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Nancy Dean

July 19, 1930 — October 6, 2017

Nancy Dean

Award-winning equestrian, Hunter College Professor for 28 years (Vassar BA, Harvard MA, NYU PhD) medieval scholar and author, novelist, prolific playwright, philanthropist, Nancy Dean died on October 6, 2017 in the hospital in Sullivan County.(87)  Brilliant visionary, her many friends mourn the loss of Nancy’s vivacious presence, genuine wit, bold activism.  In 1977 when Nancy Dean learned that women received less than 1% of foundation grants, she declared: “we must create our own.” The clarity of her vision, the power of her insistence, led to the founding of the Astraea Foundation which from its inception would prioritize the needs of lesbians and women of color. “Multi Multi” she insisted. We will build “unity across all class, race, and cultural divides.” The legacy of Nancy’s fierce, prescient leadership is manifested in the 40-years of relentless commitment to and expansion of her vision with the other founding mothers in today’s Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. With Beva Eastman, her partner of 54 years, Nancy subsequently founded the Open Meadows Foundation, a global fund for women and girls, serving those from particularly vulnerable communities.
Rest in power, Nancy.  Your legacy will live forever.
Achebe (Betty) Powell, Charlotte Bunch, Roxanna Carrillo, Blanche W Cook, Clare Coss, Lucille Field Goodman, Patsy Rogers


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