Edie Carlson, 1953-2012

Edie Carlson

Edie Carlson, who left Continuing Studies in 2005 after nearly 30 years of service, died January 4, 2012, after a short battle with cancer. She served as an associate dean of the school and was highly instrumental in its evolution. Many Rice employees and Houston community members will remember Edie for her spirited nature and dedication to her work.

Below are comments from Mary McIntire, dean of Continuing Studies:

“Edie was key in shaping the success of Continuing Studies for many years. She came to us as a young woman in the late 70s — as the office manager of what was then a very small staff. She designed good business procedures and practices, provided support for programs and conferences and, in the early 80s, oversaw the advent of our first computers (from Radio Shack!) and the training of staff. She took a short ‘sabbatical’ from Continuing Studies and was soon after rehired as a program director. Over the years, she initiated many programs that we still hold today, including the Advanced Placement Summer Institute, the Paralegal program, and the Certified Financial Planner program. She revived and directed for many years the Rice University Publishing Program, an ambitious month-long program in the summer for those wanting to enter the book and magazine publishing world. Top editors, publishers and other professionals from New York and the West Coast came to Houston to teach hundreds of students over those years.

“Even as she developed and directed programs, for many years she still had budgetary responsibility for the school and trained many new employees over the years. She was named assistant dean in 1991 and then associate dean of the school in 2004. She left Rice and Houston in 2005 to move back to the Atlanta area to be near her family.

“Edie was a remarkable person — smart, funny, committed, and full of life. She was never afraid to speak her mind, no matter who the audience. She had a tremendous amount of compassion — and passion. She took on causes to right wrongs — even one where she both shamed and threatened a garage owner near where she lived who was abusing his dog. She won.

“She said yes to life more than she said no. She cared about people — made and kept friends — and especially, she cared about her family. She made things better than she found them.

“She loved beginnings. She will be missed.”

A late 1980s class photo from the Rice University Publishing Program. Edie Carlson, who helped administer the program, is front and center, wearing a white short-sleeved sweater. (Click to enlarge.)

3 thoughts on “Edie Carlson, 1953-2012

  1. I grieve to hear of Edie’s untimely death. She was a delightful co-worker when I was in Continuing Studies in the early 1980s and remained my friend afterward. She was an absolutely loyal person, devoted to Rice University and Continuing Studies. I remember her figuring out computers from their first appearance in our office routine–in cramped quarters in the basement of Fondren Library. She was also up for fun and entertained us with tales of her beloved dogs. I send my sympathy to her lovely family in Georgia. Pat Martin

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