Sharon P. Clayborne, director of financial aid at Harvard Medical School, died on Thursday, April 13, at the age of 47.
Clayborne tirelessly counseled students through the financial aid process. She was known for her acute memory for names and faces and her pleasure in the awards and accomplishments of the many students she helped over the years. Clayborne was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997 and experienced a recurrence a year later. Throughout her treatment, she came to work nearly every day.
Clayborne began working in the Medical Schools Financial Aid Office in 1981 as a staff assistant. Over the years she received many awards for her untiring attention to students. The Schools Class of 1999 presented her with an award in “Recognition of Tireless Dedication to the Students of Harvard Medical School.” She also received a 1998 YMCA Black Achievers Recognition Award for her commitment to “service on behalf of young people” and “to help motivate and prepare them to pursue their educational and career goals.”
Last year, Clayborne received the first annual Deans Award for Community Service for her work producing Good News, a two-hour gospel program on the M.I.T. radio station WMBR 88.1 since 1980.
She leaves her daughter Trasee Clayborne and her granddaughter Bria Jenee Bradley.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Sharons memory can be made to the Twelfth Baptist Church or to the Sharon Preston Clayborne Fund, c/o Wellesley Student Aid Society, Wellesley College, 106 Central St, Wellesley, MA 02481
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, May 4, at 4 p.m. in the Benjamin Waterhouse Room, Building A, Harvard Medical School. A reception will follow.