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Cosmos Club Foundation Report for 2016

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 once again are profoundly grateful to the McGovern Foundation and the Shields Foundation for their continuing and exceptional gifts to the Foundation. In CY’2015, the Foundation received contributions from 180 members of the Cosmos Club and is grateful to its many donors. The McGovern Award in the Humanities was presented to Jill Lepore, the David Woods Kemper (’41) Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker. The program was attended by a full house of Club members and members of the public who participated in a lively question and answer session after Professor Lepore’s insightful and witty talk. Ambassador and fellow Club member Thomas Pickering received the Cosmos Club Award on May 29, 2016; the stipend and citation for the Award are provided by the Cosmos Club Foundation. Carol Greider received the 2015 Cosmos Club Award on October 20, 2015. The Cosmos Scholars program flourished once again under the sterling leadership of Trustees Ann Sheffield and Priestley Toulmin. The 263 applications for grants-in-aid showed continued excellence. The annual Scholars dinner was well attended by 106 Club members and guests, current and former Cosmos Scholars, faculty mentors and university officials. The student presentations of research results made possible by the scholarships were notable for the quality of their efforts and the variety of topics studied. The Cosmos Scholars Program has now supported the research of 37 graduate students by dispensing $691,955.

The McGovern Award in Science will be awarded on November 7, 2016 to Karl Deisseroth for his pioneering work in “optogenetics, the technologies of CLARITY and optogenetics, and for applying integrated optical and genetic strategies to study normal neural circuit function as well as dysfunction in neurological and psychiatric disease.”

The Foundation’s financial position is fully shown on the IRS form 990, a public document. As the form 990 shows only 11% of the expenditures went to management and general expenses such as accounting and insurance, donors can be confident that their contributions are supporting our programs.

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