Carol Lancaster (SFS ’64), former dean of the School of Foreign Service, died early this morning, University President John J. DeGioia announced in a campus-wide email. She was 72.
“I can only begin to express the extraordinary impact Carol had on our community; she touched so many lives as an exceptional colleague, teacher, mentor and friend throughout her nearly three and a half decades at Georgetown,” DeGioia wrote. “Her passion for our university — for our students, their growth and our mission — was unparalleled, and we were all deeply fortunate to have had the chance to be in her presence. Carol will be missed in a most profound way by our entire Georgetown community.”
Lancaster took a leave of absence in November 2013, after being diagnosed with a brain tumor, which was removed at the Georgetown University Medical Center on Dec. 2. She resigned the deanship in April, and was named dean emerita. At the time, DeGioia said she would serve as a professor in the SFS upon her recovery.
Lancaster and the School of Foreign Service were intrinsically entwined. One of its first female graduates, she went on to hold a variety of positions within the school upon her return in 1981, serving as a professor of politics, the director of the African Studies Program, the director of the Master of Foreign Service Program and the director of the Mortara Center for International Studies. She assumed the deanship in 2010, after serving as interim dean the previous year. She also oversaw an expansion of SFS programs, with the addition of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and masters programs in Global Human Development and Asian Studies.
“She’s just been a huge asset to the university,” SFS Interim Dean James Reardon-Anderson said upon her resignation in April. “She’s really served the school and the university in many different ways.”
Before joining the Georgetown faculty, Lancaster earned her masters and doctoral degrees from the London School of Economics and worked at the State Department and United States Agency for International Development. According to a Georgetown news release, she had written 10 books, largely focusing on foreign aid and development, and was working on three more, including one that tied the history of her hometown of Washington, D.C., to personal reflection.
A permanent replacement is not expected to assume the deanship until summer 2015, when Lancaster’s term was due to expire.
Lancaster is survived by her husband Curtis Farrar, son Douglas Farrar (SFS ’05, GRD ’12), four stepchildren, seven grandchildren and daughter-in-law. A memorial service is scheduled for Oct. 26 at 3 p.m. in Gaston Hall and a community memorial page can be accessed online.
A full obituary will follow in Friday’s print edition.