Elizabeth Candon

Sister Elizabeth Candon
Sister Elizabeth Candon

Time Period

1940 to Today

Notable Facts

Member of the Sisters of Mercy Order. President of Trinity College from 1966 to 1976. Appointed by Governor Richard Snelling to run the Agency of Human Services; first woman to run a Vermont state agency.

Personal Information

Date of Birth

05/31/1921

Date of Death

02/01/2012

Primary Residence

Burlington

Religion

Catholic

Ethnicity

Caucasian

Historical Significance

Sister Elizabeth Candon grew up in Pittsford, Vermont on her family's dairy farm. She attended both elementary school and high school in Pittsford before attending Trinity College in 1939. Candon met nuns for the first time at Trinity and decided to join the Sisters of Mercy Order. She completed her Bachelors of Arts degree at Trinity and taught fourth grade at Cathedral Grammar School before being offered the opportunity to earn her Masters and Ph.D. at Fordham University. While there, she focused on Medieval, Romantic, and Victorian literature. Candon returned to Trinity College in 1954 as Director of Admissions and taught several English courses. She became President of the College in 1966 and remained in that office until 1976. When she stepped down from the Presidency, she was asked by Governor Richard Snelling to be the Secretary of Human Services. She accepted and then became the first woman and nun to run a state agency. After retiring from the Agency of Human Services, Candon served as a trustee of Goddard, Trinity, and Middlebury College, as well as the Richard A. Snelling Center for Government. She became the Director of the Vermont Ethics Network and was on committees with the following organizations: the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce, the Howard Mental Health Agency, and the United Community Service of Chittenden County. The Sister Elizabeth Candon Distinguished Service Award was established in her honor in 1984 by the Vermont Women in Higher Education organization. The honor is presented to a woman who has shown evidence of promoting and working toward the advancement of women in higher education and involvement at the national, regional, state, and local levels in related activities.

Organizations or Movements

  • Trustee of Goddard, Trinity, and Middlebury Colleges
  • Richard A. Snelling Center for Government
  • Vermont Ethics Network
  • Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce
  • Howard Mental Health Agency
  • United Community Service of Chittenden County
  • Vermont Women in Higher Education

Occupations

  • Fourth grade teacher at Cathedral Grammar School
  • Director of Admissions at Trinity College
  • President of Trinity College
  • Secretary of Human Services for the State of Vermont
  • Director of the Vermont Ethics Network

Education

  • BA, Trinity College, Burlington, VT
  • Master's and Ph.D., Fordham College

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • Those Indomitable Vermont Women

  • Beck, Jane C. "At the "table of community responsibility" : the activist careers of Sister Mary Candon and Sister Janice Ryan." Visit'n : Conversations with Vermonters, v. 9 (Dec. 2003).

  • Sister Elizabeth Candon Obituary Link

  • Sister Elizabeth Candon Obituary Link

  • Life and Legacy of Sister Elizabeth Candon, by Madeleine Kunin Link