Fantastic Gala 2012
Last night, the Institute’s annual gala (35th birthday celebration!) was held at the Renaissance Hotel in Boston’s Innovation District, the seaport. The venue was beautiful. As always, friends of the IHP filled the room. Old friends found each other, student scholars were recognized, fantastic staff members made the evening sparkle, there was a lovely dinner. Even though much of the pattern was the same as in previous years, each gala has a unique story to share or a unique focus. For last night’s event, several unique features come to mind.
First of all, the key video presentation focused on recent alum Heather Quirk (SON, 2012) and her remarkable story as a young widow, nursing student, parent, and marathon runner. She represents a uniquely remarkable young woman, who like many of our students and alums have sacrificed and risen above many hurdles to move into their life’s work. As notable as Heather’s story was her eloquence and graciousness when she thanked those present for their generosity in behalf of all the students who need financial support.
Second, President Bellack and Board Chair George Thibault praised the start-up of two new academic programs, the MS in Health Professions Education and the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences, both which have launched in the past few months. In addition, three of our new faculty researchers were present and were honored. Drs. Lisa Wood, Tiffany Hogan, and Jordan Green will be part of the Institute’s next chapter of successful contribution to health care transformation.
And then Trustee Ari Buchler announced the opportunity to participate in an auction to raise money to support students. Long time friend of the Institute, Sumner Brown had challenged those present to increase their donations by indicating he would add to his already generous gift if over $50000 was raised. The effect was impressive. In a few minutes, over $90000 was raised to support students at the Institute. This amount almost tripled the activity of previous years. Amazing.
As the Institute celebrates its 35th Birthday, it is fantastic that the wonderful event held last night could honor our work, support our students, look forward to new programs and people, and generate significant financial support for our important mission. I am grateful to be part of such a remarkable institution.