- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Jane Tunstall Lingo, a pioneer in journalism and the longest-serving employee at George Washington University, died Feb. 23 of breast cancer at Lynn House in Alexandria. She was 83.

Miss Lingo was born Sept. 7, 1924, in the District and lived in her family’s home in Adams Morgan.

Even as a young adult, Miss Lingo immersed herself in the District. She volunteered with the American Red Cross, translating letters in French from those who requested assistance, and making surgical dressings.

She assisted the United Service Organizations (USO) with special events, was a member of the Junior League of Washington, for which she was a contributing author for the league’s book “The City of Washington,” and worked on a long-running children’s television program as part of a marionette troupe.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in French language and literature from GW in 1946 with close friend Margaret Truman.

She spent the next decade traveling and performing volunteer service before returning to GW in 1956 as a staff writer in the Office of University Relations.

She then served as assistant director of university relations from 1964 until her death.

During her years at GW, Miss Lingo earned membership in Phi Beta Kappa, and joined Mortar Board, Pi Beta Phi sorority, the GW Hospital Women’s Board, the Faculty Women’s Club and Columbian Women, which is the school’s oldest scholarship support group.

Miss Lingo was one of the first women invited to join the National Press Club in 1971.

A former president of the American News Women’s Club from 1990 to 1992, Miss Lingo was friends with journalist Helen Thomas. The two became acquainted in the 1940s when Miss Lingo attended events at the White House during the Truman administration.

“Jane was such a part of Washington,” Miss Thomas said. “She did a great job at GW. GW was … her second home.”

Miss Lingo served on the Adams Morgan Neighborhood Association and the former Mayor’s Advisory Committee for Neighborhood Beautification.

She worked with the Democratic National Committee in the office of Vice Chairman Margaret Price during several presidential campaigns and assisted with presidential inaugurations.

Miss Lingo also was a board member of the YWCA of the National Capital Area.

A member of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, she was a docent at Dumbarton House. She was an active supporter of Hillwood Museum and Gardens, Blair House, the Washington National Opera and the Shakespeare Theater.

She also was a member of the Sulgrave Club, which was a social and cultural club that worked to save the Wadsworth House on Massachusetts Avenue.

Miss Lingo also was active with the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Northwest.

“In a world that often changes faster than we wish, Jane Lingo was a constant,” GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg said. “She truly loved this university and everyone engaged in it.”

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