The New School Institute for Retired Professionals and Elderhostel
were honored that Rosanne McVay included generous bequests for them in
Rosanne McVay lived a rich and full life, from building a professional
journalism career to developing lifelong interests in New York organizations.
She spent many decades as a writer and editor for top periodicals during
the heyday of the American magazine.
Rosanne was “a New Yorker by choice,” having made the trek
from Buffalo in the early 1920s to be part of the exciting world of
publishing that New York represented. Linda Goetz Holmes, now president
of The Society of the Silurians, a group of distinguished veteran journalists
dedicated to excellence and journalistic integrity, said that Rosanne
had been the “quintessential Roaring 20’s New York gal.”
One of her closest friends was Edith Evans Asbury, former reporter
at The New York Times and doyenne of New York City newspaper circles.
For many years, Rosanne’s name was on the masthead of publications
like Newsweek, Redbook, and True Story. Her freelance articles appeared
in Glamour, The Saturday Evening Post, Coronet, and Collier’s.
She worked directly for Harold Ross, legendary founder of the The New
Yorker, and had a very close friendship with E.B.White. Friends were
amazed to learn that Rosanne was born in 1902, not 1912, as she had
claimed for more than 75 years.
In addition to her professional life, Rosanne was an avid theater and
opera goer and an aficionado of New York architecture, which she admired
during daily walks along city streets. She enjoyed a long marriage to
former football player and sportswriter Revere “Moose” McVay.
She loved to dine at favorite clubs, including the Overseas Press Club
(when she had known her hero, Edward R. Murrow), the Salmagundi Club,
the New York Women’s Press Club, and the Deadline Club.
Later in life she traveled with a beloved sister and attended participated
in Elderhostel programs. In 1986, she joined the New School Institute
for Retired Professionals (IRP), the first Institute for Lifelong Learning.
Rosanne was an active and supportive participant in the IRP Writers
Workshop and in the IRP Acting Group, where she memorably played the
Old Nurse in Romeo and Juliet.
Through bequests in her will, Rosanne very generously supported 11 organizations,
including the Silurians, the Central Park Conservancy, CityMeals, public
television, the New School IRP and Elderhostel. Along with remembering
friends and family members in her will, these gifts cap a truly remarkable
Thanks to Michael Markowitz, Director New School Institute for
Retired Professionals, for researching and sharing this story.