A virtual memorial for Arne Collen: celebrate his life with us here

The Saybrook community is saddened by the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Arne Collen.

Saybrook's community, united in scholarship and practice, is spread across the world -- and so Arne's friends and colleagues likewise stretch around the globe, mourning the loss of such a unique man and vital scholar.

Appreciating the difficulties of gathering such a dispersed community together on short notice for a memorial service, his family has asked that a virtual memorial -- a living document testifying to his life, passion, and legacy -- be held online.

We invite you to be part of it: if you have a fond recollection or favorite story about Arne, or just want to say "thank you" or "goodbye," please share it with his community of loved ones in the comments section below.

Arne has been a member of our faculty since 1978 and most recently served as Director of Research. He has deeply touched the lives of so many of our students and colleagues over the years. Willson Williams, co-Chair of the PHS faculty, knew Arne well. “Arne was one of the most gentle and kind people I have ever known. He had a gentle soul. He was thoughtful and caring and thought of others before himself. He had a generous and kind spirit.”

As for his scholarly work, Arne said, “My professional identity is captured in the phrase ‘research methodologist’ and my specialty is research methodologies for human inquiry. Rather rare and unusual; albeit, it is my reality and primary passion that has sustained me over the course of my professional career.”

An accomplished artist, in the past few years Arne passions have centered on the arts – photography, lithograph, print-making, making short films, and creating three-dimensional art from found objects. He delighted in his art projects, and took joy in creating “something from nothing”; his ecological consciousness infused all of his artwork. His home in Santa Fe was filled with massive collages of found paper that inspired the spirit. Evidence of his prolific talent made his home in Santa Fe an artistic haven.

Arne passed away last week, surrounded by his family, including his two children Kristin and John. He delighted in his family and had a special spot in his heart for his little granddaughter Jenna.

Our hearts go out to his loved ones at this terribly sad time.

His son John is working on finishing an arts-based website that Arne had started that will chronicle his life’s journey for the past 40 years. Arne called the website “A reservoir of humanness to share with those who care.” When this site is finished and ready to view, we will share that information with you.

If you wish to send a card or letter of sympathy to his family, please send it directly to Saybrook and we will make sure that it is passed on to them.

Please share your recollections of Arne with us below.

Posted at 03:24 PM in

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I was very saddened to hear about Arne's early exit. He was a very sweet, supportive person to me as I worked on my research practicum. He was always so readily available. It was so apparent that his primary goal was to turn out sound researchers; ethical and savvy, and I really appreciated his devotion to his craft. We both shared a love of art and storytelling, which I did not know about until my second year at Saybrook. Talking to him about the therapeutic uses of art and how art can transform an individual on a very deep level lit him up. Arne, thank you very much for the work you did and just for authentically sharing your lovely self. Godspeed in your journey towards what is next for you.

Posted by Christina McDowell, PhD - SB Grad (not verified) | 03/14/2012 @ 06:26 PM

Arne was my teacher, a wise professor, and a person that impacted my lifeview.  I worked with Arne in a research course and at RC's.  He led an intensive on art-based inquiry at an RC.  This experience had a profound impact on me. Arne's work in art-based Inquiry changed the way I view planning, problem-solving, and decision-making. His influence and wisdom are an integral part of Saybrook's history. Terri Goslin-Jones, Ph.D. (2010)


Posted by tgoslinjones (not verified) | 03/17/2012 @ 08:42 AM
Im thankful for the article post.Much thanks again. Much obliged. Posted by barcode app (not verified) | 03/18/2012 @ 12:40 AM

I met Arne at my first RC in 2000.  I knew instantly that I wanted to work with him someday.  I took Overview of Methods and Theories of Inquiry from him.  In 2002 he became the chair for my dissertation.  His keen insight, leadership and guidance were instrumental throughout the process.  Arne was kind, generous, compassionate, humorous and understanding.  He will truly be missed.  I thank you Arne for everything.  You truly made a positive impact on my life.   

Posted by Carlos V. Guzman, PhD (not verified) | 03/21/2012 @ 10:51 AM

From Paul Kimmel:; padding-bottom: 0px; background-color: rgb(255,255,255); margin: 0px; padding-left: 0px; background-attachment: scroll; padding-right: 0px; font: 16px Times; background-position: 50% 0%; color: rgb(51,51,51); padding-top: 0px; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial">
I worked with Arne for several years teaching a variety of research methods courses in the 1990s.  He was always available and easy to work with.  We enjoyed our collaboration and added to each others' knowledge and to the Saybrook course guides.
My last communication from him was a beautiful Christmas card in 2010.  I was shocked and saddened to learn of his death.  
I only knew Jeanne from a few Residentials I attended in San Franciso when I was still living in LA.  She will also be sorely missed.
Paul Kimmel


Posted by gaiken (not verified) | 03/29/2012 @ 08:27 AM

I feel grateful to have known and learned from Arne. His bright mind, sweet soul, and rigor were were so generously shared with us and will be missed- peace...

Lynne Andonian, PhD, OS 2010

Posted by Lynne Andonian (not verified) | 04/02/2012 @ 10:07 AM