This biography of Mariann Hoag was published in the program for the Mariann Hoag Scholarship Dinner.
Mariann Hoag worked at Roeper for 60 years, continuing to manage the financial aid program — and advise on any other matters she saw fit to weigh in on — long past her retirement in 1997 and right up until she died on July 6, 2009. Mariann was the living history of the school, fiercely devoted to the children who passed through it, the original alumni director, and the school’s salty/warm godmother. After having devoted her entire career and lifetime to the school, she also left her entire estate to the school. In her memory, the school renamed its financial aid program the The Mariann Hoag Financial Grant Award Program. At her memorial service on the Bloomfield Hills campus on August 22, 2009, alumni, former and present staff, and grateful parents from many years gathered to pay tribute to a remarkable woman.
This biography comes from the calendar created to honor Annemarie in a year-long celebration of the centenary of her birth held during the 2018-19 school year.
On August 25, 2012, the Roeper community gathered to celebrate the life of Annemarie Roeper on the Bloomfield Hills campus of the school she co-founded with her husband, George Roeper. Alumni, faculty and staff both former and present, parents and students honored her long life of accomplishments with music, poignant memories, and a play celebrating her insights and her uncanny likeness to Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince. After the service and a reception, many gathered in the Children’s Library for Story Time, a chance for anyone to share a memory or a story. It was truly an end of an era to lose Annemarie, who had remained active with the school under the very end of her life. Her son, Peter Roeper, shared a story that exemplified this endlessly curious and engaged woman. Only days from her passing on May 11, she was dozing while Peter sat by her bedside. She opened her eyes and asked, “Which do you think is more important, questions or answers?” A refugee from the Nazi regime, forced to make a new life in a new language in a new country, Annemarie never lost her sense of inquiry, caring, or forward momentum.
Annemarie Roeper Memorial Service, August 25, 2012
Stories Shared about Annemarie Roeper, August 25, 2012
Commemorative Magazine for Annemarie Roeper’s Memorial
Annemarie Roeper was born in Vienna on August 27, 1918, and passed away on May 11, 2012, in Oakland, California. During the 2018-19 school year, Roeper celebrated the centenary of her birth. There was a commemorative calendar featuring images and quotations from her life; a panel discussion by those who had worked with her discussing the lessons they learned from Annemarie, and a visit from young-adult writer Louise Borden, whose book about the flight from the Nazis of Margret and HA Rey, the authors of the Curious George books, paralleled George and Annemarie’s journey in many ways. Indeed the two couples became friends in this country. During the centenary year, the school installed a stone outside Hill House with a plaque to complement the stone installed for George Roeper, and created a garden called The Recess on the Bloomfield Hills campus to honor all the adults who have been engaged with children as part of this educational community.
Here you can find the images and quotations from the commemorative calendar, as well as an article about the panel discussion.
This biography comes from the 2010-11 school calendar created to honor the centenary of George Roeper’s birth in 1910.
A service to celebrate the life of George Roeper was held on the Bloomfield Hills campus in the outdoor space where George had overseen so many graduation ceremonies. Sunday, September 20, 1992, was a beautiful autumn day. Students, alumni, faculty and friends contributed to a heartfelt event of music and memories. Annemarie and their three children attended, along with nearly 600 attendees — an indication of how many people cared about this gentle man who had been gone from the area for almost a decade. This collection of newspaper articles, editorials, and obituaries, as well as broad coverage on the local TV news, give a hint of George’s impact as an educator, a leader, and a friend.
George Roeper died in 1992, so many current community members had no personal memory of him. The school used the centenary of his birth as an occasion to have a year-long celebration of George to reintroduce him. The school calendar featured his image and quotations, and classes of all ages focused on the ethical issues that were a primary concern of his, as well as his celebration of nature. The Roeper Theatre Company performed productions of Cabaret, to honor the Roepers’ experiences as refugees with an essay by Annemarie in the program, and of Slaughterhouse-5, to honor their anti-war convictions. There was a keynote event held with outside speakers Adele Diamond of the University of British Columbia and Tom Roeper of the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, eldest son of George and Annemarie.
George had had to flee Germany in 1938, just as he was on the verge of defending his dissertation for his doctorate in economics. For the centenary, we helped prepare a case to his former university, the University of Griefswald, to award his doctorate posthumously. They weren’t able to do that, but on April 19, 2011, the University held a conference on the alternative education tradition in Germany and abroad in George’s honor. Tom Roeper was one of the speakers.
A keynote event was held on March 4, 2011, as the highlight of the year-long celebration of the centenary of George Roeper’s birth. The event honored George and Annemarie’s tradition of regularly bringing speakers to the school to speak on cutting-edge topics in education, psychology and other areas. Adele Diamond (on right) of the Psychiatry Department of the University of British Columbia spoke on “Teaching and Raising Children for Creativity and Fulfillment.” The Roepers’ oldest son, Tom (on left), who is a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, spoke on “Modern Cognitive Science and the Roeper Philosophy.” The program for the event included an article by School Historian Marcia Ruff describing George’s educational vision. Roeper alumna Brittani Holsey performed original dances to celebrate George’s particular appreciation for dance. The three Roeper children, a grandson, and George’s niece attended the event.
Karen Roeper wearing her father’s wool tuxedo that he brought from Germany for his marriage to Annemarie in New York City when they arrived as refugees in 1939.