CESR is saddened to learn of the passing of our former board Secretary, Elizabeth McCormack. Elizabeth sat on CESR’s board from 2009-2019, and was an invaluable member providing unmatched expertise on philanthropy and social justice. Elizabeth lived a long and fascinating life. Born in 1922, she spent her early years as a nun dedicated to education. As president of Manhattanville College in the 1960’s, she led the charge in shifting the school from an elite Catholic women’s college to a secular, co-educational institution. Using her experience in higher education, Elizabeth became a close philanthropic advisor to the Rockefeller family for more than 30 years. She served on the board of a number of well-known philanthropic institutions, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Atlantic Philanthropies. In these roles she helped raise and distribute millions of dollars to social justice causes around the world. She was an active and engaged member of CESR’s Board until stepping down in 2019, when she joined CESR’s Advisory Council. She believed passionately in its mission and played an instrumental role as Secretary in ensuring its sound governance. Elizabeth was a kind and caring individual, full of wisdom and charisma. She will be greatly missed by the CESR Board, staff and Advisory Council, along with the many people whose lives she impacted in her ninety-eight years.
Elizabeth McCormack (bottom row, second from the left) pictured here with current and former CESR Board members at the 2019 annual Board meeting. (Top row, L to R: Carin Norberg; John Green; Joe Oloka-Onyango; Imad Sabi; Ignacio Saiz; Bottom row, L to R: Lilian Gonçalves; Elizabeth McCormack; Roshmi Goswami; Karin Lissakers)