In Memoriam| Linda B. Rosenthal
Apr, 30 2018
A True Maverick for Maricopa Community Colleges
It is with deep sadness that we say farewell to Linda B. Rosenthal, 84. Mrs. Rosenthal was elected to the Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board in 1980 where she happily served for 29 years. She died peacefully in hospice on April 26, 2018. Funeral services for Mrs. Linda B. Rosenthal were held Friday, April 27, 2018, at Congregation Beth Israel in Scottsdale. Her family is requesting that donations in her memory be made to Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation, https://mcccdf.org/rosenthal/.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Mrs. Rosenthal started her career as a high school history teacher. The Rosenthals, including her husband Martin and their three children settled in Phoenix in 1965. Fighting for the empowerment of women was always a great passion for Mrs. Rosenthal. Before joining the MCCCD Governing Board, she was a long-time activist and leader with the League of Women Voters, serving on the Phoenix and Arizona boards during the 1970’s. Interestingly, it was an unsuccessful run for State Assembly that led her to the Maricopa County Community College Governing Board. Five successful elections later, and Mrs. Rosenthal is still the longest serving Governing Board member to date. She prided herself on attending graduations every single year and having near perfect Board attendance, only ever missing one vote in 29 years.
A volunteer leader who fought hard for women in academia…
During her tenure on the Governing Board, Mrs. Rosenthal was an ardent supporter of women in academia – she focused her efforts on creating more C-Suite opportunities for women across the district. She made it very well known to every chancellor that served while she was on the Board that hiring exceptional and qualified women should be a top priority. Mrs. Rosenthal wanted to see more women leading the 10 colleges as well as serving as executive administrators in the district office. She was proud to be a founding proponent of what is now the Women’s Leadership Group (WLG), which serves as an incubator and mentoring program for women administrators. She once said, “I feel very good about WLG because we are training women to go up in the world of community college administration and gaining the skills that they need to be successful.”
Mrs. Rosenthal volunteered her time, talent, and often her treasure in service to the students, faculty, and staff of Maricopa Community Colleges. Her husband often joked that she, “ate, slept, and breathed community college,” and Mrs. Rosenthal readily agreed that he was right. In fact, after her tenure with the MCCCD ended, she was immediately elected to the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation board where she served for over 10 years. She dedicated much of her time while serving on the Foundation board to the Woman’s Philanthropy Circle. The Foundation has an endowed scholarship in her name that was established in 2001. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded Linda B. Rosenthal Scholarships to over 50 students attending one of the Maricopa Community Colleges with a focus on female re-entry students.
Mrs. Rosenthal reflected that Maricopa Community Colleges, “Can’t get rid of me, 29 years of my life was spent within the district and being on the foundation board I still feel very much a part of it and I have a great love and admiration for it.”
According to her family, outside of Maricopa Community Colleges Mrs. Rosenthal, “Was a lover of music, Native American jewelry, chocolate, traveling, as well as her friends and family.” Mrs. Rosenthal will be greatly missed but we are deeply grateful for the time we had with her over the last four decades. We could not have asked for a more passionate and committed supporter and leader.