Sharing Information about a Death in Our Community

12 February 2021

Dear Carleton Community Members,

This week, we learned of the death of Carleton staff member Teresa Pittman. The news of Teresa’s passing reached us with heavy hearts, as she was a beloved and long-time member of our community. Further compounding on our collective grief is the knowledge that Teresa died after testing positive for COVID-19. Hers is the first death among our on-campus community related to the virus.

Expecting that some of you have questions about whether Teresa’s illness was connected to her work on campus, we write to share additional information, while continuing to respect the privacy of Teresa and her family.

Teresa was a dedicated Carleton employee for nearly 24 years and worked on campus through January 14.  As she developed symptoms and later tested positive for COVID-19, she reported this to the College and worked closely with a member of our case investigation and contact tracing team. Through this engagement, it was determined that she’d had no close contacts on campus, nor were connections traced to any other COVID-19 cases in the campus community preceding her illness.

We are profoundly saddened about Teresa’s untimely death and send our deepest condolences to her family, friends, and coworkers as they grieve this terrible loss. To anyone impacted by Teresa’s passing, we wish to remind you that confidential counseling is available 24/7 to employees through the Employee Assistance Program by calling (866) 326-7194, and to students by calling (855) 705-2479.


The COVID-19 Core Team

Carolyn H. Livingston, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
Eric Runestad, Vice President and Treasurer
Elise Eslinger, Vice President and Chief of Staff
Gretchen Hofmeister, Associate Dean of the College
John Bermel, Director of Security and Emergency Management
Helen Clarke, Director of Digital Strategy and Public Affairs