Patricia (Pat) Davis Klingenstein, Class of 1947, has been named the first recipient of the school’s Alumni Leadership Award in recognition of her work as an education advocate, devoted community leader, volunteer, and philanthropist. The award, which will henceforth be known as “The Klingenstein Award,” was conceived by Waynflete’s Board of Trustees as a way to celebrate alumni who live as responsible and caring participants in our world (key tenets of the school’s mission).
Pat and her family have long believed that independent schools play an important role in society by instilling in young people a sense of civic responsibility, leadership, and public service. In partnership with her late husband, Pat acted on this belief by helping envision, support, and sustain the transformational establishment of the Klingenstein Center at Teachers College in 1977, which has grown to include five programs serving early and mid-career educators, administrators, and heads of school each year. The Center has been widely credited with contributing to the professionalization of the field.
Pat’s lifetime love of libraries has impacted many institutions, including the New York Public Library (where she serves as a longtime trustee), Waynflete (where she invested generously in the construction of the Lower School’s new Klingenstein Library), and other institutions such as Smith College, the Barnesville School, and the New York Historical Society, whose library is named in her honor and where Pat is a long-serving trustee.
In Maine, Pat’s family foundation was instrumental in championing “From the First Tooth,” a pediatric oral health initiative for infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children, and “The Partnership for Children’s Oral Health,” a broad coalition effort that aims to improve the oral health of all Maine children. In 2018, Pat and her husband made the largest gift of its kind to Mercy Hospital, in honor of her father, Dr. Harry Davis, a longtime chief of pediatrics at Mercy.