Mary Anne Schwalbe
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SCHWALBE--Mary Anne, died on September 14, at age 75, of pancreatic cancer. She was an educator and advocate for refugees and displaced persons. She earned her A.B. from Radcliffe College. After working in theater for Irene Selznick and Frederick Brisson and The Playwrights Company, she joined the Radcliffe Admissions office and eventually became Associate Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid for Harvard and Radcliffe. In 1979, she moved back to New York and became Director of College Counseling at Dalton and then Head of the Upper School of Nightingale-Bamford. In 1989, she took a leave to work in a refugee camp in the northeast of Thailand, and became committed to the cause of refugees. In 1990, she helped found The Women's Commission for Refugee Women & Children as its first Staff Director. She was also the founder of the International Rescue Committee's UK Board. Her work on behalf of refugees brought her to 27 countries, often during war. She served on 22 boards, including Brearley (where she went to school), Radcliffe College, and The College Board. She received an Honorary Doctorate from Marymount Manhattan and the De La Salle Service Award. She was the first woman to be President of the Harvard Faculty Club. She was also an Elder of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church and was working to help build traveling libraries in Afghanistan. Her husband, Douglas, her children Douglas, Will, and Nina, their spouses Nancy, David, and Sally, and her five grandchildren adored her. In lieu of flowers, she asked that donations be made to the IRC, the Women's Refugee Commission, The Brearley School, Harvard/Radcliffe, Marymount Manhattan College, or De La Salle Academy. A celebration of her life will be held in late autumn.


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Published in New York Times on Sep. 15, 2009.
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3 entries
September 15, 2009
Mary Anne, rest in perpetual peace. You gave me life, you gave my family life, you gave the world life. You will be missed more than I can put in words.

Love you and always will.
Momoh Sekou Dudu
September 15, 2009
Sptember 15, 2009
Mary Anne was a beloved member of the group of Admission Directors of the Seven Sisters. Even after we all retired we met at least once a year in NH and in New York In spite of her qu[t and modest manner, we always profitted by her wise counsel.
We met last three onths before she died in South Hadley.As ill as she was then she mad the trip by car rouind trip in one day to meet with us.
What a blessing she was in all our lives. Mary Ellen Ames,Retired Director of Admission Wellesley College
September 15, 2009
Mary Anne was a blessing to all who had the good fortune to meet her and to call her friend. She had a wonderful way to touch the very best in all of us and inspire us to do things which we thought that we not able to do. Ever the optimist, ever the worker, ever the practical idealist. Her legacy will live on for many years to come. Thank you Mary Anne for the love and the care you showed to all. We are all the better for having had you in our lives.
Brother Brian Carty
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