Beloved George Williams College director Carolyn Gramley passes away at age 98

Carolyn Gramley 1964Aurora University is saddened to announce the death of Carolyn Gramley. She served as director of the GWC campus from 1970 until 1985 and retired after 25 years of service. She died on Friday, September 7, at age 98.

Carolyn’s dedication and loyalty to the goals of “College Camp” were very evident throughout her tenure. She first came to the campus in 1961 as secretary to the camp director. Later, as director, she established a reputation for the campus as a well-managed operation with financial stability. During her tenure, a more cohesive appearance was created throughout the campus, which included the planting of hundreds of new trees and shrubs throughout the grounds. In addition, she oversaw an award-winning outdoor education program on the campus.

Last year saw the dedication of the Carolyn Burch Gramley Lodge at George Williams College, a testament to her immeasurable contributions to the campus. It was around that time that she spoke about her beloved College Camp. “It is such a wonderful place,” she recalled. “I could not have been happier and I don’t know what else I would have done.”

“Carolyn Gramley was a pioneer,” said Aurora University President Rebecca L. Sherrick. “Under her leadership, the George Williams campus welcomed tens of thousands of guests. Some came to learn about the outdoors or to attend conferences. Others sought an opportunity for reflection and meditation. All were greeted by Carolyn with warmth and entered into the George Williams fellowship of friends and family. She was a gifted leader, who extended hospitality to all. We will continue to be inspired by her example.”

A memorial service will be held at a later date. The family suggests memorials to George Williams College of Aurora University or the United Church of Christ-Congregational in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. Online obituary is at