BU dean remembered for arts and community service

Banner Staff | 11/25/2009, 6:41 a.m.
In addition to her 40-year career at Boston University, Barbara...
In addition to her 40-year career at Boston University, Barbara E. Maze served on the boards of the Handel and Hayden Society, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Project Step, and volunteered in the Americorps Jumpstart Program. Boston University

Barbara Elaine Maze, 88, of Dorchester, longtime supporter of Boston arts organizations, passed away Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009 after a long illness.

She was born in Boston, to Carrie Purvis and John Davis on Nov. 17, 1920. Maze attended Boston University and received her Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Cambridge Goddard College. Maze started her career in retail and became the first African American woman to be promoted to buyer at Filene’s Sons Company at the flagship Boston store.

During her nearly 40-year career at Boston University, Maze held multiple administrative positions, including Assistant Dean of Student Affairs in the School for the Arts. She retired from Boston University in January, 1992.

She served on the Board of Overseers of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, President of the Board of Directors for Project Step, and The Handel and Haydn Society Board of Governors, where she served as Chair of the HandH Cultural Diversity Committee and member of the Society’s Educational Outreach Committee.

The HandH Barbara E. Maze Award for Musical Excellence honors her instrumental role in creating the Vocal Apprenticeship Program. Maze also served as Founder and President of the Metro Bay Club of the Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club, Inc., and was founder and National Chair of the NANBPW Leontyne Price Vocal Arts Competition. She was a member/Secretary for the Boston University Retirees Association. Maze also found time to volunteer in the Americorps Jumpstart Program through 2008. Her service to organizations, groups and individuals in the city of Boston transformed hundreds of lives across the generations.

Maze is survived by her daughter K. Holly Maze Carter and son-in-law William Carter, her grandchildren Wm. Benjamin Carter, Jr. and his wife Arlene, Jonathan B. Carter and Ariel E. Carter; her great grandchildren Asia and Elijah Carter, her long time loved companion Jack Osgood and a host of family, friends and colleagues.

Services included a wake at Davis Funeral and a celebration of her life at Boston University Marsh Chapel. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Barbara E. Maze Award for Musical Excellence scholarship can be forwarded to Handel and Haydn Society, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.