In Memoriam: Mae Riedy Carter, 1921-2020

Mae Riedy Carter, a long-time champion of opportunities for women at the University of Delaware, died on December 13 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She was 99 years old.

Carter was initially hired by the university in the late 1960s as a counselor to assist mature women students who had never been to college. In her work at the university in the 1970s, Carter advocated for women’s studies to become a permanent program, at a time when the field was often viewed as political or controversial by skeptical male academics. She established and served as chair of the Women’s Studies Interdisciplinary Program, now the Department of Women and Gender Studies. She established a fund to bring more women scholars to UD and to support women faculty and graduate students as they attended conferences throughout the U.S. and abroad, and she encouraged student research through the creation of the annual Geis Conference, featuring presentations of both undergraduate and graduate work on gender.

Carter and her husband Robert, who died last year at the age of 100, were generous benfactors of the university. They endowed the Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women’s Studies. Margaret Stetz, the current holder of the chair, stated that “Mae Carter never compromised on her feminist principles and always made sure that she was putting women’s interests first. Almost singlehandedly, she raised the profile of the University of Delaware  as a place for cutting-edge scholarship and teaching about women’s issues.”

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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