Contact: Sean McFarland, MA
Public Relations & Communications Manager
Accomplished author, Carlow alumna and faculty member for nearly five decades passes away at age 84
PITTSBURGH – Carlow University is saddened to share news on the passing of Ellie Wymard, a Carlow University graduate who then worked for the University for nearly 50 years.
In her tenure at Carlow, Wymard created some of the first women’s studies courses in the country. She also held several leading positions at the University, including chair of the women’s studies and English departments. At the time of her retirement, the Braddock, PA native served as the director of Carlow’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, which offers residency in both Pittsburgh and Dublin, Ireland.
During her tenure at Carlow, Wymard developed the Madwomen in the Attic poetry workshops, the women’s studies program, the Marie Torre Lecture Series, the honors program and the Focus on Women Lecture Series.
“Ellie Wymard was one of the most profoundly impactful women in the history of Carlow University,” said President Kathy Humphrey. “Having been a part of the Carlow community as a student, an alumna and as a faculty member, Ellie had a wide impact on the University’s growth. Her life epitomizes our greatest hope for a Carlow graduate, and the Carlow University community owes Ellie a debt of gratitude. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ellie’s family through this difficult time.”
In 1995, Wymard was also recognized as a Carlow Women of Spirit award winner, which honors outstanding women leaders in the community who best embody Carlow’s mission. In 2012, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humanities by the University. Finally, Wymard was named in 2015 as a Carlow Laureate, the University’s most prestigious alumni honor.
Wymard was also the author of four books, including Talking Steel Towns: “The Women and Men of America’s Steel Valley” and “Conversations with Uncommon Women.” Her critical essays on women writers were published in both the United States and Europe. She also appeared on television and radio throughout the country and spoke before professional audiences on topics related to her written work.
Wymard is survived by her two sons and seven grandchildren. There will be no public visitation at this time. All are welcome to attend a Mass of Christian Burial that will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Homewood Cemetery.
About Carlow University
Carlow is a private, co-educational, Catholic university located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s “Eds, Meds, and Tech” district. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1929, Carlow’s curricula and partnerships reflect its strong commitment to social justice; ethical, forward-thinking and responsible leadership; and service to the community that has a meaningful impact. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in two colleges: the College of Health and Wellness and the College of Arts and Sciences.
Carlow University also believes in the education and growth of students both inside and outside the classroom, where they can join student government, clubs, and academic honorary societies where they can develop skills in judgment, leadership, analysis, decision-making, and communication. For student-athletes, Carlow’s 14 athletic teams are known as the Celtics, a reflection of the university’s Irish heritage and roots.