September 13, 2017
Contact: Kimberly Marcott Weinberg
Bradford, PA -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has received a gift of more than $200,000 from the estate of Naomi Carlson. The University used the bulk of the gift for the Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center, a project in which Carlson was particularly interested. The University placed the remaining $44,000 of the gift in Carlson's scholarship fund, The All Inclusive Scholarship. Carlson, a native of Bradford, Pennsylvania, earned her associate of science degree in liberal studies from Pitt-Bradford in 2006 at the age of 75.
To commemorate Carlson's gift, the Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center has named the lobby's grand staircase in her honor.
“Naomi was such a huge fan of Marilyn Horne,” said Jill M. Dunn, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. “She was proud of the fact that Marilyn was a renowned superstar from Bradford. It's only fitting that Naomi has a naming in this museum.”
Carlson worked for the Bell Atlantic Company from 1950 until 1988. In 1975, she began work on a college degree, which she thought would help her move up the corporate ladder at Bell. After earning 12 credits through the College Level Examination Program, which awards students credits by testing their knowledge, she began taking one class per semester at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford while working full time.
In 1983, Bell Atlantic transferred Carlson to the city of Warren. Although making her home there, she continued to commute to Bradford to attend class. Contending with driving late at night, often in bad weather, she eventually had to give her to give up her studies after only three semesters. Five years later, she returned to Bradford to care for her elderly parents.
The semester after her mother died, she re-enrolled at Pitt-Bradford and graduated in 2006. That same year, she established a scholarship for promising and deserving students who demonstrated financial need while making satisfactory progress toward a college degree. Between 2007 and 2017, her scholarship fund helped 12 students achieve their goals.
“Naomi's thoughtful support of scholarships ensures that many more deserving students will have the opportunity to attend Pitt-Bradford,” Dunn said. “Over the years, she saw the impact that her scholarship was making on the lives of our students and their families, and wanted to do more. That was when she let us know about her plans to include the university into her estate plans. We will be forever grateful to her for her love of Pitt-Bradford.”
For more information on planning an estate gift, contact Jill Dunn, at 814-362-5091 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 11, 2017
Contact: Kimberly Marcott Weinberg
BRADFORD, Pa. -- Carol and Larry Killian are true Bradford boosters, but they were neither born nor raised in the city.
The Lebanon Valley couple has adopted Bradford as its honorary hometown and the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford as its honorary alma mater. Recently, they showed their fondness for the university and its new pillar for downtown – the Marilyn Horne Museum – with a generous gift.
The Killians’ gift sponsored the exhibit of replica costumes for various Marilyn Horne roles and interactive listening stations where visitors can hear the world-famous opera singer talk about her performances. However, they had never even seen Bradford in person until Carol Killian retired from her teaching career. Her in-person introduction to the city began with a retirement joke. For many years, she had seen Bradford mentioned on her evening weather report as the coldest spot in Pennsylvania. She would joke with her fellow teachers that when she retired, she was going to visit Bradford. At her retirement party, someone gave her tourist information for Bradford. “This looks pretty nice,” she thought, and decided to visit Bradford after all. A friend went with her.
They liked Bradford. Just before leaving, they were standing on Jackson Avenue when “a proper lady dressed for church with white gloves approached them and asked if they were looking for beautiful homes,” Larry Killian said. The women said yes and took the woman’s information, promising to call if they returned.
Carol returned and called the stranger, who turned out to be Naomi Carlson, a spunky Swedish septuagenarian who was retired and earning her associate’s degree at Pitt-Bradford.
This time Carlson showed up in sneakers with hair tucked up under a baseball cap. “That was the real Naomi,” Larry Killian said. “She and Carol became good friends.”
Carol started visiting Bradford with her new beau, Larry, and the two were married at the Mountain Laurel Inn in Bradford. They even moved to Bradford and lived here five years before returning to the Lebanon Valley for health reasons.
Carlson introduced the Killians to the people, places and history of the area.
“Bradford was like a step back into our youth because Bradford has a Main Street, and when you leave town, you’re in the forest. So many places these days are one suburban development after another,” Larry Killian said.
Carlson also introduced the Killians to Pitt-Bradford, where they immediately felt at home.
“You go to an event at Pitt-Bradford, and you feel like you belong,” he said. “We quickly became attached to the university because of the people there and what it does for the town.”
The Killians followed Carlson’s example and became a donor to Pitt-Bradford, supporting first a scholarship in honor of their families, then the museum. Although their friend Carlson died in 2015, they returned to Bradford in May for the dedication of the Marilyn Horne Museum and hope to visit it again this fall.
The 3,400 square-foot, state-of-the-art Marilyn Horne Museum features artifacts, lavish costumes, interactive touchscreen exhibits, and a theater space that recreates the look and feel of an 18th-century Italian opera house.
Born in Bradford in 1934, Horne has been called “the greatest singer in the world” by Opera News and has performed for presidents and princes around the world. The idea for the museum came about when she donated her personal and foundation archives to the University of Pittsburgh.
The museum, located on Marilyn Horne Way in downtown Bradford, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free.
Additional naming opportunities for the museum remain. To make a donation, contact Jill Ballard, executive director of institutional advancement at email@example.com or 814-362-5091.
Issue Two August 2017
Transformation of Marilyn Horne Hall Parking Area
These before and after photos show the dramatic transformation of the new parking area at Marilyn Horne Hall.
The major renovations of Marilyn Horne Hall are finally complete. This past week the finishing touches were put on the new parking area. Opening to the public soon, the space now includes a newly paved parking area with easy accessibility for disabled patrons of Marilyn Horne Hall. Graham’s Greenhouse and Landscaping of Bradford provided the plantings for the space, which now includes an assortment of perennial plants and trees. The new space contributes to the revitalization of historic downtown Bradford while providing convenient parking for guests of the museum and Marilyn Horne Hall.