On a cold and rainy December night, the School for Advanced Research (SAR) welcomed sixty members of the President’s Circle, Legacy Circle, and Board of Directors to join President Michael F. Brown for the first in-person annual winter party in three years. Guests were greeted by a warm fire on the patio before they joined the festivities in the Eric S. Dobkin Boardroom, transformed with red roses, juniper berries, and ambient piano music by Melanie Monsour. Guests enjoyed mulled wine, hot apple cider, wine and beer, a champagne toast, as well as elegant antipasto and charcuterie platters by Walter Burke Catering.
The event’s theme, a fireside chat with President Michael, offered the perfect opportunity to thank SAR’s President’s Circle, Legacy Circle, and Board Members for their continued support over the last few years. When the pandemic first hit us in early 2020, we all faced uncertainty and fear of the unknown. Doing our best to cope with the lockdown and during a time when many were more cautious and pulling back, our President’s Circle responded by giving more to SAR.
Our President’s Circle grew by over 38% during the pandemic —the largest growth in the President’s Circle since its inception. Now at eighty-two household members, the President’s Circle raised over $1.6 million over the last two years. The impact of this support throughout the pandemic not only helped keep SAR afloat but helped us continue to grow. Through our online programming that began in March 2020, we have reached audiences in all fifty states and thirty-six countries. We’ve added over 6,000 new people to our email distribution list.
Support from our members and donors allowed us to invest heavily in technology to move online, and this coming year offers an unparalleled opportunity to expand our efforts. As we bring back in-person programming, we are also committed to continuing our online programming indefinitely, now investing in new technologies to host hybrid events.
The event allowed us to toast our members and donors and to show our gratitude for their continued and generous support. The loyalty of our members and donors has allowed SAR to weather the pandemic storm and emerge stronger than ever.
The President’s Circle is a group of philanthropic individuals who give generously to support SAR’s mission and programs, helping foster innovative social science and Native American creativity. To learn more about our President’s Circle, please click here.
Special thanks to the generous sponsors who made this event possible:
Ken Stilwell, chair of the President’s Circle
Walter Burke Catering
Total Wine & More