Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn President Bill Clendaniel Retires | Page 16

Trustees agreed at the end of the master planning process that the preservation of Mount Auburn ’ s great landscape is the most important thing we do .” Bill compares Mount Auburn to a “ 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle .” He sees the contemporary stewards of this National Historic Landmark as “ just putting in the last few pieces . We can do new things , but we must be respectful of what has gone before and make sure we do nothing to diminish it .” He also emphasizes that his successors must heed the concern that one of Mount Auburn ’ s founders , Dr . Jacob Bigelow , expressed 150 years ago — that the Cemetery preserve the open character of its landscape .
Bill will continue to serve as a Trustee of the Massachusetts Historical Society , where he was elected Treasurer this May , as well as Vice President of the Friends of Boston Public Garden . He plans on researching and writing about 19th-century Bostonians who are connected with Mount Auburn ’ s history and will be spending “ more time outside ” with his grown sons , Cameron , a documentary film editor living in Brooklyn , NY , who will be married in September , and Douglas , a budding conservationist who recently graduated from Prescott College in Arizona . Bill can leave his post confident that if , in the words of the Cemetery ’ s first President , Justice Joseph Story , there “ breathes a solemn calm ” throughout these acres , the persistence of that calm — as well as the vitality of Mount Auburn — owes much to his inspired efforts . ^
Bill and Schubert walking in the woods in Concord , MA , in 1997
“ I was so smitten by Bill immediately because he is not only so smart but so engaging . He ’ s also aesthetic , and I love that about him . He ’ s one of those ‘ way on the top ’ thinkers , but he ’ s also down to earth too — he ’ s the person picking up the pieces of paper at Mount Auburn . He ’ s got the brilliant ideas but he also notices everything . His attention to detail is phenomenal , yet he always takes things to the higher level .”
— Louise Weed , of Cambridge ; Mount Auburn Cemetery Trustee and Chair of the Buildings & Grounds Committee
“ I hired Bill initially as Deputy Director of The Trustees of Reservations . He was very bright , obviously , and sensitive , articulate , with a pleasant warmth to him and at the same time , a real presence . He could be in a commanding position , yet do it in a way that was both effective and attractive .
“ At Mount Auburn , we Trustees were impressed with his ability to be sensitive to his staff and to care for their welfare . He wasn ’ t just focusing on their performance ; he was aware of their families and their personal lives . He emphasized the importance of the Mount Auburn staff being a family , and that always impressed us .”
— Gordon Abbott , Jr ., of Manchester , MA ; Honorary Mount Auburn Trustee
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