Remembering Peggy Templeton Strong
Peggy Templeton Strong

It was great sadness that we learned that Peggy passed away on Friday, July 18th 2014. Tributes poured in through the OACAC Facebook Group and many shared their memories and fondness for a woman that was instrumental in the founding of OACAC.  Throughout her career she promoted the needs of students, mentored counselors and university representatives, and was instrumental in establishing the profession of international admissions and guidance. While she has left us, her spirit will remain, as those that knew her continue her work and vision of a world connected through education. Peggy was 102. 


OACAC Facebook Comments 

“Peggy was a dynamo”

“all of us, beneficiaries of the work, sacrifice, passion, effort, and time that Peggy put into students and into the profession as a whole. Rest in peace, Peggy.”

“Three cheers for Peggy!” 

“Peggy incarnated passion, vision and dedication in our profession. OACAC is a tribute to her tireless work and she will continue to inspire us”

“We stand on the shoulders of giants indeed. Rest in Peace Peggy”

“We will miss you Peggy but your legacy will live on forever through the organizations you helped create and through those of us lucky to have known and learnt from you” 

“A true example of dedication and energy for all of us...always...”

“She was an amazing woman and was truly an inspiration to many others. I feel blessed to have known her.”


Marie Vivas…
    I was very sad to learn about the passing of my dear friend and mentor, Peggy Templeton-Strong. If ever we in the international college admissions profession could point to someone as a role model, it was this indomitable little old lady who had great spirit, high energy and tremendous will. I first met Peggy in September of 1997 when she was awarded the Gayle C. Wilson award at the NACAC Conference in San Francisco.

Peggy so passionately and eloquently served her profession through her commitment to ECIS and CIS. Her work with university admissions officers is legendary. I cannot count the times I have heard a story from a colleague in admissions about her driving them through the mountains in Switzerland to visit schools and meet with students.

But I want to reflect on the one part of her legacy that has been such a big part of my life for over 20 years, OACAC. OACAC, which is home to so many of us. OACAC, where we go to learn about our profession. OACAC, which is the voice for the concerns and issues of international students from all over the world. OACAC, where so many of us have made lifelong friendships and received support and understanding through many transitions and upheavals in our personal and professional lives.

Let’s just look at OACAC as it is today. We have almost 2000 members from over 90 countries. We are vocal and passionate advocates for the fair treatment of international students in these days of per-capita remuneration of recruiting agents.

All this started with a small group of people who saw a need, persevered and pushed NACAC to do the right thing and make space for an Overseas ACAC. Peggy was there the whole time. She was one of the squeaky wheels that would not be quiet. By the time I met her, at the age of 84, she had done more for our profession than many of us could ever imagine doing. And yet, she was not ready to stop. No, she went on, mentoring a new generation, over a glass of wine at a conference social, during a meal in Nice or Monaco, on a ride to the airport, in a speech when an award in her name was given to a well-deserving counselor. I know many of you are now thinking of your Peggy moment. I ask that you think not just of that moment, but of how our entire community has been enriched by her contributions.

I know that we will find many opportunities to celebrate her life in the coming days and months, but I now just want to say - thank you Peggy. I was extremely fortunate to get to know you, enjoy your company, your wit, your advice, your story. I will miss you.

Peter Hauet…

One of my very first memories of was when she organized the ECIS summer tours for international school counselors.  Off we would go for two weeks in three rented vans.  Remember this was during the summer and usually meant warm days.  Peggy was always a classy lady and dressed the part.  While the rest of us thought about our comfort, Peggy would be dressed to the nines, high heels and all following the campus tour guides.  At the end of the day she would be ready for a glass of wine.  I drink a toast now to this fantastic lady who did so much for all of us, but mostly for the students she never forgot.

I was honored to be the first recipient of the CIS Award for international counseling given in her name.  For those of you who have had the pleasure to meet or work with this phenomenal women I know that she made a difference in your life as she did mine.  For those of you who have not, please take a few moments and find out more about her and read all of these tributes and don’t forget your heels.

Patience Fanella-Koch…

I attended Peggy Templeton-Strong’s funeral this morning along with several educators and college counselors in the Swiss region. It was a touching ceremony in which her life was praised for the passion and commitment she had toward education and helping young people discover their potential and realize their dreams. A representative of CIS, Terrance Gale, spoke eloquently about her professional past and her influence on all of us. I remember interviewing Peggy last year, at the age of 101, asking questions about her life-long work in the field and her memory of how it all began. When talking about her life, her work with students and universities, and the start of a "concept" we now call OACAC, her eyes lit up and her stories and details flowed freely. Truly an inspiration to us all!

Peggy discusses the founding of OACAC , in this video shot at CIS Conference 2009


Video credit: David Zutautas & Rosa Moreno 

Share this post:


Comments 0-5 of 1

Mary-Ann Sullivan - Monday, November 17, 2014

I met Peggy at the end of the 70s when I was a young counselor fresh off the boat from New England. Right from the start, she gave me sound advice, offered strategies for helping students and discussed the most effective ways to communicate with college admission offices. That was who she was: a teacher and mentor to many. Peggy pushed me forward to take leadership positions, including hosting a conference for counselors in Vienna and later serving as the first Vice President for OACAC. As we all know, she was relentless in pursuing the quest for the birth of OACAC. Peggy felt strongly that counselors in international schools could be the voice for their students, who represented many different countries and socio-economic backgrounds. As a member of an ECIS & NEASC Visiting Committee, held at her school in the 90s, I observed first-hand the genuine respect she had earned from her colleagues and students. Peggy was both sophisticated and down to earth and lots of fun to be around. There was noting more energizing than to have good food, drink and conversation with Peggy. I shared that one last time in 2009 at the CIS Conference in Munich. Here is a toast to Peggy whose voice and energy still drive OACAC to always do the best for our students. Bravo, Peggy, and thank you!

Please login to comment