Last updated August 2012.
Over the years you have become so integrated with every aspect of the Academy and its mission that no one thought it would ever be different. What struck me as I sat down to write you about your retirement was how totally without pretension you have remained. You are "Ginger" to everyone and your friendliness is the way you are. Like slight of hand, your natural ease obscures the grandeur of your importance. It is like a surprise but not really a surprise because although it has been increasingly obvious for years it has not been explicitly stated.
Since you arrived on the scene every Academy President, Member, and Fellow; Committee Chair; Assembly Member; student; and your incredible staff have extolled your indispensable and inspiring influence, subtle guidance, frank critiques, and spontaneous and generous radiance of joy, good humor and encouragement. We have basked in your infectious smile and laughter while the underlying seriousness of purpose and breadth of vision have been constant.
In your warm and dignified retirement announcement to the Academy in February you were realistically proud of your tenure but would not say nor probably even think you were an indispensable part of all that has blossomed and grown stronger during your thirty-nine years of tenure. But you are.
During these years you have been a unique catalyst for work that has affected the attention to and care for all children and their families and those who tend to them. The breadth of your influence is vast and its effects will continue to grow, as the Academy has grown during your stewardship.
The surprise that is not a surprise is that you - the perennially youthful and pixieish Ginger, who embraces every one of us members and our spouses with genuine affection - are simply and explicitly a great person - a towering figure in the field of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Truly great - of the order of magnitude of an international award. If there were a Nobel Prize for administrative creativity and impact in the health field you would get it! Not that you would care about that. Your satisfaction is in knowing that your job is well done and that your Academy is thriving and will continue to thrive reflecting all you have given.
Love from Joyce and me,
Donald S. Gair, M.D.