In the halls of Hunter College, there is no more beloved presence than Peggy Tirschwell. She started here in 2002 after a distinguished CUNY career, and retired in 2013 as assistant provost (although we are fortunate that she still comes in on a part-time basis).
To honor her stellar service to Hunter and celebrate her love of dance, Tirschwell’s brother, Richard Gilder, donated $500,000 to renovate The Peggy, the newly dedicated state-of-the art dance studio on the sixth floor of Thomas Hunter Hall. Gilder is one of Hunter’s most generous supporters, most recently donating $400,000 to support the public policy programs at Roosevelt House.
The Peggy is just the latest jewel in Hunter’s world-class Dance Department, CUNY’s only free-standing dance department. Under the leadership of acting chair Carol Walker, former dean of dance at SUNY Purchase, the department offers a BA in dance and, starting this fall, an MFA. The department also houses the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program, which offers a BA/MA in dance education, funded by Hunter Foundation Trustee Jody Arnhold, chair of the Dance Advisory Board.
The Peggy sports a professional sprung floor, a cyclorama curtain, performance lighting, and a brand new audio-visual system. “A dance studio seemed the obvious way to honor Peggy,” said President Jennifer J. Raab at the January ribbon-cutting. “The Hunter Dance Department would never have become a reality without Peggy’s leadership and passion.”
As for Richard Gilder, there was no doubt about his motivation: “I love dance,” he said, “I love Hunter, and I love my sister!”