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Extract from Annual Report—2002

The Cosmos Club Foundation continued to fulfill its mandate to support the intellectual community both outside and within the Cosmos Club through its programs and its grants-in-aid to deserving graduate students of area universities.

This high level of activity was possible only through the careful management of the Foundationís assets by its Treasurer, J. Stephen Huebner, and Trustees, who managed to keep the assets of the Foundation intactóindeed growingódespite the continuing unfavorable investment environment. Since income from investments is so tenuous, the Foundation relies more than ever on the generosity of Club members and others who share our commitment to these projects. It is heartening to report that the response to this yearís request for contributions reached an all-time high of about $40,000. Augmented by a substantial grant from the Cosmos Club Endowment, and by a generous offer from the Russian-American Foundation to share the cost of Norman Mailerís travel to Washington, the Foundation was able to manage all the activities it had hoped to support during the year within its budget.

The 2002 McGovern Award in literature was given to Norman Mailer on November 15, 2002. Mr. Mailer read from one of his essays, spoke about his work in both fiction and non-fiction, and, after a conversation with Foundation Trustee Mark Olshaker, fielded questions from the audience.

Oceanographer and deep-sea explorer Robert D. Ballard was the recipient of the 2003 McGovern Award in Science on January 9, 2003. Dr. Ballardís illustrated talk covered a number of his achievements, including his work in deep-sea geology, his work on submersibles for the U.S. Navy, his location of such notable sunken ships as the HMS Titanic and PT-109, and his current exploration of ancient trade routes in the Mediterranean by tracing deposits of cargo once carried on Greek and other ships.

The Foundation also supported the Cosmos Club Award, given on April 15, 2003, to noted historian Natalie Zemon Davis.

Each year, funds from the Foundation support one of the public concerts at The Phillips Collection. This yearís concert, on November 17, 2002, was by the Verdehr Trio.

Ninety-one applications were received for the Foundationís grants-in-aid program from graduate students at institutions associated with the Consortium of Washington Area Universities. This program provides modest grants (up to $3,000) to support specific research needs in all fields of graduate study. Thirteen grants-in-aid were awarded, in fields as diverse as archaeology, physics, political science, history, and physiology. Grant recipients from previous years made brief presentations about their work at a dinner on April 29, 2003.

To assist in future fund-raising, and to explain the activities of the Foundation to interested parties, a new brochure was drafted by J. Stephen Huebner and published early in 2003.

The financial details are these: the market value of the Foundationís assets at yearís end was $832,866 ($227,017 of this in the McGovern Fund), an increase of $64,165 over last year. The Foundationís investments are diversified into two stock market index funds, two bond market index mutual funds, and three money market funds. Two-hundred-fifty-six contributions from individuals totaling $39,621, and $147,000 from the Cosmos Club Endowment income, offset losses in some of the investment accounts. The Foundation expended $52,473 during the year, including $26,612 for grants-in-aid and $11,984 for McGovern Award programs, with the remainder supporting the Cosmos Club Award, publication of the brochure, and other administrative costs.

We regret to report the death recently of one of the founding Trustees of the Cosmos Club Foundation, Frank B. Brady, who had served as an Advisor in recent years until failing health caused him to submit his resignation last year. The longest-serving member of our board, and one of its former secretaries, Mr. Brady was a faithful supporter of the Foundationís work, and he will be missed. As the new year begins, the term of a long-time Trustee, Jack Perlmutter, comes to an end; happily he has agreed to continue as an Advisor to the Foundation, so we can continue to benefit from his enthusiasm and ideas. At the same time, a new Trustee, Robert S. Martin, joins us, and we look forward to working with him in the coming years.

We warmly thank the Board and the members of the Cosmos Club for their generous and continuing support of the Foundationís work, and we look forward to bringing you and the intellectual community of Washington together at more programs of the quality I have described in this brief account.


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