News 2024: The Passing of Former Trustee Claire T. Carney ‘73

News 2024: The Passing of Former Trustee Claire T. Carney ‘73
The Passing of Former Trustee Claire T. Carney ‘73

Chancellor Fuller reflects on the legacy of Claire T. Carney

Claire T. Carney photo at event

Dear UMass Dartmouth Staff & Faculty, 

It is with deep sorrow that I share the news of Claire T. Carney's passing earlier this week.  

Claire holds a special place in the UMass Dartmouth community. A New Bedford native and passionate advocate for expanding access to education, Claire strongly believed in the life-changing potential of education. After years of working to support her family after tragically losing her husband, Claire enrolled here when the university was known as Southeastern Massachusetts University (SMU) and in 1973, proudly earned her B.A. in English. In 1981, she made history as the first woman appointed to the SMU Board of Trustees. Her generous support of the university and education across the SouthCoast has enabled countless students to pursue their dreams.  

Claire's impact on our university has been profound, and her many contributions have been celebrated through various accolades, including the SMU Alumni Association Service Award in 1982, the Centennial Award in 1997, and an honorary doctorate in 1990. In 2006, our library, a building very close to Claire's heart, was named the Claire T. Carney Library in her honor, recognizing her unwavering support. Every day, the Claire T. Carney Library serves hundreds of UMass Dartmouth students, faculty, and staff, and is a very fitting reminder of her values and remarkable legacy. 

Claire’s obituary, as well as information about memorial services, can be found here. I know that you will all join me in extending our heartfelt condolences to the Carney family.  


Mark A. Fuller, PhD