Loving history for as long as she can remember, Rosemary F. Carroll, PhD, JD, grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, where history was all around her. Going back to her mother and as far back as her grandparents, she recalled that they all also had a love for history. As a child, her and her parents would take trips to visit various historical places. She moved to Newport, Rhode Island, when she was 5 years old to a historical home built in the Gilded Age in 1743, which her grandfather always spoke about. She later moved back to Providence, which her grandfather always spoke about. Since 2001, Dr. Carroll has been recognized as a Henry and Margaret Haegg Distinguished Professor in History emerita at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Prior to her retirement, Dr. Carroll began her career as an assistant professor of history at Notre Dame College, now merged with St. John’s University, in 1968, remaining in this position for two years before serving as a visiting assistant professor of history at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. She joined Coe College in 1971 as an assistant professor of history. There, Dr. Carroll moved up the ranks to numerous other roles including associate professor, full professor, Henry and Margaret Haegg Distinguished Professor of History, chair of the Department of History, affirmative action officer, pre-law advisor and faculty representative for the Truman Foundation, Rhodes Scholarship Trust and British Marshal Scholarship.
Before the start of her professional career, Dr. Carroll pursued a formal education at Brown University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1957. She then matriculated at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where she received a Master of Arts in 1962. She went on to obtain a PhD from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey in New Brunswick in 1968 and a JD from the University of Iowa in Iowa City in 1983. Since receiving these academic honors, Dr. Carroll has contributed much of her time to civic endeavors including the Legal Services Corporation of Iowa in Cedar Rapids, serving as a volunteer lawyer from 1984 to 2001 and advisory council member from 1985 to 2001. Additionally, she has contributed myriad articles to professional journals.
Outside of her primary trade, Dr. Carroll keeps updated on trends in her field through her affiliations with numerous related organizations. Serving on the membership committee of the Organization of American Historians in 1978, she served the Southern Historical Association in the same role from 1986 to 1989 and from 1996 to 1998. Likewise, she served the Southern Association for Women Historians in various posts, including as president and Taylor Prize committee member, between 1975 and 2005, and served on the legal heritage committee of the Iowa Bar Association from 1988 to 2001. A continuing legal education committee member of the Linn County Bar Association from 1990 to 2002, Dr. Carroll was treasurer of the Linn County Women Attorneys for one year and participated with multiple other organizations such as the American Bar Association, the American Association of University Women, the American Historical Association, Phi Kappa Phi and the Hanson’s Landing Association. Currently, she has served on the board of directors of the Brown Club of the Treasure Coast since 2007.
In recognition of her multitudinous achievements, Dr. Carroll was a grantee of the National Endowment of the Humanities from 1992 to 1993 and Olmsted fellow of the Hoover Presidential Library Association from 1987 to 2002, also a grantee from 1992 to 1994. A recipient of the coveted Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, she was also selected for inclusion in the 22nd edition of Who’s Who in the World, the 23rd edition of Who’s Who in the Midwest and several editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education and Who’s Who in American Law.
Dr. Carroll tries to lead by example by displaying fairness, integrity and the highest standards of academic discipline. Her parents taught her to just do the right thing. She learned to have good, cordial relations with members of the department and follow the direction of her college’s goals. Furthermore, Dr. Carroll learned to be pleasant and cordial, try to listen, and treat people with dignity and respect. She attributes much of her success to James Blane Hedges, an American History professor at Brown University, and Albert Van Nossen in the English department, who taught her how to write well.