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Carol B. Sisco, Ph.D., Philanthropist of the Year

Photo by David Trozzo

Carol B. Sisco, Ph.D., looks to her past to provide a better future for others. Carol’s parents taught her that “those blessed with opportunities are responsible for creating opportunities for others” and she has followed in their footsteps by making philanthropy a cornerstone of her life. 

To honor her parents and sister, she established the Sisco Family Fund more than 15 years ago, through which she has generously contributed to a wide variety of organizations. She also serves and has served on national and local boards including the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, National Association of Children of Alcoholics and Reach Out Recovery, Reading is Fundamental (RIF), and is currently Board Chair of the Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park (AMM). Carol is also a member of the International Women’s Forum.

While serving on the Board of RIF, Carol developed the Read for Jane program in memory of her sister. This program supplied thousands of new books to underserved children at Annapolis schools. Carol’s passion for education coupled with her love of ecology and maritime history, led her to the Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park where she began volunteering in 2005. There, she headed an education advisory committee tasked with assessing AMM’s education program and guiding it to the next level. Backed by Carol’s vision and drive, the committee helped AMM evolve its education program into an award-winning platform, now serving upwards of 12,000 youth per year. Carol also is involved in AAM’s Box of Rain program, which connects low-income youth to the Chesapeake Bay through fun, educational, hands-on activities. Through these activities, Carol has made a significant impact on a largely underserved youth population in Anne Arundel County.

In 2018, as AAM’s Chairman of the Board, she led the board of directors and staff through a rigorous strategic planning process, out of which arose a two-phase, $5 million capital campaign that would transform the Museum and Park Campuses. She became the Capital Campaign Chair and matched $1 million to the campaign. And when the AMM campus flooded due to an anomalistic storm, she and a team of helpers showed up with mops in hand to secure the museum’s valuable assets. Once flooding subsided, Carol provided immediate funding to help it reopen.
“Dr. Sisco is a powerful force for good in Anne Arundel County, providing countless opportunities for people in our community to thrive,” said nominators Alice Estrada and Kelly Swartout of Annapolis Maritime Museum.

“Providing opportunities” is Carol’s guiding principle for giving, said the nominators. Carol is a lifetime Leadership Anne Arundel member and has sponsored their annual kickoff event. She donates monthly to the Anne Arundel County and Maryland Food Banks and works as a mentor with The Complete Player Charity. As a national-recognized clinician, consultant, educator, and researcher in the field of addictions, Carol also supports the Chrysalis House in Anne Arundel County to help ensure that women and their children are given a chance to rebound from substance abuse. 

“While philanthropy might be measured by investment of time and treasures, and Carol is exceptionally generous with both, it is her passion for the organizations she supports that make her an exemplary philanthropic leader,” said Leadership Anne Arundel President & CEO Kris Valerio Shock.

Carol was nominated by the Annapolis Maritime Museum.

Learn more about Carol and her amazing generosity at the 22nd Annual Celebration of Philanthropy on November 3rd.

The Philanthropist of the Year award is presented to an individual or family (family foundations are eligible for this award) with a proven record of exceptional generosity who, through direct financial support, has demonstrated outstanding civic and philanthropic responsibility, exemplary leadership in advancing philanthropy, and whose generosity encourages others to become philanthropic leaders, particularly in Anne Arundel County.

Go back to 2022 Awardees