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Friday, November 18, 2011
Evelyn Lauder, who died of complications from non-genetic ovarian cancer on Saturday, had a swarm of close friends throughout her life. Yet many close friends who attended her funeral today did not have a clue that she would die so soon.
Classic Evelyn. "It was never about her. It was always about you," Liz Robbins, a prominent Washington lobbyist, told me this morning over breakfast before she headed to the invitation-only funeral for her good friend.
You can read the news reports about Evelyn Lauder's contributions to cancer research: She founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which has raised more than $350 million since 1993. She created the Pink Ribbon as a symbol to raise awareness about breast cancer around the world. She built, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in Manhattan, a full-service haven for women with breast cancer--which Robbins used when cancer struck her two years ago. "She was constantly helping friends, helping people she didn't even know but heard about through friends, and she helped mankind," says Robbins, who spoke with Lauder by phone a few weeks ago and didn't realize that was dying.
"None of us knew how ill she was over the last four and a half years," adds Estee Lauder (EL) board member Lynn Forester de Rothschild.
Lauder, who was 75, had moved into a world of privilege from humble beginnings. She was born in Vienna, Austria, survived the London Blitz during World War II, and arrived in New York by boat with her parents, who were escaping Hitler's occupation. At 18, Evelyn was a freshman at Hunter College when she met Leonard Lauder, Estee Lauder's son, on a blind date. They married and were together for 52 years. "Evie," as people close to her called her, left a teaching job in New York's public schools to join Estee Lauder, where she helped develop brands such as Clinique and Aramis and rose to senior corporate VP and head of fragrance development worldwide.
Lauder, whom I last saw at Fortune's 2010 Most Powerful Women Summit, had serious business chops, but her greatest legacy will be the countless people she helped. De Rothschild, who is CEO of E.L. Rothschild Ltd. and has been an Estee Lauder director since 2000, told me a story yesterday about shopping for Bobbi Brown cosmetics at Neiman Marcus and asking a saleswoman how she liked working for Bobbi Brown, which is an Estee Lauder company. As de Rothschild recalls, "The saleswoman said to me, 'How do I feel about Estee Lauder? I owe my life to Estee Lauder. Twelve years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My supervisor was at a group-wide company meeting and somehow in a conversation with Mrs. Evelyn Lauder, my supervisor informed her of my condition. Mrs. Lauder did not know me from Adam, and yet I received a call from her. She talked to me for hours. She had her personal doctors consult with mine. And I am sure she saved my life.'"
"That was Evelyn Lauder," as de Rothschild says. "She saved lives and never asked for anything in return."
Late Thursday evening U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kwan issued the ruling, acknowledging the tremendous work put in by Chapman University, the diocese’s competitor, which offered as much as $59 million for the 40-acre Crystal Cathedral campus. The diocese will get the property for $57.5 million.
Under the diocese’s plan, the ministry will be able to lease the core buildings including the cathedral and the Tower of Hope for three years — at $100,000 a month during the first year and $150,000 for years two and three. They also will be able to lease the school building for $10,000 a month until the end of school year 2013.
After three years, Crystal Cathedral Ministries and the school will move to the 10-acre property on Lewis Street where St. Callistus is now located.
There are 1.2 million Catholics in Orange County. Bishop Tod Brown:
“We will get a renowned architect to renovate that building so it will be suitable for a Catholic place of worship,” he said. “But we have no intention to change the exterior of the building.”
The decision to back the Catholic purchase was a last minute about face for the Crystal Cathedral board, which had told remaining congregants that the board backed Chapman University purchase bid.
Tensions escalated between the parties Thursday after the Crystal Cathedral board in a late meeting Wednesday picked the diocese as the preferred buyer after choosing Chapman on two different occasions.
Board member Diane Highum defended their decision, saying the ministry will go on regardless of where it is located. She said board members were uncomfortable with Chapman’s lease terms and its future plans for the campus.
“I will be able to live with the decision we made although it was a very tough one,” she said. “There is no question in my mind that the ministry will go on in a different direction.”
Chapman University’s original offer was for $51.5 million with a 15-year leaseback and a five-year buyback option. But during the course of this week, Chapman has made two additional offers – one for $51.5 million with a $1-a-month, 15-year lease for core buildings without a buyback option and another that came Wednesday afternoon for $59 million, with a $25,000-a-month lease for 10 years, also without a buyback option.
Crystal Cathedral founder Robert H. Schuller released a statement in support of the board’s decision Thursday. Rev. Schuller and his wife, Arvella, are both voting members on the board.
“My wife and I, prior to Monday’s hearing, had already decided to support the diocese’s offer to purchase the Crystal Cathedral campus,” he said. “Though we deeply respect Chapman University, the uncertainly regarding the future use of the campus for religious purposes was divergent to the call of both God and our denomination that we embraced 60 years ago.”
Robert Schuller started the church in the 1950′s in a drive in. In 2010 bankruptcy was declared, with debts of over 43 million.
The Reformed Church of America will be severing it’s ties with the remaining congregation of the Crystal Cathedral.
Scott Treadway, president of the Reformed Church in California, says the cathedral’s goals and mission, including worship style, are not in line with those of the denomination – leaving them with no choice but to discontinue their long and unique relationship with the Crystal Cathedral.
“We have resolved that the governance requirements of the (Crystal Cathedral) and RCA are mutually exclusive, and discussions are underway toward a gracious parting of ways,” he said in an email response.
The Reformed Church’s relationship with the Crystal Cathedral was unique because the cathedral had grown into much more than a local community church when it became a worldwide television ministry, Treadway said.
So an agreement was forged, he said, where the Reformed Church continued to ordain the ministers, but that the ministry and property were administered solely by Crystal Cathedral Ministries. Although the agreement worked well for many years, the relationship became stressed when “there was a dissonance in ministry direction, music style, bankruptcy and risk to the property,” Treadway said, referring to the ministry’s shift from traditional music to a praise style of worship.
“It became an unsolvable mess,” he said.
The Crystal Cathedral under the direction of Schullers two daughters (Sheila and Gretchen) went independent pentecostal in it’s worship style and theology. The bankruptcy filing revealed the Schuller family excesses. 400 creditors are waiting to be paid. The Hour of Power brings in 70% of the churches revenue, and if you haven’t taken a look at how bad the new format is, you can have a look here. The service is not even a shadow of what it was in it’s heyday, it looks like every other cheap televised independent pentecostal service spewed out on tv.
The church once boasted a congregation of 10 thousand, two english speaking services now draw a couple of hundred. An idependant afternoon Spanish service draws over a thousand. The electronic church is likely not to survive it’s founder and the weekly congregation is not likely to survive it’s founder either.
Catholics are not without concerns, which I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about