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Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 6:00pm

A Radio City ballet dancer is a loyal supporter of Mercy College.  Josephine Candler, a graduate of Mercy College's class of 1984, danced at Radio City Music Hall.

 

 

Candler was born and raised in Oak Park, Illinois, and initially danced at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and then the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, a world-renown ballet company founded in 1932.  She danced in the late 1950's and toured all over the U.S. and Canada.  Once Candler married she settled in New York and became a ballet dancer at Radio City Music Hall.  Years ago, before the movie showing and the Rockettes' performance, Radio City featured a ballet.

Candler and her husband eventually settled in the Crestwood section of Yonkers.  She enrolled at Mercy College, and was so pleased with the classes, she ended up attending full time as a recreation therapy major in light of her background in the arts.   Mercy College gave her 15 life achievement credits and she earned a Bachelor's degree and then a Master's degree. After Mercy, Candler worked as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist at St. Joseph's Nursing Home in Yonkers and the Wartburg Senior Adult Day Care Center and Nursing Home in Mount Vernon.  All this time, Candler continued teaching dance at studios and schools throughout Westchester County.  Mary Pat Kenlon, one of her former ballet  students, said “Josephine was always a motivator for us with the kindest and gentlest manner.”   Candler eventually retired from recreation therapy and dance but continues to support Mercy yearly since the college gave her a second career.

Candler will be donating art supplies to the Hearing and Speech Center of Mercy College which is in need of materials for the children at the Center. Candler deserves a round of applause for her consistent giving and donations to Mercy College.