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Extract from Annual Report—2007

During the past year, the Cosmos Club Foundation devoted much of its effort to reconfiguring our grant-in-aid program, which is now known as the “Cosmos Scholars” grants. Through a rigorous evaluation program headed by trustees Priestley Toulmin and Joan Challinor, 27 awards were made to graduate students of area universities, totaling more than $45,000. Results of projects are presented by our Cosmos Scholar awardees at a dinner at the Club each spring.

As it became evident that the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area no longer wishes to assist the Foundation in this program, the Foundation took on the task of administering the program itself. Mr. Toulmin, working with Ms. Challinor and consultant Amy Pearson prepared a new website, enabling applicants to apply electronically. The brochure announcing the grant program has been rewritten to reflect the current administration of the program, and the Cosmos Scholars web site has been moved to a new, more secure server better able to meet the Foundation’s requirements. The Foundation trustees decided to increase the maximum grant from $3,000 to $4,000 to reflect increasing costs of graduate level research.

After a full slate of John P. McGovern Awards in 2006-2007, McGovern subcommittee members Barbara Culliton (Science), Alan Fern (Arts and Humanities, and Mark Olshaker (literature) turned their attention to evaluating new candidates in each field. Vinton Cerf, one of the developers of the Internet, will be honored with the Science Award on October 6, 2008. An invitation has gone out for the next Literature Award.

The Foundation continued its support of the Cosmos Club Award, both financially and through trustee participation. Mark Olshaker sat on the Cosmos Club Awards committee, which selected astronomer Vera Rubin to receive the Award for 2008.

During calendar year 2007, the Foundation received $88,125 from 352 Club members and one out-of-town guest who was so impressed with the grants-in-aid program that he went home and wrote a $6,000 check. Treasurer Huebner is particularly pleased that so many Club members chose to support the Foundation and its efforts. Total expenses were $75,083, of which only 11.9% was used for administration, leaving $66,144 for direct support of the Foundation’s charitable programs. Early in 2007, the Foundation distributed $38,500 to 26 grant-in-aid recipients. Early in 2008, in recognition of Club members’ generous support, the Trustees distributed $45,195 to 27 grant recipients. If members continue their generosity, the Trustees hope to raise this sum again in 2009. At year-end 2007, the Foundation’s assets were $1,432,905, compared with $1,343,745 at the end of 2006. The assets are invested in widely diversified equity, bond, and money market funds. Looking ahead, the Treasurer’s concerns are the poor recent performance of the equity markets and the rising cost of financial reviews or audits. The Foundation thanks Christopher Buynak and Barbara Sturges of the Club staff for accounting and secretarial report during the year.

The trustees of the Foundation noted with sadness the death in March 2007 of Henry Work, a longtime trustee whose enthusiasm, dedication, and wise counsel will be sorely missed. The trustees decided to designate the highest-ranking Cosmos Scholar proposal in a scientific field each year in honor of Dr. Work. With equal sadness, we noted the passing in June 2007 of John P. McGovern, initial benefactor of the awards program named in his honor.


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