Meet Our New Trustees Emeriti | Teachers College Columbia University

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Meet Our New Trustees Emeriti

Sub-heading: Together they possess 70 years' experience on TC's board

“I’ve seen the difference that an American-style education can make — a liberal arts education in which people learn to listen, to respect each other’s points of view and debate ideas on their merits,” says Antonia Grumbach.

Grumbach, partner in the law firm Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, has worked extensively with American educational institutions in the Middle East and joined TC’s board in 1985. She has served on its Audit, Compensation, Development, Library, Student Affairs and Executive committees, and was Co-Chair from 1997 to 2003. She has generously supported TC’s Annual Fund and the Antonia Grumbach Endowed Scholarship Fund.

While serving on the board, Grumbach envisioned that other nations would “leverage what TC can do in terms of graduate education for educators — the development of curriculum, the training of teachers, the teaching of pedagogy.”

That vision has become a reality in recent years: “Susan Fuhrman has tried to work at the government or private level to address real societal problems and reach the greatest number of people.”

When John Klingenstein received a special Lifetime Achievement Award from TC, Pearl Rock Kane, Director of the College’s Klingenstein Center for Inde¬pendent School Leadership, praised him for his “gentle and self-effacing demeanor, his kindness and generosity, and above all his respect for learning and those who lead it.”

Klingenstein joined TC’s board in 1979 and served on its Academic Affairs, Business and Finance, Compensation and Executive committees. During the late 1970s, he established the Klingen¬stein Center, the preeminent program of its kind, and later endowed it with the largest gift in TC’s history. He also funded the Klingenstein Family Chair Professorship.

Board Co-Chair Jack Hyland has described Klingenstein as “the closest thing we have to an all-around player,” adding that his “loyalty, common sense and faithful attendance are legendary.” TC President Susan Fuhrman has said that Klingenstein “set the standard for what it means to take an active and caring role in the life of an institution.”

“My family and I have been involved in education for many years, so Teachers College was a natural fit for me,” says Abby O’Neill, whose great-grandfather, John D. Rockefeller — also a TC Trustee — gave the College $500,000 in 1902 for its endowment.

O’Neill, who joined the board in 2004, has continued this legacy of investing in TC and its students. In 2013, she established the Abby O’Neill Fellowships to support students committed to teaching in New York City and to remove financial barriers to fulfilling that commitment.

This spring TC recruited the second class of O’Neill Fellows, who will earn dual certification in areas of great need for New York City schools, such as sci¬ence/inclusive education, elementary education/bilingual or TESOL. With her husband, George, she also endowed the George & Abby O’Neill Professorship of Economics and Education.

O’Neill has spent more than 50 years on the board of International House and traveled to Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary to help those nations build civic institutions following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Of the challenge of building a democratic society, she has said, “education is the secret to it all.”

Published Tuesday, Jun. 3, 2014