Farewell to a Dynamic and Dedicated Leader
by Elizabeth (Liz) Singer, President of New York Society for Ethical Culture and AEU Board Member
Dr. Anne Klaeysen, our Leader, is retiring, and we, the members of the New York Society for Ethical Culture, will miss her greatly. Six years ago I opened the massive wooden doors at the front of this wonderful historical building and walked into a Sunday Platform in progress. Anne Klaeysen was the speaker. I was immediately enthralled with her presentation; I have been ever since.
As President I began to better know and work closely with Anne. I came to realize and greatly respect the strength and dedication she possesses. Anne Klaeysen is a force, a dynamo, a creator. Ethical NYC has gained greatly in her eleven years as Leader.
Within the Society, Anne somehow manages to attend, give her input, and stay on top of the goings-on at all the program committees. She created the invaluable Program Coordinating Council (PCC) which facilitates communication between and among the various committee chairs. She has led several monthly programs, most notably the popular (with members and nonmembers alike) weekly Leader Lunch Discussions.
As Ethical NYC Leader, and in her relationships and positions as Humanist Chaplain at NYU and Ethical Humanist Religious Life Advisor at Columbia University, Anne has reached out and forged alliances with groups throughout this city (among them the “Affinity” groups that meet here and often present programs) to achieve and to further the Ethical Culture mission.
Broadening the Society’s relationship is one of Anne’s talents. She forged a renewed and stronger relationship, for example, with Hudson Guild. Her tireless work in maintaining an alliance with the Ethical Culture Fieldston School is another. Her tenacity in building our children’s program, Young Ethical Explorers, is evident every Sunday when you walk into the building.
I have taken this opportunity, on behalf of myself and the members, to express appreciation for all that Anne has done for and given to the Society. Members and friends will have ample opportunity to personally share memories and appreciation with Anne, and to publicly share at the farewell brunch (Sun., Sept. 22 at 12:30) [which follows her 11am platform] and cocktail party (Thu., Sept. 26 at 6:30).
Dr. Anne Klaeysen has given Ethical NYC eleven great years and has created a common ground of ethics that will continue to inspire our members and staff far into the future.