Extract from Annual Report—2001
This report begins with a salute to Priestley Toulmin, who relinquished the chairmanship of the Cosmos Club Foundation on 1 July 2001 after five years of brilliant and dedicated service. Pete's term as chairman was notable for its stewardship of the Foundation's endowment and assets, for its development and expansion of the Foundation's activities, and for his humane and sympathetic leadership of the board of trustees. He will be greatly missed as chairman, but happily the Foundation will continue to benefit from his wisdom and organizational skills as he continues as a trustee. Alan Fern was designated the new chairman.
Established in 1967, the Cosmos Club Foundation is a tax-exempt organization intended to encourage the arts, sciences, literature, and humanities through awards, grants, and other programs. In fulfillment of its tax-exempt status, it is one of the outreach entities of the Cosmos Club, reaching beyond the membership with its activities. For example, several years ago – following the suggestion of trustee Rita Colwell – the Foundation established a program of grants-in-aid to deserving graduate students in area universities. The program is now notably successful, having become better known among university graduate departments. During the past year there were 171 applications for awards, which were carefully reviewed by Foundation trustees and by many helpful volunteers from the Club membership. Seventeen awards were finally made, to students in the sciences and humanities from six area institutions. Each year, the Foundation holds a dinner for the previous year's recipients, to learn how the grant money was used in the furtherance of their research.
The Foundation is perhaps best known for its funding of the Cosmos Club Award and its administration of the John P. McGovern Award Lecture Series. This year's Cosmos Club Award, directed by the Club's Awards Committee, was given on 4 April 2002 to former Senator and Ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan. There were two McGovern Awards during the year. On 3 October 2001 Dr. J. Craig Venter spoke about his work in deciphering the human genome, and potential future applications of genomics. On 1 March 2002 the noted British actor, Sir Derek Jacobi, captivated an overflow audience with his presentation on the work of a classical actor. After his remarks, Sir Derek joined in a panel discussion with his friend and colleague, actor-director Richard Clifford and local Shakespeare expert John Andrews, chaired by trustee Mark Olshaker. The Foundation remains deeply indebted to Dr. McGovern for his continuing and generous support of these programs, which provide the Club and the intellectual community at large with challenging programs by notable leaders in many fields.
In addition, the Foundation sponsored an annual concert at the Phillips Collection (this year by clarinettist Loren Kitt on 16 December 2001)and assisted in the sponsorship of a counseling workshop for the D.C. Public Schools. At the close of the Club's fiscal year, the Foundation's assets were $768,701, $22,635 below the fiscal year 2000 level. Total expenses for the year were $51,147. The Foundation received $40,070 in contributions from Dr. McGovern, from other members, and from the Club's endowment, but given the difficult economic investment situation today much more support from these sources will be necessary in order to maintain our activities at the present level. The trustees and advisors of the Cosmos Club Foundation deeply appreciate the enthusiastic support of the Cosmos Club's members and Board of Management, and look forward to working together to provide expanded programs of intellectual substance and enlightenment in the years to come.
ALAN FERN, Chair