Who was Annemarie Roeper?

Original Publication Date: August 2018

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.

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Centenary Celebration of Annemarie Roeper

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.

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Centenary Celebration of George Roeper

Reintroducing the school's co-founder

Original Publication Date: August 2010

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.

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Centenary Keynote Event

A celebration of George's intellectual curiosity

Original Publication Date: March 4, 2011

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.

 

 

 

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