Diane Elaine Norman
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Diane grew up with the advantage of a mother who loved the arts and a father who believed in education. Her hometown, enriched by great museums, orchestras, and Cranbrook, where Henry Moore left his magnificent colossal sculptures, also served as a catalyst for her lifelong arts advocacy. Diane graduated with a BA from Vassar College, an MA from Indiana University and a PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder, all in related areas of Russian and Soviet Studies. While at IU, she spent two summers of language study and travel in the then Soviet Union just before the fall of Khrushchev…and had no clue it was imminent. No social networks then!
Diane met her husband, Arlan, while he was getting his PhD at IU. They were married while he was a post-doc in Chemistry at UC-Berkeley and went as newlyweds to Boulder, where he joined the faculty, eventually became Chair of the Chemistry and later Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to earning her Ph.D. at CU, Diane also switched fields to Engineering and computer science. Throughout, Diane has maintained a lifelong love affair with literature and Russian and Soviet music and musicians—Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich in particular.
The Normans came to Bellingham from Boulder, 13 years ago, when Arlie was offered the opportunity to establish Western Washington University’s new College of Sciences and Technology. With the move, Diane left her job as Head of Operations in Information Technology for Finance and Administration at the National Center for Atmospheric Research after 25 years in the field. Freshly arrived in 2004 she joined the Board of the Bellingham Festival of Music. Except for a two year break in 2010-2012, she has remained a stalwart on the Board, serving as Chair and member of the Grants, Auction, Outreach and Fundraising committees. For most summers the Normans have hosted Festival musicians in their home, most recently Christian Colberg and Amy Taylor. Diane also served three terms on the Board of the City Club of Bellingham and in Boulder on the Graduate School Advisory Board for the University of Colorado and on boards for the Boulder Valley School District.
Diane and Arlie have two adult children: daughter, Hilary Benson, a UC Berkeley graduate in economics now living in Seattle and working in PR for Overlake Hospital in Bellevue and son, Geoffrey, a Colonel in the US Army and a graduate of West Point, now working at the Pentagon. Between the two families the Normans have five grandsons.