SEPTEMBER 14, 2011 - The Board of Trustees of The New York Public Library announced that, effective today, Neil L. Rudenstine, former President of Harvard University and current Chairman of the Board of Trustees at ARTstor, will succeed Catherine Marron as the next Chairman of the Library’s Board of Trustees.
“The New York Public Library is one of New York’s great institutions, and one of the world’s greatest libraries,” said Mr. Rudenstine, who has been a member of the Library’s Board of Trustees since 2001. “I look forward to working with the Library’s dynamic new President, Tony Marx, who has all the talents and visionary qualities necessary to bring the Library into a new phase. Catie Marron — as Chair of the Board — has been a superb leader during a challenging era. I feel privileged to follow her, and am inspired by her many accomplishments.”
Mrs. Marron, a member of the Board since 1993 and Chairman since 2004, has led the Library to record levels of user accessibility, hours of service, and digital expansion, as well as a greatly enhanced presence in communities throughout New York City. Under her watch, five new libraries were built, including the LEED-certified Bronx Library Center, and a new overarching strategy was announced, including transformation plans for the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building to become the world’s largest research and circulating library. She has overseen a $1.2 billion campaign, now underway, for “Creating the Library for the Future,” and also led an $18 million post-9/11 emergency campaign. During her tenure as Chairman, the Library’s endowment increased by almost 70 percent.
“I am immensely proud of the numerous achievements of the Board of Trustees and the Library’s leadership and staff during these last seven years — a time of great change and growth, highlighted most recently by this year’s celebration of the Centennial of our landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, and the appointments of Anthony W. Marx as President and Khalil Gibran Muhammad as Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture,” said Catherine Marron.
"Catie’s remarkable tenure at The New York Public Library has been notable for her tireless devotion to the Library, its users, and its staff; her intelligence and wide-ranging curiosity; and a unique ability to listen and lead inclusively,” said Mr. Marx. “Neil Rudenstine, a longtime and highly dedicated member of The New York Public Library’s Board, now takes the reins. Our Trustees and staff could not be more thrilled. With his intellectual vigor, depth of leadership experience, and profound knowledge of and commitment to the evolving mission of the Library, Neil is the perfect fit.”
Mr. Rudenstine has devoted much of his career to the field of education. He was widely esteemed for his leadership as President of Harvard University, a post he held from 1991 to 2001. From 1988 to 1991, he was Executive Vice President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. A scholar of Renaissance literature, Mr. Rudenstine was also a faculty member and senior administrator at Princeton University for two decades, serving as Dean of Students, Dean of the College, and Provost.
“I am extremely pleased to be succeeded by Neil,” said Mrs. Marron. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as Chairman of The New York Public Library, and while I have decided to step down as Chairman to focus on new pursuits, I look forward to my continued work on the Board and am excited for the future of the Library.”
Catherine Marron has also been among the most generous benefactors in the Library’s history, making extraordinary gifts with her husband, Donald, in support of the Library’s endowment and Annual Fund, the creation of the Science, Industry and Business Library, and renovations of the Mott Haven Library (which Mrs. Marron personally adopted) in the South Bronx and the Children’s Room at the Hamilton Fish Park Library on the Lower East Side.
Said Mr. Marx, “Catherine Marron has left a leadership framework that will enable the Library to continue to grow as one of the world’s foremost public educational institutions — a framework that Neil Rudenstine will now build upon as the new Chairman of The New York Public Library.”