Barbara Alley Simon Scholarship in Memory of Grace Brown Alley
The following biography was written at the time of this scholarship establishment; some information may not be up to date:
Mrs. Alley, as she was known to her students, would say, “Watch my dust!” when she whirled onto new projects. Barbara states that her mother could accomplish more, in less time, than anyone she has ever known. Not only did Mrs. Alley teach home economics at a little country school, but also ran its cafeteria, managed projects, such as her class sewing choir robes for the glee club, and frequently was a marriage guidance counselor to young students headed for the altar. This was all on top of being a supportive wife and a mother to two daughters until her early death at the age of 47 to breast cancer.
Barbara’s mother, Grace Brown Alley, graduated with a degree in home economics from Flora MacDonald College in 1925. She married John Hamlin Alley in 1929. While teaching in New Jersey and raising daughers, Grace and Barbara, in the 1930s, she started attending summer classes at Columbia University Teachers College in New York. (During wartime she had to study canning food in order to teach the ladies in her township.) She attained a master’s degree in home economics from Columbia in 1943, a rare feat for a woman in her era.
Above all, Mrs. Alley was a teacher, constantly sharing her knowledge with those around her – family, extended family and friends, as well as students. May this scholarship in memory of Grace Brown Alley help its recipients raise a whirlwind of accomplishments!
Barbara Alley Simon graduated Woman’s College (now UNC Greensboro) in 1957 with a bachelor of science, cum laude, with honors in home economics. She then studied fashion design at Parsons School of Design in New York. After starter fashion jobs, her career turned to acting in television commercials. She combined that performance skill with fashion as she began producing and narrating skiwear fashion shows for consumer Ski Shows. Barbara became the fashion editor of Skiing Magazine, and later of Snow Country Magazine. For 11 years, she toured the country appearing on television talk shows with a choreographed ski fashion show, including appearances on the Today Show and the Merv Griffin Show. In 1991, Barbara received the BEWI Award for “Outstanding Contributions to the Sport of Skiing.”
In the 1990s, Barbara produced extravagant choreographed shows for the industry trade shows. All this time, Barbara saved special ski outfits for her “museum collection.” That idea has come to life with a 65 ski-styles donation, accessorized and documented, to the Alf Engen Ski Museum at the Olympic Park in Park City, Utah. The official opening of that vintage collection was November 19, 2014.