Nancy Latting Spelman '63
Alumni Achievement Honoree 2013Reston, VA
Nancy Latting Spelman’s work for social good has been felt around the world and continues even as she and her husband, Douglas G. Spelman, have retired to Reston, VA.
From early jobs as a United Nations summer tour guide in 1966 and a teacher of emotionally disturbed and mentally retarded children for the Massachusetts’ Department of Health in Boston between 1968 and 1970, Nancy set her sights early on helping people. Nancy was a lecturer at Petaling Jaya Community College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and she became an interactive skills observer and facilitator in management programs in Xerox Corp., education and training in Leesburg, VA. Nancy was a personnel officer for the American Institute in Taiwan, Taipei, tutored psychology students at the University of Hong Kong and was an adjunct fellow at the National University of Singapore.
Nancy’s civic activities have included serving as the American Embassy’s representative to the International School of Kuala Lumpur board of directors, the Hong Kong Society for the Disabled and the board of Golf Course Square Cluster in Reston, Va. Nancy also served as the American Consulate’s representative to the Shanghai American School board of directors. Her husband, Doug, served as the United States Consul General for Shanghai from 2002-05. Doug, joined the State Department in 1977 as a Foreign Service officer and China specialist, and as a result, Nancy studied and became fluent in conversational Mandarin. They lived 25 years overseas in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and China.
Perhaps Nancy’s most far-reaching role in recent years was as a board member and secretary for the international Half the Sky Foundation
for more than six years. Half the Sky has helped nearly 100,000 Chinese orphans since its founding 15 years ago. The organization works diligently to make a difference for nearly a million disadvantaged children.
Beyond her work, Nancy played international Federation Cup tennis for Hong Kong for two years in 1981 and 1982, and she hikes and enjoys birding. After graduating from Casady in 1963, Nancy received a B.A. in government from Boston University in 1967, an M.A. in psychology from Bucknell University in 1972 and her Ph.D. in psychology from Hong Kong University in 1987.
Nancy’s parents Trimble B. and Patience Sewell Latting were well known political figures in Oklahoma City. Patience Latting served as Oklahoma City’s first and only female mayor from 1971 to 1983 and passed away in December 2012. Nancy served as the coordinator of volunteers for her mother’s first campaign in 1971. Nancy and Doug have two daughters, Brooke and Erin.