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Karen M. Tidmarsh '71

Karen M. Tidmarsh '71Karen MacAusland Tidmarsh, beloved long-time Dean of the College at Bryn Mawr College, died at age 63 in her Haverford home on March 2, 2013, of end stage carcinoid syndrome. Born May 19, 1949, she devoted more than half of her life to Bryn Mawr College, from which she graduated in 1971. She returned to Bryn Mawr in 1979 as an administrator and later a member of the English faculty. She was Dean of the College for 20 years, 1990-2010.

Beyond her wise counsel of countless undergraduates, Karen also guided a number of important curricular reforms through the faculty. She played a central role in the creation of the seminar program and greatly expanded the academic resources available to students in such areas as writing, quantitative reasoning, and peer mentoring. She used her influence to support faculty/student interaction outside the classroom and was a passionate advocate for the importance of giving students a meaningful voice in governing the institution.

"No one matched her love of Bryn Mawr, her thoughtful grasp of its values and traditions, or her wry appreciation of its quirks. She dedicated her life to the College that had transformed her during her undergraduate years, and she labored brilliantly and tirelessly to make such transformations possible for others," notes Nancy Vickers, Bryn Mawr President (1997 to 2008).

Given that Karen's introduction to Bryn Mawr as an undergraduate was made possible by a scholarship funded by alumnae, it is fitting that many have chosen to honor her legacy by supporting today's students. The Dean Karen Tidmarsh '71 Scholarship Fund, created in 2007 by a gift from Sandra Berwind, provides financial aid to undergraduates, with a preference for students from the Philadelphia area public high schools. The Dean Karen Tidmarsh '71 Summer Internship Fund, established in 2011 with gifts from members of Karen's class, supports summer internships for undergraduate students in the fields of community development or social change.

Please click here to make a gift in memory of Karen Tidmarsh '71 (type Tidmarsh Scholarship or Tidmarsh Internship in the "other designation" box), or contact Sally Harrison '71, Senior Philanthropic Advisor, at or 610-526-6530.