A Hop mainstay, Croft dies at 65
By Cole Entress
Published on Thursday, November 21, 2002
Dartmouth lost a valuable employee and a fierce patron of the arts in Georgia Croft, 65, who died in her home Saturday after a year and a half-long battle with lung cancer.
At the College, Croft erved as the Hopkins Center's media relations coordinator for nearly a decade. Almost every media outlet in the Upper Valley, from newspapers to television networks, worked extensively with Croft.
"Georgia had a very pure idea of news," colleague and Hopkins Center Director of Marketing Marcy Menitove said. "Her practice was that getting newspaper or news coverage of an event shouldn't depend on us buying an advertisement. She believed that the information she sent out was news, and that it needed coverage."
Because of Croft's passion for her job, she always did meticulous and exacting work. She consistently went above and beyond what was expected of her, sometimes working 40 hours a week or more in a half-time position, Menitove said. Often, she would even accompany photographers to rehearsals and events after hours, to ensure the necessary publicity photos were on hand."When Georgia shared information about an event, she was doing so often on a level of personal enthusiasm for the artist or the art form," Director of the Hopkins Center Lewis Crickard said. "I was always surprised by how current she was with what was happening in the performing arts."
According to Rolf Olsen, director for marketing and publicity at the Hopkins Center, Croft's job was more than just a vocation -- it was a mission.
"She had such a passion for the arts and she wanted to share it with everybody," Olsen said. "But she realized that often it's a challenge to attend a performance if you don't know the artist or the art form."
"She saw that her goal was to educate people and by educating them breaking down the barriers between them and the performance. She wanted to get the information out in a motivating and inspiring way," Olsen said.
Croft's colleagues remember her as independent and committed, even when fighting her illness.
"She didn't complain about her illness at all, she just came in and did what she had to do," Menitove said. "Even if she didn't feel well, she would come in and you would wonder how she did it, because her work was really important to her."
In spite of the long hours she often spent closely assembling press releases and setting up interviews with featured artists, colleagues remember her as amiable and funny in the workplace.
"She had a great sense of humor," Olsen said. "She was someone who was always very dignified and poised, but she could pass around an email full of puns that would make you fall out of your chair laughing."
Menitove too, remembered this sometimes ironic humor, and added that "she could say something in a completely deadpan face -- it would take a minute before you figured out that she was joking."
Croft also enjoyed working with students -- and not only ones involved in the media. She also loved working with performers, artists and her work-study students.
According to Olsen, she even kept up with students' birthdays and often indulged one of her favorite hobbies -- cooking -- by baking them cakes. Students liked working for her so much they would often keep in touch long after graduation.
Croft "had a way of bringing out the best qualities in all the students she worked with," Crickard said. "They really enjoyed working with her."
Christine Coldiron '03, who served as Croft's assistant for the past year and a half, remembers her community-minded nature, humility and ability to create a "family dynamic" with everyone in the office.
"I still kind of can't believe it," Coldiron said. "It almost feels like she's still there. When they do finally find a replacement, it's really going to be a different place for a while. It'll be the end of an era."
Croft is survived by her husband, children and grandchildren. A memorial service for family and friends will be held at a later date through Pearsons Funeral Service.