Lawrence University is mourning the loss of Margaret Carroll ’61, a former Lawrence trustee who was a leader in Washington, D.C., journalism in the 1960s before forging an impressive career in public policy and business research that spanned more than three decades.

A resident of Appleton since retiring in 2002, she died Dec. 7 with her sisters by her side. She was 82.

Carroll provided significant leadership to her alma mater, serving as a member of the Lawrence Board of Trustees from 1974 to 1980 and again from 1983 to 2006. She chaired the Board from 1993 to 1995 and was Board secretary from 1998 to 2006, when she was elected an emerita trustee.

She volunteered in a variety of other capacities through the years and continued to offer her guidance until her final days.

“Personally, I always enjoyed Margaret’s thoughtful insights and her willingness to engage you on the side during Board breaks,” said Cory Nettles ’92, current chair of the Board of Trustees.

Carroll, a native of New York City, began her work in the nation’s capital while studying at Lawrence. She interned at the Congressional Quarterly for two summers and would go to work for the publication following her graduation from Lawrence,

During the late 1960s, she became director of publications at the National Urban Coalition, where she also served as acting director of communications. In 1969, she helped create the National Journal and later served as the organization’s congressional editor and associate editor. 

Then in the early 1970s, Carroll was involved in the creation of the Investor Responsibility Research Center in Washington, D.C., which helped provide assessments of public policy and business matters. The center provided research to institutional investors, foundations, colleges, corporations, and law firms. She would go on to serve as its executive director for 20 years.

When she retired in 2002, she moved back to Appleton and immersed herself in the community, including her continued efforts to be a mentor in and around Lawrence. She represented Lawrence on the City of Appleton’s College Avenue Design Committee, and in 2007 was the recipient of an honorary doctorate of education from Lawrence. Four years later, she was awarded Lawrence’s Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp Outstanding Service Award in recognition of her volunteer service.

The wisdom honed during a brilliant professional career and through decades of leadership and volunteerism at Lawrence was a gift that was never taken for granted, Nettles said.

“For me, a trustee many years her junior and many more times less experienced in institutional governance, she was generous in dispensing her wisdom and always extraordinarily kind and patient,” he said.