Esteemed Faculty Member Arne Collen Passes: A Note from Mark Schulman

ArneCollen - Esteemed Faculty Member Arne Collen Passes: A Note from Mark Schulman

From Mark, Feb 8, 2012:

Dear Saybrook Community,

It saddens me to write to you about the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Arne Collen. Arne passed away early this morning, surrounded by his family, including his two children Kristin and John. He delighted in his family and had a special spot in his heart for his little granddaughter Jenna. We learned of this terribly sad news just hours ago and our hearts go out to his loved ones.

Arne has been a member of our faculty since 1978 and most recently served as Director of Research. He has deeply touched the lives of so many of our students and colleagues over the years. Willson Williams, co-Chair of the PHS faculty, knew Arne well. “Arne was one of the most gentle and kind people I have ever known. He had a gentle soul. He was thoughtful and caring and thought of others before himself. He had a generous and kind spirit.”

As for his scholarly work, Arne said, “My professional identity is captured in the phrase ‘research methodologist’ and my specialty is research methodologies for human inquiry. Rather rare and unusual; albeit, it is my reality and primary passion that has sustained me over the course of my professional career.”
An accomplished artist, in the past few years Arne passions have centered on the arts – photography, lithograph, print-making, making short films, and creating three-dimensional art from found objects. He delighted in his art projects, and took joy in creating “something from nothing”; his ecological consciousness infused all of his artwork. His home in Santa Fe was filled with massive collages of found paper that inspired the spirit. Evidence of his prolific talent made his home in Santa Fe an artistic haven.

There is no memorial planned for Arne, but his son John is working on finishing an arts-based website that Arne had started that will chronicle his life’s journey for the past 40 years. Arne called the website “A reservoir of humanness to share with those who care.” When this site is finished and ready to view, we will share that information with you.

If you wish to send a card or letter of sympathy to his family, please send it directly to Saybrook and we will make sure that it is passed on to them.

We would like to honor the wishes of Arne’s family in terms of expressions of sympathy such as flowers or donations to one of his favorite charities. We will be in touch with his family in the next few days to explore what might be most meaningful to them.

A plan to serve Arne’s students is in place and the transition should be smooth for those students.


We have created an online memorial for Arne Collen (use link below) as part of the Saybrook Forum. This is a place to gather and share your comments. Please feel free to add your own memories of Arne. These will be shared with his family.

The post is up, and can be viewed by clicking here.

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