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Nancy Blum ‘72

Nancy Blum, age 81, of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, and born in 1936, died of pneumonia on December 24, 2017, at Bryn Mawr Hospital.

As a wife and mother of two school-age children in the early 1970s, a speech by Gloria Steinem changed the course of Blum's life and set her on a pioneering personal and professional path. She was reading Ms. magazine and thinking about ways she could complete the college degree she began at Connecticut College when she heard Steinem speak.

Along with the encouragement and support of Options for Women, a counseling and placement services for women, Blum completed her bachelor of arts degree at Antioch College and in 1972, she was offered a position as director of outreach and placement at Options. She had not only joined the women's movement, but had become an active force within it.

Career counseling especially for women became a lifelong passion and the main focus of her work for the next 40 years. Blum left Options in 1977 to become coordinator and director of community services at Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) where she helped establish and expand "Learn Where You Earn" professional development courses at a variety of workplaces including Philadelphia Electric Company, Veterans Hospital and the Sheraton Hotel. Her commitment to higher education and personal development wasn't just professional. While she worked full-time at CCP, she earned a masters of science degree in education at University of Pennsylvania.

In 1991, she joined Right Management Consultants as a senior management consultant where she mentored executive, management and technical level clients in finding reemployment, making professional changes and developing entrepreneurial careers. Ten years later, in 2001, she opened a private practice focusing on rebuilding self-esteem after a job loss and marketing, presenting, interviewing and negotiating skills until her retirement in June 2017.

She was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Reuben Scholnick and Ruth (Spector) Scholnick. Blum was a graduate of Winchester Thurston School for Girls and spent many happy summers at Camp Fernwood in Poland, Maine.

Next to her career, Nancy's passions were her children and granddaughters. She was an avid listener and supporter of public radio, classical music, feminist causes and a volunteer career counselor for many artists and arts projects.

She is survived by her daughter Ellen Blum Barish, son Adam David Blum, son-in-laws David Mark Barish and Gary Lang, and granddaughters Emily Rachel Barish and Jennifer Rose Barish.

A celebration of her life is scheduled for Saturday, March 24 from 3-5 pm at Dunwoody Village, 3500 West Chester Pike in Newtown Square Memorial donations may be made in her name to National Organization for Women (NOW) or Planned Parenthood