A public memorial will be held June 4 in Kane Hall to honor Marc Lindenberg, dean of the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs who died last Friday of lung cancer at age 56.
As word of the dean’s death spread last weekend, the Evans School canceled Monday classes and held its own impromptu memorial gathering, with more than 200 faculty, staff and students crowding into the Parrington Commons and tying colorful cloth bands around their arms in mourning.
Lindenberg had headed the UW’s public administration school since early 1998, after an illustrious career as both a scholar and practitioner in the field of humanitarian relief and international development. In a recent letter, Oscar Arias, former president of Costa Rica and a Nobel Peace laureate, called Lindenberg “the epitome of a global citizen.”
The June 4 memorial at 4 p.m. in 130 Kane will bring together far-flung family, friends, students, colleagues and University leaders, and will offer a chance to share stories and reminiscences. A reception will follow.
Evans School Dean Emeritus Hubert Locke said Lindenberg had shown “extraordinarily creative” leadership in boosting the school’s visibility, focus and endowment.
Lindenberg pushed the entire University toward greater involvement in world issues, said President Richard L. McCormick two weeks ago, when he announced the creation of the Marc Lindenberg Center for Humanitarian Action, International Development and Global Citizenship. With an initial goal of $5 million in public and private funds, the center will create international exchanges and internships, certificate programs in global crisis intervention and other projects to intensify global involvement and study opportunities.
“Marc Lindenberg has done more than anyone else to change the culture of the University of Washington,” McCormick said in announcing the center. “I think someday we’ll look back on these as the Lindenberg years.”
The May 3 announcement of the center also had marked the first official notice of Lindenberg’s terminal cancer, and Evans School faculty, staff and students stood outside Parrington Hall that day and greeted their dean with applause as he approached. At the luncheon, surrounded by the school’s friends and donors, Lindenberg made a 40-minute presentation on his vision for increased UW involvement in humanitarian study.
Lindenberg’s leadership of the Evans School actually was a return; he had taught from 1976 through 1981 at what was then called the Graduate School of Public Affairs. He went on to teach public policy in Costa Rica and Nicaragua and at Harvard, and to oversee $400 million in relief and development programs in 36 countries for CARE USA.
He maintained contact with world figures such as UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and former President Jimmy Carter, and was especially well known in his academic field. His most recent book, “Going Global: Transforming Relief and Development NGOs,” has been nominated for the Ludwick Fleck and Rachel Carson Prizes, the ARNOVA Award for Outstanding Book in Non-profit and Voluntary Action Research, and the Virginia A. Hodgkinson Research Prize.
“We have lost a remarkable human being, a brilliant leader, a compassionate friend,” McCormick said of Lindenberg’s passing. “When he came to The University of Washington, he brought a new way for a university to engage world problems, and it affected and influenced all of us. His legacy will live on through the Lindenberg Center. We grieve his passing, and we will miss him very much.”
A native of Pittsburgh, Lindenberg earned his bachelor’s degree in political science at Oberlin College and his master’s and doctorate in comparative and development administration from the University of Southern California.
He is survived by his wife, Cathy Strachan Lindenberg, his son Robert, his daughter Anni, all of Seattle, his mother Ruth Ellen Lindenberg of Honolulu, and his sister Sue McClelland of Spokane.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be sent to the University of Washington Foundation, designated for the Marc Lindenberg Center for Humanitarian Action, International Development and Global Citizenship, c/o the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington, Box 353055, Seattle WA 98195-3055. Additional information is available at www.evans.washington.edu.