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Columbia College Chicago

Department of Creative Arts Therapies Founder Passes Away

Jan. 31, 2014

Jane Ann Ganet-Sigel (nee Mendelssohn), founder of the Dance/Movement Therapy Department at Columbia College Chicago (now the Department of Creative Arts Therapies), passed away at age 87 on Monday, Jan. 27, at her home in Evanston.

Jane founded the only Midwest graduate program in dance/movement therapy, which began with undergraduate courses in 1982. Jane chaired the department with determination, commitment and passion until her retirement in 1998. Jane was a true pioneer, one of 73 women nationwide, who chartered the American Dance Therapy Association. She educated not only Columbia students, but the Chicago community about the power of dance and movement in healing.

Susan Imus, the current chair of the Department of Creative Arts Therapies, writes, "The scope of my gratitude to Jane for what she has created and left for us to carry on is more than words can express. It is only in movement that I can communicate my appreciation for her. I know that her spirit will remain strongly with us as we dance on."

Jane is survived by husband Melvin Sigel. She was the loving mother of Marcey Sigel, Fred Ganet, Larry Ganet and Eddie Ganet; the devoted “Gigi” of 20 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren; the dear sister of the late Gerald (Jeanne) Mendelssohn; and a treasured aunt, cousin and friend to many.

Chapel services were held Thursday, Jan. 30, at Shalom Memorial Funeral Home.

Donations (in lieu of flowers) may be made to:

The Jane Ganet-Sigel Scholarship Fund
Columbia College Chicago
Office of Institutional Advancement
C/O Michael Anderson
600 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605
Memo: JGS Scholarship Fund