Russian Department Receives Bequest from Alumna Lorraine Kapitanoff

1 April 2006

The Carleton Russian Department has received a generous bequest from Lorraine Tillberg Kapitanoff, Carleton Class of 1939. A longtime supporter of Russian studies at Carleton, Ms. Kapitanoff bequeathed her collection of Slavic books and artifacts, along with a monetary endowment in support of Russian programming.

After graduating from Carleton, Ms. Kapitanoff received a master of arts in secondary education and abnormal psychology at Springfield College in Massachusetts. In the 1950’s she moved to State College, Pennsylvania with her husband, Jack Kapitanoff, where she took a position as a forestry librarian. She then when on to earn a PhD in comparative literature at Penn State University.

In the late 1950’s, Ms. Kapitanoff began teaching technical Russian, with many of her students eventually landing jobs with the National Security Agency. She developed the first bachelor of science degree in technical translation, as well as courses in Russian history, art and theater. In 1978 Ms. Kapitanoff became one of the founders of the Penn State Slavic Folk Festival. The festival evolved into a three-day event showcasing dance, music, art and cuisine of local Slavic communities. The festival continued under Ms. Kapitanoff’s direction until 2001.

An additional bequest from Ms. Kapitanoff’s estate will create a Scholarship Fund so support financial aid at Carleton.