October 21, 2013
Cornish Remembers Treiger
: Courtesy of Stoel Rives.
Cornish College of the Arts mourns the passing of former trustee and chair Irwin Treiger, while remembering his great contributions.
Beginning in 1981 and continuing to 1997, Irwin Treiger helped guide the fortunes of Cornish College of the Arts at a critical time in its history. Additionally, for three years, 1990-92, he served as the board’s chair. President Nancy Uscher, the board of trustees and generations of Cornish staff, faculty and alumni greeted the news of his death this past weekend with great sadness mingled with great gratitude for his service.
“Irwin Treiger was beloved by the Seattle community and was at the center of many of the important moments of our civic life,” says Dr. Uscher. “He was deeply devoted to a number of interests and organizations and had a remarkable generosity of spirit. How fortunate Cornish College of the Arts has been to count Irwin among its greatest advocates.” President Uscher, Gwen Freed, vice president for institutional advancement, and long-time trustee Doug Francis attended Irwin Treiger’s memorial service. The service, appropriately, was held at Benaroya Hall, home of the Seattle Symphony, which Mr. Treiger had supported for years.
Mr. Treiger was comprehensively eulogized by Nancy Bartley in the Seattle Times, with many interesting facts about his long life.
Cornish became “Cornish College of the Arts” during Mr. Treiger’s service on the board, in 1986. When he joined the board in 1981, the then-Cornish Institute had only obtained accreditation as a college some five years prior, and only three years before had added a program in the liberal arts.
“Irwin was an inspirational leader who sensitively and generously gave of his time and resources to Cornish College of the Arts,” says Bobbie Stern, former Cornish trustee. “He was well known as a brilliant attorney who thoughtfully guided Cornish through difficult times. Both he and his wife Betty Lou dedicated themselves to the well-being and success of Cornish.”
Treiger was a native of Seattle, the son of immigrants. He excelled in his studies and distinguished himself the University of Washington and in his legal education at the U’s law school and at New York University. He is survived by his wife, Betty Lou, his brother Ray, and children Louis, Karen and Ken, along with nine grandchildren.
A leading attorney in Seattle’s most prestigious law firms, such as Bogle Gates and, more recently, Stoel Rives, Irwin Treiger had the ear of the most important decision makers in Seattle. He was involved in many of the important decisions the city and county made during his lifetime. A rabid baseball fan, he was an ardent Mariners supporter and — a high point is his life — was instrumental in the building of Safeco Field, an event that many credit with saving baseball in Seattle.
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