39th Bomb Group (VH)




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1st Lt Arland F. Christ-Janer

Arland Christ-Janer came to Sarasota in 1973 to serve as president of New College, but his true contribution to Sarasota was his work on behalf of Ringling School of Art and Design where he served as president from 1984 to 1996 and again as interim president in 1998-99.

Arland Christ-Janer served as president of New College from 1973 to 1975 and engineered the merger between then-struggling New College and the University of South Florida. He also served as president of Boston University, of Stephens College in Missouri, of Cornell College in Iowa and as president of the College Entrance Examination Board in New York.

When Christ-Janer took the helm as president of Ringling School of Art and Design in 1984, the school had no endowment and many of its buildings were falling apart. Under his leadership and vision, the art school showed an impressive pattern of development. New Mediterranean-style buildings sprung up all over campus. The campus almost doubled in size. Ringling went from a 3-year program to a 4-year accredited program. During his tenure, the school became accredited by the National Association of School of Art and Design, which is the major accrediting agency for visual arts.

Credited with bringing a new sense of professionalism to Ringling, Christ-Janer raised an endowment well over a million dollars. The school began to receive over $400,000 in annual contributions. Students began to win scores of national competitions. The school opened a new major in Computer Animation in the late 1980s and began to attract a high level of professors from around the U.S. Foreign students began to come to Ringling in large numbers, and U.S. News & World Report named Ringling the Number 1 Up and Coming College in America. Truly, Christ-Janer put Ringling School of Art and Design on the map.

A native of Garland, Nebraska, Arland Christ-Janer grew up in an academic environment. His father was a parochial school teacher. One of his brothers was a dean at Pratt Institute in New York, and another brother taught at Columbia and Yale.

Christ-Janer left high school after his sophomore year to take courses at the University of Missouri. He obtained his BA degree from Minnesota's Carleton College. He then went on to obtain degrees from the Yale Divinity School and the University of Chicago Law School. While at Carleton College, he was very influenced by the school's president, Donald Cowling. He had transformed Carleton into a fine liberal arts college, and he demonstrated to Christ-Janer how satisfying a career as an administrator could be.

Very active in Sarasota, Christ-Janer served on many boards, including the New College Foundation, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and the Ringling Museum of Art. He served as chairman of the Sarasota Committee of 100 and on the economic development arm of the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. His late wife, the former Sally Johnson Grice, was a hospital administrator and cellist. She joined her husband in many community events. Their legacy is the Sally and Arland Christ-Janer Scholarship Fund for Ringling School of Art and Design students. He has a studio where he constructs his geometric paintings and sculpture. Truly, Dr. Christ-Janer has been a Renaissance man for Sarasota.

Christ-Janer's name also appears on the crew roster Crew 1 Replacement 3
Dr. Arland F. Christ-Janer took his Final Flight on 9 Nov 2008.

Crew 46 Main Page
62nd Squadron Crew Index
Source: Text and post WWII photo from Historic Sarasota County Biographies;
Obit info Sarasota Herald Tribue