In Memoriam: Cynthia Haldenby Tyson, 1937-2024

Cynthia Haldenby Tyson, president emerita of Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Virginia, died on January 7 in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was 86 years old.

Born and raised in England, Dr. Tyson first came to the United States as a Fulbright scholar-teacher, after earning bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D.  degrees in English language and medieval English literature from the University of Leeds. She went on to a distinguished career in higher education in this country, eventually becoming a U.S. citizen.

Before coming to Mary Baldwin, she served as a faculty member and as vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina from 1969 to 1985.

President Tyson led Mary Baldwin from 1985 to 2003, and forged a legacy of expansion for signature academic programs and the campus footprint. Throughout her 18 years at the helm, she created partnerships, constructed and renovated campus buildings, enlarged and diversified the student body, and set fundraising records.

In 1993, Dr. Tyson made the decision to establish the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership, the nation’s only women’s cadet corps, which welcomed its first class of students in August 1995. Over the years, the institute has graduated more than 500 cadets and earned a national reputation as a leadership development program for students pursuing both military and civilian careers.

In 2021, a residence hall on campus was named in her honor. After her retirement from Mary Baldwin University, Dr. Tyson served as president of the Robert Haywood Morrison Foundation, a nonprofit, charitable organization based in Charlotte, that supports higher education, the arts and culture, and the natural environment.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply