Former International Student Adviser Mourned
August 11, 2006
Mary Dimond, former international student adviser at Lewis & Clark, died April 18, 2006, at age 90.
Born in Great Falls, Montana, Dimond moved to Portland as a child. She graduated from Behnke-Walker Business College and George Fox University and earned a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Oregon. She taught history, French, and Latin at Beaverton High School.
From 1966 to 1980, Dimond served as Lewis & Clark’s international student adviser. Known to many international students as their “American mom,” she greeted students with a smile and a hug, supported them through difficult periods of adjustment, rejoiced in their successes, and enriched their social and academic experiences. She knew no cultural or language barriers and taught students to understand and learn from each other.
Under Dimond’s leadership, the Foreign Student Office (now International Student Services) expanded its services to students. She founded the College’s Friendship Family program, which still exists today. The program matches new international students with American families for fun, friendship, and wider cultural understanding. She also encouraged participation in the International Students of Lewis & Clark, the speakers’ bureau, and the annual International Fair.
“African dances, celebrations, and fireworks for the life of Mary Dimond,” wrote Nana Gray-Johnson ‘78, a former Lewis & Clark student from Africa, upon the occasion of her death. “No one who met her could ever forget her motherly smile or her deep, genuine interest to help.”
Survivors include her daughters, Barbara Leighton, Rebecca Dimond ‘73, and Kathryn Mobrand; 11 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. Her husband, John, and her son, Thomas, died earlier.
The family suggests remembrances to the Mary Dimond Scholarship Fund for international students.