By Maria Rocha-Buschel
After just a few months at the helm of the National Arts Club, Reverend Tom Pike said he would be resigning as president, Town & Village has learned.
Pike, who was elected by the club’s Board of Governors as its president in May of this year, cited his need to focus more attention on prior, longstanding commitments. The former rector of Calvary-St. George’s Church took over the position from Dianne Bernhard, who was the president after O. Aldon James stepped down in 2011 amidst an internal financial controversy.
According to a brief statement from the National Arts Club, the club’s first vice president, Ira Goldberg, will assume the role of acting president until the board elects a new president, which is expected to happen this October.
UPDATE: Reverend Pike didn’t respond to a request for comment on his reasons for resigning, but long-time friend and associate Arlene Harrison said that he has commitments throughout the city and he would not be able to commit the amount of time and energy required in the position.
“It was totally unexpected from my point of view and I had no idea that he was thinking of stepping down,” Harrison, the president of the Gramercy Park Block Association, added. “After decades of lawsuits and difficulties at the National Arts Club, our community was so grateful that a man of peace, Tom, was going to go in there and be the president. That was one of the major reasons we did a membership drive to bring our community back to club. The community was distressed to learn that he is no longer able to be the president.”