It is with great sadness that we report that Dr. Carole Brandt, former Chair of the UF Theatre Department, recently passed away. Here is a remembrance:
A leader throughout a 50-year career, Dr. Brandt served her profession in myriad roles: Director of the School of Drama at Illinois Wesleyan, Chair of the Department of Theatre at the University of Florida, and Head of the Department of Theatre at The Pennsylvania State University where she was also Executive Producer and Artistic Director of Pennsylvania Centre Stage. Nationally, she served as Chair of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, President of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Dean of The College of Fellows of the American Theatre, President of the National Association of Schools of Theatre, and President of the National Theatre Conference. Throughout her career she directed approximately 200 professional and academic productions and was invited into membership by the Society of Directors and Choreographers. Among a number of award-winning productions, her Dancing at Lughnasa was performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
During Dr. Brandt’s term as Dean, over $100 million was raised for the Meadows School and Museum. The MSA endowment was increased by another hundred million dollars. She oversaw the planning, fundraising, construction, and opening of a new $30 million Meadows Museum in 2001, and in 2006, was instrumental in the acquisition of a new $33 million Meadows Foundation grant, the largest in the history of SMU at the time. Throughout her long career, Dr. Brandt was the only academic in the country who earned four Kennedy Center Medallions for Excellence and an Exxon Gold Medallion for Contribution to Theatre in Higher Education. She was also named Theatre Educator of the Year in Florida and Pennsylvania.