Grove City College is running down our Top Ten stories of 2021. This story was originally published Feb. 20.
A longtime Grove City College administrator, mentor and friend to generations of alumni and students has passed away. Former Dean of Women and Vice President for Student Affairs Nancy (Lee ’54) Paxton died this morning at her Grove City home. She was 88.
“It would be difficult to exaggerate the impact Nancy Paxton had on the lives of thousands of students during her tenure at the College,” said Grove City College President Paul McNulty ’80. “She was a constant source of cheerfulness, kindness, and devoted service to the campus community. Now, in the presence of her Savior, she can look to her right and to her left and enjoy the eternal fellowship of the saints who have gone before her.”
Mrs. Paxton joined the College in 1976 as dean of women and director of housing. She was promoted to dean of students and vice president of student affairs in 1991, a post she held until her retirement in 2004. In this capacity, Paxton managed leadership in residence halls, coordinated student housing needs, organized special events, supervised student counseling and led various campus activities. Upon her retirement, the College awarded her an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
Edward D. Breen ’78, chairman of the College Board of Trustees added, “Nancy Paxton, from the ‘Great Class of ’54,’ was a caring and tireless leader of Grove City College. Her love for the students was evident to all. Nancy’s dedication continues to serve as an inspiring example for all who are involved in the vital work of the College.”
With nearly three decades of service to our College and students, Mrs. Paxton advised many campus organizations including Panhellenic Council, Mortar Board, Crown and Sceptre, Association of Women Students and the Student Government Association. She was a sister of Alpha Beta Tau sorority.
Known for her friendliness and sense of humor, she was involved in many student activities including talent shows and theatrical programs, much to the delight of the students whose lives she touched with genuine kindness and compassion. For a short while after retirement, she also served the College part-time in Admissions, Alumni Relations and special event planning.
Prior to joining Grove City College, Mrs. Paxton served as director of Christian education at Grove City’s East Main Presbyterian Church for 23 years.
The Grove City College Alumni Association selected her for a Jack Kennedy Memorial Alumni Achievement Award in the field of Education in 1994. She received the College’s Florence E. MacKenzie Campus-Community Award in 1989 for enhancing relationships between the College and the community. She also served on the board of the Grove City United Way.
Her husband, H. Thomas Paxton, passed in May 2016. Nieces and nephew survive.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Nancy (Lee ’54) Paxton Scholarship Endowment at Grove City College, established in 2010 by family and friends, in care of the Development Office, 100 Campus Drive, Grove City, PA 16127 or gcc.edu/givenow.