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Remembering ASU benefactor Nadine Carson


October 04, 2007
  

Throughout her life, Nadine Carson personified a spirit of giving.

 

Whether it was her habit of remembering hundreds of birthdays with cards she sent each year or contributing to her favorite causes, she was always there to lend a helping hand.

 

Nadine Carson passed away recently after a long battle with cancer.

 

Yet her legacy lives on, especially at ASU, where she and her husband, Edward, were involved in several projects that benefited the university.

 

The Carsons supported ASU projects such as the restoration of Old Main, the Edward and Nadine Carson Presidential Chair held by College of Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty member Stuart Lindsay, and the Ed and Nadine Carson Student-Athlete Center in Intercollegiate Athletics.

The athletic center that the couple helped establish is a reflection of Carson’s passion for educational growth and scholarship. With facilities such as the Office for Student-Athlete Development within the center, student-athletes at ASU are able to take advantage of services such as academic counseling, tutoring and mentoring, says Lisa Love, ASU’s vice president for university athletics.“It’s one of the largest and finest facilities in the United States,” Love says.

Don Bocchi, ASU senior associate athletic director, says the couple has been unwavering ASU supporters. “They were, and have been, a constant in their support and their passion for this place,” he says. Carson also was someone who put her best into any project she was involved with, and she did it with dignity, Bocchi says, adding: “She was an absolute inspiration.”

Love enjoyed sharing most ASU football games with the Carsons during the 2005 and 2006 seasons. “This is a very difficult loss,” she says.

The Carsons also were instrumental in restoring Old Main on the Tempe campus, where the Carson Ballroom serves as a legacy to the couple.

“That is the centerpiece of the building where everything from weddings to conferences are held,” says Christine Wilkinson, ASU senior vice president and president of the Alumni Association.

Edward and Nadine Carson attended ASU, where they met on the steps of Old Main. Edward graduated in 1951 and began a career with First Interstate Bancorp as a teller. He eventually became chief executive officer of Bancorp. The couple married Dec. 13, 1952. Nadine graduated in 1953 with a degree in home economics and served throughout her life as a community volunteer and philanthropist.

“Nadine Carson’s enthusiasm for everything and everyone around her was contagious,” Wilkinson says. “ASU was no exception. Along with her husband, Ed, Nadine’s dedication and investment in her alma mater are a living legacy of that spirit.”

A reflection of her legacy continues through the Edward and Nadine Carson Presidential Chair in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, lending support to Stuart Lindsay’s work in single molecule biophysics that aids endeavors such as finding ways to sequence DNA more rapidly for better medical care. Edward and Nadine Carson have been devoted supporters of ASU, and we lose a great friend in Nadine Carson,” Lindsay says.

Carson also served with the ASU Sun Angel Foundation Board, the ASU Campaign for Leadership, Phoenix Children’s Theatre, Phoenix Symphony, Phoenix Art Museum, Homes for Emotionally Troubled Children and Teens, Les Dames for the Smithsonian, Camp Fire Regional Council Board, Arizona Cancer Center, Council of the Children’s Burn Foundation and the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic Auxiliary. She worked with the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists to raise scholarship funds on the local and national level for academically outstanding college scientists studying in the fields of natural science, medicine and engineering. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from ASU in 2000 and was the 2006 recipient of the ASU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame Award.

Carson is survived by her husband of 54 years, Edward; daughter, Dawn Marie, and son-in-law, Erston Senger; grandchildren Katie Marie and Eddie Masters; son, Tod; sister and brother-in-law, Janet and Martyn H. Stowe, and their family; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Herbert and Earline Aguayo, and their family; and sister-in-law, Lucille Allen, and her family.

Services were held Oct. 3 at First United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to: Nadine Carson Leadership Scholarship, ASU Foundation, P.O. Box 2260, Tempe, AZ 85280-2260, or ARCS Foundation Inc. Phoenix Chapter, 3104 E. Camelback Road, PMB 374, Phoenix, AZ 85016 Nadine Carson Memorial Fund.