Reach New Height
Defying the national economic slowdown and other troubles, our Friends have continued the steady trend of rising donations supporting the Center for History of Physics. The regular annual membership donations for 2001 totalled $127,000, as compared with 1998-$74,000, 1999-$90,000, and 2000-$117,000. This rise together with economies in operations, and strong budgetary support by the American Institute of Physics, have built up the bank account holding these membership funds, so that this year a majority of the annual donations could be directed instead into the Endowment Fund. A strong endowment is essential for the Center's long-term survival.
In addition, one-time donations to the Endowment Fund totaled another $546,000, more than double the average of previous years. The biggest parts of this were the second installment, one-third of a million dollars, of the Lounsbery Foundation's endowment gift, and the $150,000 gift from Allan Sandage (reported in this Newsletter, Spring 2001). Sandage supplemented this with an additional generous year-end gift of $10,000 and a pledge of the same in future years. John Armstrong also donated $10,000 with a pledge of future renewal. Also noteworthy was a $20,000 gift to the Endowment Fund from Melba Phillips, after she found it would be advantageous in terms of taxes to give this as an advance on her pledged bequest. Many other valued gifts are recorded in the preceding pages. The big step up for the Endowment Fund gives a strong platform for launching our new $3 million endowment campaign, "History that Matters."
Other Friends' activities included an invitation to join the Council of the Friends that was mailed to many leading scientists and historians of science. Most of those contacted agreed to lend their names, endorsing our goal of preserving and making known the record of the work of recent generations of scientists. Reaching beyond the physics community, where most of the Friends' activities have centered in the past few years, a reception was held jointly with the Historical Astronomy Division of the American Astronomical Society at the AAS's Washington meeting on January 6, 2002. This gave an opportunity to explain the Center's programs and show our history of astronomy Friends that they are part of a wider community of interest.
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