Nell Eurich Lazarus, Longtime New College Trustee and Academic Leader, Passes Away

(January 30, 2008) New College of Florida officials today announced the recent passing of distinguished trustee and longtime champion of the College, Nell Eurich Lazarus, who died peacefully in her sleep at her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Saturday, January 26. nell_eurich_lazarus2.jpg 
A lifetime teacher, administrator and consultant on academic affairs, Eurich Lazarus’ contributions to New College are profound and date back to 1962, when she joined an advisory committee to help design the curriculum for the school, which was at the time still under development. The following year, she became the first woman to serve on the New College Board of Trustees. She continued to serve the College as a trustee, first on the New College board and later on the board for the New College Foundation, until the time of her death. In 2001, she was honored by New College with a special proclamation in recognition of her many years of devoted service to the College.
In addition to her support as a trustee, Eurich Lazarus twice served New College as its interim president. In 1965, she bridged the gap between the presidencies of George Baughman and John Elmendorf; and in 1975, when the College joined the State University System in relationship with the University of South Florida, she served as interim president of the New College Foundation.
“Nell’s keen intelligence, her passion for education and students, her strong qualities of observation, analysis and discernment all made her a leader among peers,” stated John Cranor, president of the New College Foundation. “In addition to providing steadfast leadership at critical times in the history of the College – even to the point of preserving the institution itself – Nell consistently challenged our thinking with thoughtful and pointed questions. She feared no authority, shrank from no challenge, yet consistently demonstrated a passionate commitment to and connection with New College.”
In her honor, the Foundation recently inaugurated The Nell Eurich Society to recognize donors who have made contributions to the Foundation for a least five consecutive years. Her own name was at the top of a list of more than 275 donors, as she gave for 43 consecutive years. According to her daughter, Juliet, this was a source of great pride for the energetic Eurich Lazarus.
Born in Norwood, Ohio, Nell Eurich Lazarus attended Stephens College, where she would later serve as acting president and director of its New York development office. She went on to Stanford for her bachelors and master’s degrees, and later completed her doctorate in English literature at Columbia University. Her first job in the academic world was as director of the student union at the University of Texas. She was a resident counselor for two years at Barnard College during the latter years of World War II and subsequently served as assistant to the president of the Woman’s Foundation, where she organized the 1948 White House Conference on the American Family.
In addition to the posts at Stephens, her accomplished academic career included serving as dean of the faculty and professor of English at Vassar College; dean of the faculty and professor of English and vice president for academic affairs of Manhattanville College; member of the English faculty at New York University; and special advisor to the chairman of the International Council for Educational Development in New York City. She was a member of the Carnegie Council for Policy Studies on Higher Education and a trustee of the Carnegie Foundation, and served on the boards of many prestigious educational foundations and organizations.
Eurich Lazarus was the wife of the late Maurice Lazarus and the late Alvin C. Eurich, who was former president of the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies. In addition to her daughter Juliet, she leaves a son, Donald, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. At the request of the family, donations may be made in her memory to New College Foundation, 5800 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL 34243-2109; or Compassion & Choices, 2066 NW Irving Street #4, Portland, OR 97209.
Plans for a memorial service at New College of Florida will be announced at a later date.
For more information, please contact the New College Foundation at (941) 487-4800 or email the Office of Public Affairs at publicaffairs@ncf.edu.