Marty Nord, former Vanderbilt professor and faculty adviser, dies

Marty Nord

Martha Andrews “Marty” Nord, a longtime communications professor at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management and former director of the Vanderbilt Women in Engineering Program, died July 28 in Nashville. She was 73.

Nord joined the management school’s faculty in 1978 after receiving her Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt. At Owen, she taught business and technical communication courses focused on presentation skills, team collaboration and writing. In 1980, she became faculty adviser for the Vanderbilt Society of Women Engineers, where she mentored students in their coursework and in their early careers.

“Marty’s insight into the importance of communication, both written and verbal, placed her and Owen ahead of the curve, and today these courses are integral to any top MBA program,” William Christie, Frances Hampton Currey Professor of Management and former dean of the Owen School, said.

Nord also developed technical writing programs for Vanderbilt’s School of Engineering. Tami Fassinger, chief recruiting officer at Owen who was a student of Nord’s in the 1980s and later worked with her at Vanderbilt, remained close with Nord throughout her life.

“She had one of Vanderbilt’s first joint appointments—at the School of Engineering and at Owen—and created the communications programs for both schools,” Fassinger said. “[lquote]She was an extraordinary person and a gifted artist with the written word.[/lquote] We stayed in touch over the years as friends and worked together on several efforts for groups like CABLE.”

Nord left Vanderbilt in 1993 to concentrate on her own firm, Nord Consultants, which she founded in 1981. After being diagnosed with ALS, she worked in recent years as an advocate for increased research on the disease. She also helped pass a “Right to Try” bill in Tennessee that allows people with terminal illnesses to receive experimental treatments prior to FDA approval. The bill was passed and signed into law earlier this year.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3400 West End Ave. Visitation will be held Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until time for the service.