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Nazareth College's Seventh President Rose Marie Beston Passes Away

Published March 02, 2020

Nazareth College is saddened to report that former President Rose Marie Beston has passed away. Beston served the College as Nazareth's seventh president for 14 years from 1984-1998. She died in Australia after a long battle with cancer.

Former President Beston played a key part in instituting new academic programs including physical therapy, art therapy, and music education on the graduate level. Applications for admission as first-year students increased 75 percent during her presidency to nearly 1,400 students, and the college endowment grew from $9.5M to $36.8M. She also continued the College's founding mission of community service, with more than 80 percent of the College's undergraduates volunteering their time.

Beston earned her bachelor's degree at St. Joseph's College, Maine, and her master of arts at Boston College. She received her doctorate in English from the University of Pittsburgh. She later studied at Harvard University where she earned her certificate of advanced study in administration, planning, and social policy.

Beston earned the 1988 Athena Award, sponsored by the Women's Council of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. She was active on many Rochester area boards during her Nazareth presidency including the former Genesee Hospital, Urban League of Rochester, Rochester Museum and Science Center, Boy Scouts, Rochester Chamber of Commerce, Rochester Red Wings, and the Industrial Management Council. In 1997, she received recognition from the Monroe County Legislature for her efforts to promote multicultural diversity on the Nazareth campus.

Beston was precedeased by her husband of 47 years, John Beston, Ph.D. who died in early 2018.

The Nazareth College Catholic community Mass has been postponed until further notice.

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Nazareth College’s academic strengths cross an unusually broad spectrum of 60 majors, including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts. The coeducational, religiously independent, classic campus in a charming suburb of Rochester, N.Y., challenges and supports 2,300 undergrads and 700 graduate students. Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. Rigorous programs, an uncommon arts and sciences core, experiential learning, career skills, and a global focus prepare graduates for not just one job, but for their life’s work.

Dr. Rose Marie Beston was Nazareth College's seventh president. (Pictured in 1984)