Martha Willis Dale, Cabrini alumni office director

Martha W. Dale
Martha W. Dale
Posted: October 04, 2012

Martha Willis Dale, 72, whom Cabrini College's president called a "shining star," died of cancer Monday, Sept. 24, at Bryn Mawr Hospital. Mrs. Dale lived in Wayne for 35 years.

From 1978 to 2005, she was director of alumni affairs at Cabrini. She then helped to research and write a history of the Radnor college, son Ian Anderson said.

In a note to the college community, Cabrini president Marie A. George described Mrs. Dale as "a long and shining star. . . ."

"Martha's deep commitment to Cabrini makes her loss especially painful for the Cabrini community."

Besides directing the alumni office, George noted, Mrs. Dale was the coordinator of historical projects and was alumni coordinator for the college's 50th anniversary in the 2007-08 academic year.

George noted that "Martha was instrumental with the Mansion's placement on the National Register of Historic Places" in 2009. The former Woodcrest Mansion is the campus centerpiece, and "Martha's guided tours of the Mansion are legendary," George wrote.

"Martha's dedication was extraordinary; her gracious spirit reached far and wide and touched everyone."

In 2005, Mrs. Dale set up the Martha Dale Award for Distinguished Service for a Cabrini alumnus.

In 2004, friends, family, and colleagues established the Martha Dale Endowed Scholarship.

Beyond the Cabrini campus, her son said, from 1972 to 1982, she was a board member of the Radnor office of A Better Chance, described on its website as a national program intended to recruit students of color from disadvantaged school districts for "outstanding public, independent and private high schools across the United States."

And she was an advisory board member from 2004 to 2012 with Presbyterian Children's Village, which offers child-welfare and other services on a 43-acre site in Rosemont.

Born in Pittsburgh, Mrs. Dale earned a bachelor's in sociology from Connecticut College in 1962 and did postgraduate work at the University of Pittsburgh.

From 1965 to 1969 at Pitt, her son said, she held the dual title of assistant dean of women and assistant dean of students.

Besides her son, Mrs. Dale is survived by her husband, John Dale; son William Anderson; stepsons John L. Dale Jr. and Jeffrey B. Dale Sr.; and nine grandchildren. She is also survived by her former husband, Bayard Anderson.

A memorial service was set for 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at St. John's Presbyterian Church, 217 Berkeley Rd., Devon.

Donations may be sent to the Martha Dale Endowed Scholarship, Cabrini College, 610 King of Prussia Rd., Radnor, Pa. 19087.

Contact Walter F. Naedele at 215-854-5607 or

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