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In Memoriam: Ann L. Siegel

Ann and Herbert Siegel '50

Ann L. Siegel, volunteer, philanthropist and active supporter of Lehigh University, the American Cancer Society, and numerous other charitable organizations, died Nov. 21 in Manhattan. She was 74 years old. She was the wife of Herbert J. Siegel ’50 for 55 years.

Both of the Siegels have generously supported Lehigh over many years. In addition to donating the Siegel Gallery and classrooms, and providing endowment fellowship funds in honor of Paul J. Franz, Jr. ’44, and Leslie H. Whitten, Jr. ’50, they endowed the Herbert J. and Ann L. Siegel Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Ann Siegel was a remarkable woman with a strong commitment to education and to helping others,” says Anne Meltzer, the Herbert J. and Ann L. Siegel Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “She had a curiosity and interest in life and in people around the world. She was a strong supporter of the College of Arts and Sciences and her support improved the educational experience for students and the intellectual environment for faculty.”

In 1990, Herbert Siegel established the Ann L. Siegel Scholarship in honor of his wife for women majoring in journalism or pre- med. He also created the General Colin L. Powell Scholarship in 1996 and, in October 2000, the Peter Maas Endowed Journalism Scholarship Fund. Siegel is the former president and chairman of the board of Chris-Craft Industries, Inc., and its subsidiaries; BHC Communications, Inc., and United Television, Inc.

Ann Siegel devoted much of her time to charitable and educational fundraising.

Ann Siegel attended Centenary Junior College in Hackettstown, N.J. and the New York School of Interior Design. She has worked on two cable television shows: The Book of the Month Club and A Conversation With, which involved coordinating interviews with celebrities such as Gloria Steinem, Coretta Scott King, Indira Gandhi, Pierre Salinger, and Grace Kelly.

She was tireless in her charitable and educational fundraising efforts for many charities, including the Phoenix House, Literacy Partners, and the Frank Sinatra School of Arts. After she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she created the American Cancer Society’s Gift Giving Program—The Holiday Card Collection and became its chairperson as well as a trustee of the American Cancer Foundation. As a member of the President’s Council at Memorial SloanKettering Cancer Center, she actively supported the Breast Cancer Research Kettering Cancer Center and also established the Ann L. Siegel Postdoctoral Fellowship. For the Memorial Sloan Kettering Diagnostic Breast Cancer Center, she established three rooms, each housing its own mammography machine. In recognition of her efforts, she was awarded the prestigious Alfred P. Sloane, Jr. Memorial Award.

Her husband always credited her as the “wind beneath my wings'” and she is best described by the loving tribute written by her husband and engraved on the plaque at the dormitory at Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J., which is affectionately named “Annie Hall.” The plaque reads: “Named in honor of Ann Levy Siegel, better known as `Grannie Annie,’ who as a teenager, young wife, mother of two sons and grandmother, understood what words like love, friendship, courage, helping and giving really mean, and lived her life doing just that.”

--Joanne Anderson

Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2005

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