Being a Rockefeller, Becoming Myself

Eileen Rockefeller Growald is the first Rockefeller woman to write a personal family memoir, Being a Rockefeller, Becoming Myself. She will share her intimate stories on Monday, August 12th at 5:30 pm at the Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Community Center. A reception will follow in the Newlin Gardens.

As the youngest of six children and twenty-two cousins, Growald learned early that great wealth and fame could open almost any door, but could not buy personal worth. Her memoir affirms how family and friendships truly shape us, whatever the circumstances of our birth, and create mirrors to becoming ourselves.

Growald is co-chair of her family’s generational association, the founding chair of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers, founder of the Institute for the Advancement of Health, and co-founder of the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL). She and her husband of 32 years also manage their own philanthropic fund that catalyzes actions to stem climate change. They have two grown sons and live on an organic farm in Vermont.

Photo courtesy of Bob Eddy

“Eileen shares our interest in environmental conservation and our passion for promoting kindness and compassion,” said COA President Darron Collins. “She’s a crusader: she’s supported research into emotional intelligence well before anyone even knew what that meant and she founded an institution to study mind/body health. She’s a social entrepreneur, a venture philanthropist, a farmer, and soon to be published author; we couldn’t be more honored to have her visit the college.”

About College of the Atlantic
College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit

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About Heather Anderson

As a tomboy in southern Maine, I spent my youth playing kickball and night tag, building forts in the woods, and reading every single book I could get my hands on. I find endless joy in sitting on my porch, no matter the season. I'm still a relatively new addition to the COA community, but my experience here has been one of the best things to ever happen to me. I love what this college stands for, what it does, and how it does it. Few things make me happier than messing around with my camera, long walks in the woods with my dog Roscoe, traveling adventures with my friends, and hitting the water with my kayak.


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