New Carlson Scholarship at UPB

The children of Robert L. and Patricia A. Carlson have endowed a scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in their parents’ memory.

The $10,000 gift from R. Michael and Susan Carlson, John P. and Terry Carlson, and Michael and Cathy Medden, has been matched by the Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas Scholarship Challenge.

The Robert L. and Patricia A. Carlson Scholarship will benefit local students, including those living in nearby western New York, who plan to attend Pitt-Bradford.

“We developed this scholarship to provide a legacy,” said Mike Carlson, who has served on the university’s Advisory Board since 1995. “My parents worked hard and never had a chance to go to college. Yet, they sent three kids to college.”

Carlson, along with his brother and sister believe that those who have benefited by education should give back through education. “A scholarship is a great way to recognize those who shaped your life,” he said.

In this case, the life-shaping force was Robert Carlson, who, at the age of 14, began working at City Carpet in Bradford. He later purchased the business, dedicating 50 years of his life to its operation.

On Sept. 25, 1947, Robert Carlson married his wife, Patricia. Both graduates of Bradford High School, Mr. Carlson was a member of the Bradford Club, Pine Acres, Bradford Exchange Club, Bradford Parking Authority and the Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems board of directors.

Mrs. Carlson was a member of St. Bernard Church, various bridge clubs and the Zonta Club. Together they owned and operated City Carpet for 28 years.

“My parents gave a great deal of themselves for us to go to college,” Carlson said. “They instilled upon us their core beliefs of education, a strong work ethic and helping others whenever possible.”

The Carlson family ties to Pitt-Bradford are strong. Carlson’s son, Michael, is a 2003 graduate. His in-laws are Dorothea and Howard Fesenmyer, for whom Pitt-Bradford’s newest residence hall is named and who established the Howard and Dorothea Fesenmyer Scholarship Fund. Mr. Fesenmyer is also an Advisory Board member.

“My parents and the Fesenmyers were life-long friends,” Carlson said. His siblings, as well, have numerous ties to Pitt-Bradford.

Mike Carlson’s sister and brother-in-law, Cathy and Michael Medden of Arcade, N.Y., with Greg and Mary Huber of Bradford, previously established a scholarship to honor the memory of their father, Dr. Edwin J. Medden, former head of surgery at Bradford Hospital and an emeritus member of the Pitt-Bradford Advisory Board. Mary Huber is also an Advisory Board member.

Mike Carlson’s brother, John Carlson, married a Pitt-Bradford alumna, Terry Eger Carlson, who graduated with a degree in human relations in 1980. The couple lives in South Dayton, N.Y.

Mike Carlson said he would “love to see more people in the community use scholarships to recognize family, give back to the community in which they were raised, create a legacy, and help others better their lives.”

For more information on donor scholarships and how to apply for them, contact the Pitt-Bradford Office of Financial Aid at 814-362-7550.

The Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas Scholarship Challenge was made possible by a $1 million gift from Agnes L. Thomas. For as long as the funds last, the challenge allows donors to double the amount of gifts between $5,000 and $10,000 to new and existing scholarships. Gifts must be paid within five years to be eligible.

For more information, contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at (814) 362-5091 or e-mail Karen Buchheit, executive director of institutional advancement and managing director of the Bradford Educational Foundation at

(Photo courtesy of Pitt-Bradford)


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