, and the Bonner Foundation.
I met Nancy many years ago when I was vice president and general counsel at the University of Michigan. She was one of the leaders of a group of educators who signed an amicus brief supporting Michigan’s effort to defend diversity in higher education before the United States Supreme Court. Prior to that I had known about Nancy from her time at the University at Kentucky where she and her husband Griff became friends with my father, who was also a professor there.
She also played a significant role in bringing me to Oberlin for which I am deeply grateful. In my early years here, she gave me sage advice about how to navigate Oberlin’s traditions and governance.
Nancy was an outstanding leader, a fine scholar and teacher, a caring and engaged citizen of the world, and a giving, kind person. I miss her as a colleague and as a friend. I ask that you join me in holding her husband Griff and the Dye family in your thoughts and prayers.
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