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NATALIE KOETHER CW’61 L’65, Vice Chairwoman of the School of Arts and Sciences Board of Trustees and revered member of the University community, died in October at the age of 63.
“Some people have debts but don’t acknowledge them. Others acknowledge them but don’t repay. Natalie acknowledged her debt to the School and repaid it a hundredfold,” says School of Arts and Sciences Dean Samuel Preston.
In the decades following her graduation from Penn Law, Koether held more than two dozen positions on boards or committees at the University. She was a member of the SAS Board of Overseers for 17 years, and chaired the board for nine of those years. Her tenure as Chair was longer than that of any of her predecessors – or any dean, for that matter. When she stepped down as Chair in 1999, the members of the Board made a significant contribution in her honor to a new life sciences building fund, inspired by her ardent dedication to creating such a facility.
Among her numerous roles at the University, Koether was a University trustee and Vice Chairperson of the Trustees Executive Committee. In addition, she was a founding member of the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women and the University Committee for Undergraduate Financial Aid, as well as the Penn Club. In addition, she served as Chair of the Academic Policy Committee and of the Subcommittee on Proxy Voting, and as a member of the Board of Overseers of the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. She joined the School of Arts and Sciences Board of Trustees in 1989. At the time of her death, she was serving on the Consultative Committee that eventually named Amy Gutmann as the new University president.