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Cosmos Club Foundation Report for 2013

The Cosmos Club Foundation’s three hallmark efforts continue to thrive thanks to the most welcome and important generosity of Club members and friends. The Trustees and Advisors are profoundly grateful to Joseph K. McLaughlin, the McGovern Foundation, and the Shields Foundation for their continuing and exceptional gifts to the Foundation.

The McGovern Award in Arts and Humanities was presented to Brian Lamb, the founder of CSPAN and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, whose talk and sparkling question and answer session charmed a large audience on February 11. Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman received the McGovern Award in Science on April 30. His brilliant talk on “Policy Implications of Recent Research in Psychology and Behavioral Economics” was attended by 250 Club members and their guests. Members of the general public attending included a splendid turnout from the Princeton Club, the Economic Club of Washington, and the American Psychological Association.

The Cosmos Scholars program flourished once again under the sterling leadership of Trustees Ann Sheffield and Priestley Toulmin. The electronic display of previous winners, their thesis or dissertation topics, and the institution at which they studied continues to attract favorable comments from Club members and guests. This year (CY’13), thanks to the generosity of its 243 donors, the Foundation was able to raise the amount and number of grants-in-aid-of-research from $43,500 for 23 graduate students to $49,950 for 26 students – with no diminution in the quality of accepted proposals. The annual Scholars dinner was well attended by more than100 Club members and guests, current and former Cosmos Scholars, and university officials. The student presentations of research results made possible by the scholarships garnered praise for the quality of their efforts and the variety of topics studied.

The Foundation once again supported the Cosmos Club Award financially and through participation on the Awards Committee. Pulitzer Prize winning Historian David McCullough will receive the honor at a dinner on October 8.

The Foundation’s financial position is fully shown on the IRS form 990, a public document. The endowment is 63 percent invested in equities; at $1,805,968, it has fully recovered from the investment market collapse. Nevertheless, investment income was only $36,740, far short of the $69,966 of expenses, and so the Foundation really needs continued support of Club members, particularly in this period of low interest rates. As the form 990 shows that only 9 percent of the expenditure went to management and general expenses such as accounting and insurance, donors can be confident that their contributions are supporting our three programs.

Gerald B. Kauvar, Chair

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