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Founded by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein
Chairman of Faculty and Artistic Director Peter Martins

School News

SAB Announces New Executive Leadership

Executive Director Marjorie Van Dercook to Retire at End of 2016-17 Term
Board of Directors Selects Carrie W. Hinrichs as Ms. Van Dercook’s Successor

Marjorie Van Dercook, Executive Director of the School of American Ballet since June 2004, has announced her decision to retire in August upon the completion of her thirteenth year in the position. The School’s Board of Directors has selected Carrie W. Hinrichs, a former SAB administrator who currently serves as Director of Advancement for The Spence School, to be the School’s next Executive Director starting in September 2017. Ms. Van Dercook will be the special honoree at SAB’s 2017 Workshop Performance Benefit at Lincoln Center on June 5, when her significant contributions to the School will be celebrated.

“When Marjorie informed SAB’s Board of Directors last year of her retirement plans, we knew it would be a formidable task to find an executive capable of filling her shoes. Her leadership has simply been outstanding.” said SAB Chairman Barbara Vogelstein.  “Over the past eight months a special committee of the board has undertaken a broad search to identify a new leader worthy of managing the nation’s preeminent classical ballet training academy. We believe that in Carrie Hinrichs we have found an exceptional individual with the passion and capacity not only to maintain the School’s excellence but to further strengthen and expand the vision for SAB in the coming years.”

SAB’s Executive Director reports to the Chairman of the Board of Directors and works hand-in-hand with Artistic Director Peter Martins and Co-Chairman of Faculty Kay Mazzo to ensure the success of the School’s operations, which serve almost 900 students annually. The Executive Director oversees more than 40 employees in all areas of School administration: strategic planning, development and membership, finance and investments, student and residence life, public relations, recruiting, outreach, facilities, and information technology. SAB’s annual operating budget is $14.5 million.

With the completion of her thirteen-year tenure, Marjorie Van Dercook will become the longest-serving chief administrative leader after the School’s founding president Lincoln Kirstein, who retired in 1989 after 55 years at the School’s helm. Four different executives filled the role in succession from 1989 to 2003 prior to Ms. Van Dercook’s arrival.

In reflecting on Ms. Vandercook’s contributions, Ms. Vogelstein commented, “To say that Marjorie’s impact has been far reaching would be an understatement. Under her direction, SAB has completed two major renovations of its Lincoln Center headquarters, expanded enrollment and scholarship programs, launched a formal initiative on diversity and inclusion that has transformed the demographic profile of the School’s student population, introduced new community and satellite programming to expand the School’s reach, and developed new wellness services, family programs and professional placement counseling. During her tenure, SAB undertook memorable celebrations of its 75th and 80th anniversaries and hit new highs in fundraising. Most recently Marjorie has spearheaded a $20 million capital campaign which will successfully conclude its public phase this August. Above all, she has ensured that SAB’s incomparable faculty and students have had the necessary resources at their disposal to attain the highest level of achievement.”

Of her impending retirement, Ms. Van Dercook said, “I have mixed emotions as I prepare to say goodbye to the School later this year. While I have a tremendous sense of pride in what the entire staff has accomplished over my thirteen years at SAB, it will be hard to leave this vibrant and talent-filled atmosphere behind. I will always be invested in what happens to this School and its students and will miss being involved in SAB’s day-to-day life. It has been a joy to partner with our board, donors and friends over these many years to support our young dancers and to watch them flourish in their lives at the School and beyond. I am thrilled that Carrie Hinrichs, whom I greatly respect and admire, will have the opportunity to guide SAB along the next stage of its extraordinary journey.”

As Ms. Van Dercook’s successor, Ms. Hinrichs combines broad professional achievement with a lifelong passion for ballet. As The Spence School’s Director of Advancement, Ms. Hinrichs oversees fundraising, alumnae relations, events and communications, and has shepherded several major giving campaigns that have yielded over $150 million in donations. Prior to joining The Spence School in 2012, Ms. Hinrichs served as SAB’s Director of Development and Planning under Ms Van Dercook from 2006 to 2012. Earlier in her career she had served as SAB’s Director of Institutional Giving. From 2004 to 2006 she was Director of Development for Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP). She has also held fundraising positions at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the American Museum of Natural History. Ms. Hinrichs graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Politics, magna cum laude. She began taking ballet lessons as a child in her hometown of Evansville, Indiana, and continued focused ballet training throughout her college years, turning to a career in not-for-profit management upon graduation. Ms. Hinrichs resides in Manhattan with her husband William Hinrichs, Associate Dean of Studies at Bard High School Early College Manhattan, and their three children

“It is the honor of a lifetime to return to the School of American Ballet in this important leadership role,” said Ms. Hinrichs. “I have always had a deep passion for SAB’s mission and profound admiration for its faculty and students. It would be impossible to overstate how excited I am to dedicate my professional life to ensuring that this essential institution thrives and evolves for many years to come. I am grateful to the Board of Directors for this opportunity and honored to be following in the footsteps of Marjorie Van Dercook, who has done so much to strengthen and advance SAB’s preeminent standing in the field.”

The School of American Ballet Workshop Performance Benefit honoring Marjorie Van Dercook will take place on Monday, June 5, at Lincoln Center’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater. The School’s students will perform Scènes de Ballet (Stravinsky/Wheeldon), Hallelujah Junction (Adams/Martins) and Scotch Symphony (Mendelssohn/Balanchine), followed by a dinner dance for guests in David Geffen Hall. Tickets may be purchased online at www.sab.org/workshop.