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Extract from Annual Report—2010

Since the Cosmos Club Foundation’s last annual report the Foundation has moved from strength to strength in both its major programs: the John P. McGovern Awards and the Cosmos Scholars grants to promising graduate students attending area universities.

Three McGovern awards were made for distinguished contributions to science.  Vinton G. Cerf was honored for his work in developing the internet, and David Baltimore for his contributions to cancer research.  Most recently, Anthony Fauci was recognized for his pioneering work on infectious diseases, particularly HIV Aids and influenza. An award in the arts was presented to Frances Sternhagen for her career on stage and film.  Another Arts and Humanities Award was presented to Elaine Pagels for her seminal work in the history of religion.  Each of these events attracted large audiences comprised of club members and their guests as well as members of the public who are welcome at these events in keeping with the Foundation’s charter.
The Henry Work Lecture delivered by scientist and theologian John Pulkinghorne was made possible through the generous contribution of Foundation Advisor Nancy Work.  The Foundation continued its support of the Cosmos Club Award financially and through trustee participation on the Awards Committee which selected opera star Frederica van Stade and historian Robert Caro as honorees in 2009 and 2010.

The Cosmos Scholar program, championed by Joan Challinor and Priestley Toulmin, continued to flourish, attracting more than 200 applications annually.  Since the inception of the program approximately seventy percent of awardees have completed either a Masters degree or a PhD and another ten percent are engaged in doctoral research.  To date, Cosmos Scholars have published more than 50 articles and published five books based on research funded by the Foundation’s grants.  The dinner, held in April 2010 to honor the 2009 scholars, attracted the largest audience of scholars, mentors, and university administrators in the event’s history.  The Foundation has completed work on an up-to-date biographical roster of Cosmos Scholars from the program’s inception in 1998.  Of particular interest to club members will be the development of ways to identify scholars working in their disciplines and professions.

The work of the Cosmos Club Foundation is supported primarily by members of the Club.  Contributions were $51,874 in 2008 and $35,320 in 2009.  Assets, which had closed 2008 at $1,432,905, declined with the market meltdown and stood at $1,093,749 by the end of 2008. In response, the Foundation reduced its expenditures from $71,993 in 2008 to $63,039 in 2009.  Grants to Cosmos Scholars, which are made at the beginning of the fiscal year, were reduced from $45,195 in 2008 to $33,040 in 2009.  McGovern Awards, of which there were three in 2007, were reduced to five for the next three years.  During 2009, the assets recovered somewhat, closing the year at $1,252,869.  In early 2010, Trustees cautiously increased the grants to Cosmos Scholars to $35,950.   Generous contributions and favorable market performance will enable to Foundation to increase its support for the Cosmos Scholars next year.

Gerald B. Kauvar, Chair, Cosmos Club Foundation

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