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Pitt-Bradford Receives Gift from Naomi Carlson


The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has received a gift of more than $200,000 from the estate of Bradford resident Naomi Carlson.

The university used the bulk of the gift for the Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibition 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 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 has named the grand staircase in its lobby 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 at Bell Atlantic, now Verizon, in Bradford and Warren from 1950 until 1988.

In 1975, she began work on a college degree, which she thought would help her move up 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 and working full time.

In 1983, Bell transferred her to Warren. She moved to Warren, but continued to make the commute to Bradford for one class each semester. Contending with driving late at night in bad weather, and the occasional canceled class prompted her to give up her studies after three semesters. She had 60 credits.

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. She graduated in 2006.

That same year, she established a scholarship for promising and deserving students who demonstrate financial need and are making satisfactory progress toward a degree. Between 2007 and 2017, her scholarship fund has helped 12 students.

“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 forever be 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


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