With heavy hearts, we remember and honor Robert M. “Stretch” Gardiner ’40, who passed away on Saturday, November 3, at the age of 95. Stretch’s legacy at Trinity-Pawling is profound. He was a member of the Class of 1940 of the Pawling School and was President of the Board of Trustees of Trinity-Pawling from 1991 to 2003. Stretch first joined the Board in 1986 and was an instrumental leader in the life of Trinity-Pawling School. In 1991, Stretch served as Campaign Chair for the “Our Heritage, Our Future” capital campaign which raised $12.5M and led to the reconstruction of Cluett, the construction of McGraw Pavilion, and increased funds for faculty salaries and scholarships. Most recently, Stretch challenged the school community to “Stretch with Stretch” which raised nearly $400,000 last spring.
The Gardiner Library and Learning Commons and the Gardiner Theater stand as physical testaments to Stretch’s generosity and leadership. The School as a whole, however, has been forever enriched by his leadership. His confidence in the School, particularly the strength of its faculty, was infectious. His optimism and “can do” spirit were catalysts for the School’s growth as an institution. With his passing, the School has lost a giant in its history. His legacy, though, will endure for years. Trinity-Pawling has forever been enriched by Stretch’s profound leadership and generosity.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Stretch’s wife Liz and the entire Gardiner family.