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Remembering Dr. Elaine Klein, MMC Dean

Dr. Klein was the first Jewish dean of a Catholic college, and taught Geraldine Ferraro ’56 while at Marymount Manhattan College.

Dr. Klein passed away peacefully on November 28, 2016 at her home, surrounded by loved ones.

She was born in 1928 to a shoe salesman father who died when she was ten years old and a mother who, when widowed, took a government job to support Elaine and her brother. She graduated from Hunter in 1948 with a BA in speech and drama, and later went on to pursue a masters there.

Back on Thanksgiving Day 1946 she went on a blind date with Paul Klein, who worked in Styro Sales, a division of Dow Chemical. They married in 1955 and had two children.

Dr. Klein then got a job teaching speech at Marymount Manhattan College. During the mid 1960s she worked with Sister Dymphna Leonard, RSHM, in organizing a children’s theatre as a teaching tool for underprivileged or special-needs children. In 1967 she became the first layperson and the first non-Catholic appointed dean of academic affairs. She was dean when Marymount Manhattan College welcomed President Colette Mahoney, RSHM, and when MMC built Nugent Hall, its largest single expansion to date

Following her period of service to Marymount Manhattan College, she went on to a position as Associate Dean at Iona College, and professor at Westchester Community College.

Dr. Klein was a consultant for NY State, the American Cable Corp. and several publishing companies. Founding member of the Tri State Consortium for Educational TV, she also produced ESL pronunciation videos.

A private memorial service will be held Nov. 29, at Riverside Memorial Chapel in Mt. Vernon NY.

Dr. Klein conferring degrees at Commencement 1972 Dr. Klein conferring degrees at Commencement 1972

Published: November 28, 2016