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Lindsay J. Morgenthaler, Educational and Civic Leader, Dies at 96
[December 06, 2018]

Lindsay J. Morgenthaler, Educational and Civic Leader, Dies at 96

Lindsay J. Morgenthaler, a prominent university trustee and Cleveland civic leader, died on December 3, 2018 in Palo Alto (News - Alert), California. She was 96 years old.

Mrs. Morgenthaler served as President, Chairman and Trustee of a multitude of educational, media, theatrical, medical, philanthropic and civic institutions in Cleveland, Ohio and nationally. She proved extraordinarily effective as manager and as fundraiser for her organizations, raising over $2 billion in charitable donations.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Lindsay Morgenthaler received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University in 1945. After World War II, she married David T. Morgenthaler, an MIT (News - Alert) graduate, entrepreneur and pioneering venture capitalist, with whom she had four children.

After relocating to Cleveland, Ohio, Mrs. Morgenthaler began a career of educational and civic leadership that spanned four decades. She served as President of the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival (GLSF), one of four Shakespearean repertory companies in North America, and led it to national prominence. GLSF launched the careers of many actors including Tom Hanks and John Lithgow.

At Carnegie Mellon University, Mrs. Morgenthaler served 25 years as Life Trustee and Chairman of the Andrew Carnegie Society, President's Circle and National Fund development campaigns. Her fundraising efforts raised over $1 billion dollars and, together with Presidents Richard Cyert and Robert Mehrabian, she led Carnegie Mellon's development into a globall recognized leader in computer science and performing arts education.

At Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Mrs. Morgenthaler served 15 years as Trustee and Chairman of the CWRU Medical School campaign, raising $250 million dollars.

President Ronald Reagan appointed Lindsay Morgenthaler to the President's Advisory Committee on the Arts for the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., where she served during both terms of his presidency. Later, President George H.W. Bush appointed her to the Bicentennial Commission in preparation for the nation's Bicentennial in 1996.

In Cleveland, Ohio, Mrs. Morgenthaler served for decades as Vice Chairman of the Cleveland Ballet and of Playhouse Square Foundation. She also served as Trustee of the Cleveland Foundation, Leadership Cleveland, WVIZ-TV Public Television, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Town Hall, Lakewood Hospital and numerous other charitable and philanthropic causes.

Together with her husband David, she funded a professorship of entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University, a founding sponsorship of the Entrepreneurship Center at MIT, the Morgenthaler Fellows Program at the Cleveland Clinic, the David T. Morgenthaler II Fellows Program at Stanford University and the Einstein Society of the National Academies.

"Lindsay Morgenthaler lived a life in service to her family and her many causes. She was altruistic and used her wealth to support people and causes in education, entrepreneurship and the arts. She did not seek leadership but was consistently chosen. As a leader, she was purposeful, results-oriented, persevering and extremely effective. She took no credit but was humble, self-effacing and redirected recognition to others," said her son, Gary Morgenthaler, Partner at Morgenthaler Ventures. "Trained as an artist, Lindsay was creative, gracious and refined. Lindsay was described by colleagues as 'an elegant bundle of auburn-haired determination.' For forty years, leaders from the 'Greatest Generation' welcomed her into boardrooms as one of their own. She was a woman ahead of her time."

Lindsay Morgenthaler is survived by her children, Gary, Todd and Lissa, and by seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

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