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Contact: Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120

Centenary Professor Emerita Virginia Carlton Dies at Age 87

Dr. Virginia Carlton

SHREVEPORT, LA — Dr. Virginia Carlton, professor of mathematics at Centenary College for 28 years died at age 87 on Tuesday, June 14, 2005, of pneumonia in Cabrini Hospital in Alexandria, La. She resided in recent years near the home of her brother David and not far from the Natchez, Miss., home of her brother Charles, both of whom visited her frequently.

Born in Rosebud, Texas, March 20, 1918, she graduated from Fair Park High School and earned a B.S. degree in mathematics in 1939 from Centenary (summa cum laude), where she was inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame. She earned an M.S. from Tulane University and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

In addition to her 28 years of service to Centenary, she taught mathematics at Northwestern State University for two years and at Wesleyan College, Macon, Ga., for 10 years.

Her tenure at Centenary was interrupted in 1963 for a one-year Fulbright Teaching Scholarship at the University College in Ghana, West Africa, and again in 1970 for a two-year Fulbright at the University of Liberia. Her love of Africa, which grew out of these two experiences, led her to accept a three-year teaching assignment at Cottington College in Liberia, upon retirement in 1983. Her collection of African art was presented to the Meadows Museum of Art at Centenary in 1996.

During her distinguished teaching career at Centenary, Dr. Carlton served as chair of the Department of Mathematics. Beyond the campus she was recognized as a national leader in mathematics, particularly in the teaching of mathematics. She was active on a national level with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and its International Educational Mathematics Committee and the Mathematic Association of America, serving as Governor of the Louisiana-Mississippi Section.

Dr. Carlton taught in the National Science Foundation summer institutes for mathematics teachers at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and the University of Alberta in Canada. She conducted a number of National Science Foundation institutes for mathematics teachers at Centenary.

One of the goals in Dr. Carlton’s life was to improve the teaching of mathematics. She devoted time and energy in improving mathematics in the public schools by presenting workshops throughout the state.

Dr. Carlton was an active member of First Baptist Church and the Altrusa Club of Shreveport.

Dr. Carlton was preceded in death by her father, James McKinney Carlton; her mother, Gladys Askew Carlton; a brother, John William Carlton; and a sister, Ethel Elizabeth Kastl. She is survived by a sister, Eleanor Beatrice Frazer of Montgomery, Ala.; and four brothers, Jack K. Carlton of Eatonton, Ga.; Charles F. Carlton, Natchez, Miss.; David M. Carlton, LeCompte, La.; and Richard C. Carlton, Baton Rouge, La. Numerous nieces and nephews also survive her.

Dr. Carlton donated her body to LSU Medical School. A memorial service will be held at Centenary College’s Brown Chapel on July 8, 2005, at 11 a.m. Dr. Robert Ed Taylor and Dr. Lee Morgan will officiate. In lieu of flowers and in memory of Dr. Carlton, donations may be made to the Dr. Virginia Carlton Endowed Mathematics Scholarship, Centenary College, 2911 Centenary Blvd., Shreveport, LA 71104.

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