Nancy Ellen Nolf Carl, 46, special events director at Hood College, author

September 23, 2001|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Nancy Ellen Nolf Carl, who returned to Hood College to plan its centennial celebration and stayed on as her alma mater's events director, died Wednesday of cancer at her Frederick home. She was 46.

In 1989, Mrs. Carl became the college's director of planning and programs for the 100th anniversary. The celebration, held from 1992 to 1993, drew thousands of visitors to the campus.

In 1993, as a result of its success, she was named Hood's first director of conference services and special events, an office she developed into an income producer. One recent success was the Avon Breast Cancer three-day walk at the college in May of last year, which drew 2,900 walkers and raised more than $6 million for breast-cancer research.

"She was a dedicated alumna who, at the time of the centennial, wanted to come back to give back to her alma mater," said Joy Derr, a friend and Hood's director of development communications. "That's how she applied for the position -- then she stayed on after the centennial and created the special events office."

"We became friends when she first came to Hood and only expected to stay through the centennial. We couldn't let her go then; we have had to let her go now," said Lois Smith Harrison of Hagerstown, a member of Hood's board of trustees and its Class of 1945, in a remembrance on the college's Web site.

Mrs. Carl researched Hood's founding figures and prominent supporters for a 22-article series that ran in the Hood Alumnae Magazine from 1989 to 1995, reflecting her interests in writing and history. In May, she received the college's Spirit of Hood award and the Dr. Henry P. and Page Laughlin Administrative Achievement Award.

"Nancy was an energizing person and truly brought the college community together to celebrate the centennial," said Mrs. Derr, who also is the editor of the alumni magazine. "She truly epitomized the Spirit of Hood award."

Mrs. Carl was co-author of Claire McCardell: Redefining Modernism, a book about an influential fashion designer who was a native of Frederick and attended Hood. She also was instrumental in organizing several exhibitions of the designer's works: in Baltimore, at the Maryland Historical Society from 1998 to 1999; and in New York, at the Parsons School of Design in 1994 and at the museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology from 1998 to 1999.

Born Nancy Ellen Nolf in Pittsburgh, she graduated in 1976 from Hood with a degree in home economics and a minor in journalism. In 1980, she earned her master's degree in consumer economics and family counseling from Oklahoma State University. She also took courses at Purdue University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and the College for Financial Planning in Denver.

Before joining Hood in 1989, Mrs. Carl had been a program analyst at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cooperative Extension Service for about a year. From 1982 to 1988, she was a consumer affairs program manager for the Family Support Division of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington, working to provide military families with consumer education, financial counseling and complaint resolution. For this work, she received awards from the Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, the Consumer Education and Information Association of Virginia, and a commendation from the inspector general for the Washington military district.

Mrs. Carl enjoyed classical music and was a member of Frederick Presbyterian Church, said her husband, Edward R. Carl. The couple married in January of last year. Mrs. Carl also was a member of the Fredericktowne Rotary Club, the International Special Events Society and the Frederick County 250th Anniversary Planning Committee.

A memorial service was to be held at 1:30 p.m. today at the college's Coffman Chapel.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Carl is survived by her mother, Katherine Biddle Nolf of Crafton, Pa.; and two sisters, Marilyn K. Bedell of West Lebanon, N.H., and Marsha L. Nolf of Charleroi, Pa.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Coffman Chapel and the Beneficial-Hodson Library and Information Technology Center, in care of the Hood College Development Office, 401 Rosemont Ave., Frederick 21701.

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