In Memoriam: Marie Isabel Charles, 1926-2023

Marie Isabel Charles who served as an administrator at Ohio Dominican University and the University of Notre Dame, died late last month at Holy Cross Village in South Bend, Indiana. She was 97 years old.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Charles joined the Dominican Nuns in 1945 and then taught at several Catholic schools in Ohio and New York. She then earned bachelor’s degrees in English and French at Manhattanville College in Riverdale, New York.

Beginning in the late 1950’s she served on the staff at what is now Ohio Dominican University. During her time at Ohio Dominican, she earned master’s and doctoral degrees in English from the University of Notre Dame. In 1969, Dr. Charles was appointed executive vice president and academic dean at  Ohio Dominican University.

In 1973, Dr. Charles was appointed assistant dean of the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame just a year after women were first admitted. In 1976, she became the first woman to serve as a dean at the University of Notre Dame. In 1982 Dr. Charles was appointed assistant provost and director of international studies at Notre Dame.

Dr. Charles retired in 1995.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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