Cosmos Club Foundation
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Extract from Annual Report—2000

The Foundation, established by the Club in 1967, is a tax-exempt entity whose purposes are to encourage the arts, sciences, literature and humanities, chiefly through awards or grants. Fifteen trustees see to the affairs of the Foundation, three being ex-officio by virtue of holding offices of financial responsibility for the Club. The other trustees are appointed by the Club's Board of Management. Apart from the appointing relationship, the Foundation enjoys wide discretion in conducting its business.

The major continuing functions of the Foundation at this time are three: (1) funding the annual Cosmos Club Award, which this year was awarded to Donald A. B. Lindberg, pathologist and Director of the National Library of Medicine; (2) administering the John P. McGovern Lecture Awards; and (3) in collaboration with the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, conducting a program of grants-in-aid to graduate students in local universities. In addition, the Foundation supports, through a previous endowment grant, an annual concert at the Phillips Collection.

The grants-in-aid program is now in its third year. Modest grants are awarded to support specific projects or research needs related to the students' work toward an advanced degree. There are no restrictions as to academic field. Proposals are evaluated by the Trustees and by expert reviewers, for the most part Club members, whose essential contributions we gratefully acknowledge. In the 2000 competition, we made fourteen awards in response to 168 proposals. This program clearly responds to a real need in the "young scholars" community, and we continue to seek ways to expand it.

American writer E.L. Doctorow presented a highly successful McGovern Lecture this year. Illness compelled Shakespearean actor and scholar Sir Derek Jacobi to postpone his lecture, which will be rescheduled some time next year. Biochemist/entrepreneur Craig Venter is to receive a McGovern Award and present his lecture in October 2001.

Our modest web page, at, describes our activities and provides links to related sites, such as the Club page and that of the Consortium of Universities. In another attempt to realize our unique potential as a "convener" (pointed out several years ago in the 'Millennium Report'), the Foundation continues to support planning for the "Dialogue" initiative to identify and explore crucial questions in areas of national and global concern. Furthermore, this year we have collaborated with two Club committees (Music and Program) in facilitating events that extend beyond the Cosmos Club community: a chamber-orchestra concert and a workshop for counselors in the D.C. schools.

The work of the Foundation depends heavily on the knowledgeable, gracious, and patient help of Mrs. Margaret Clark and her associate, Ms. Jill Mráz. We are much in their debt.


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