2009 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy Awarded to Michael R. Bloomberg, The Koç Family, Gordon & Betty Moore and Sanford & Joan Weill
New York, New York, October 7, 2009— The 2009 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy will be awarded to four individuals and families who have dedicated their private wealth to the public good. The 2009 recipients are: Michael R. Bloomberg, the Koç family, Gordon & Betty Moore and Sanford & Joan Weill. The awards are presented on behalf of the more than 20 organizations established thanks to Andrew Carnegie’s munificence.
The Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy was established in 2001 to mark the centennial of Andrew Carnegie’s philanthropy. Medalists are nominated by all the Carnegie organizations throughout the United States and Europe, and selected by a committee comprised of representatives of seven of those institutions.
The Medal is awarded every two years to recognize individuals and families with exceptional and sustained records of philanthropic giving. This year’s medalists have helped establish and support nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and abroad that span the fields of medicine, education, culture, and science. The awardees’ philanthropic records embody Andrew Carnegie’s ideals that with wealth comes responsibility, and private wealth should serve the public good.
“The 2009 Medalists represent a diverse cross-section of philanthropic commitments and geographic locations. Yet, they have a common philosophy of giving,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York and chair of the Medal selection committee. “By celebrating the philanthropic work of these individuals and families, we, the members of the Carnegie family of institutions, seek to highlight the importance of philanthropy in our modern societies. The Medal also gives us an
opportunity to celebrate Andrew Carnegie’s philanthropy and the many contributions of the organizations he founded.”
Andrew Carnegie's philanthropic career began in the 1870s. In "The Gospel of Wealth," which he published in 1889, he outlined his philosophy of giving, which asserted that the rich are "trustees" of their wealth and are under a moral obligation to reinvest it in society in ways that promote the welfare and happiness of the “common man.” Andrew Carnegie believed that one who dies rich dies disgraced, because one did not have the imagination or the foresight to dispose of one’s wealth for the good of society. By the time of his death in 1919, Carnegie had been true to his convictions: he had disposed of his wealth wisely. He invested a minimum of $350 million dollars—nearly all of his fortune—to advance education, science, culture and international peace. More than a century later, more than 20 organizations carry Andrew Carnegie’s name and continue his mission.
The selection committee is chaired by Vartan Gregorian. William Thomson, great grandson of Andrew Carnegie and Honorary Chair of the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, serves as Honorary Chair of the Medal Selection Committee. The committee’s members are: Andrew Miller, Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland; Richard Meserve, Carnegie Institution for Science; Nora Rundell, Carnegie Dunfermline Trust; David Hillenbrand, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh; and, Jessica Mathews, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Leaders from the 22 Carnegie organizations have spent considerable effort to identify and nominate global philanthropic leaders. The Koç family is the seventh international awardee in the medal’s history. Past international medalists include: the Cadbury family, Sir Tom Farmer, His Highness the Aga Khan, Dr. Kazuo Inamori, the Sainsbury family and the Tata Family. (A full list of past Awardees is at bottom.)
The Medals will be conferred Thursday, October 15 at the Celeste Bartos Forum of the The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Bill Moyers, noted author, journalist, and host of Bill Moyers Journal will serve as Master of Ceremonies. The awards ceremony will be the centerpiece of a day-long celebration including a roundtable discussion entitled “Foundations of Modern Philanthropy: Private Wealth to Public Good, 1889-2009” featuring David Nasaw, author of Andrew Carnegie; Patricia Stonesifer, Special Advisor to the Trustees, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Jean Strouse, Author of Morgan, American Financier; and Peter J. Johnson, Co-Author of The Rockefeller Century and Associate, Rockefeller Family & Associates.
Some highlights of this year’s Medalists include:
Michael R. Bloomberg
The Chronicle of Philanthropy listed New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg as the leading individual living donor in the US in 2008. His $235 million in giving that year is consistent with a pattern over the past decade of steadily increasing donations.
Mr. Bloomberg, New York City’s 108th mayor, has served and contributed to a plethora of organizations promoting public health, medical research, education, arts and culture, and social services. He has been a major donor to Johns Hopkins University, where he served as Chair of the university’s board. Johns Hopkins’s School of Public Health, one of the world’s leading institutions dedicated to the improvement of health and prevention of disease and disability around the world, is named after Mr. Bloomberg.
He is known for funding both tried and true institutions as well as taking risks on less proven programs and smaller organizations. He has brought resources and attention to causes that have long been ignored – focusing on issues that are both specific and solvable, like his groundbreaking programs to reduce tobacco use, improve global road safety, and remove illegal guns from the streets of our cities. Across all of his giving, there is a strong and consistent focus on innovation and a rigorous assessment of data.
Mr. Bloomberg has been an active donor for all of his professional life, having learned philanthropy from his father and mother; his father wrote checks to the NAACP from his modest bookkeeper’s salary.
The Koç Family
The Koç family’s extraordinary legacy in Turkey began more than 80 years ago with the work of patriarch Vehbi Koç, an entrepreneur and humanitarian. The Koç family has contributed to the growth of Turkey through its tremendous sense of obligation to the country, its people and its cultural heritage. The family’s strong sense of duty is reflected in a philosophy that individuals have a responsibility to contribute to the well-being of society. Much of the Koç family’s philanthropy is carried out through the Vehbi Koç Foundation, the first private foundation in Turkey and now one of Europe’s largest.
The family’s philanthropy has sought to improve the quality of Turkey’s healthcare system, to advance the country’s education system and to promote the cultural resources of Turkey. The family also carried out numerous environmental projects through its companies and also by supporting several non-governmental organizations.
The family’s philanthropic giving includes the establishment in 1993 of Koç University, a private, nonprofit institution, located in Istanbul “to serve humanity” by advancing the frontiers of knowledge and by producing the most capable graduates through providing a world-class education.
In addition to the Foundation’s investments, multiple philanthropic initiatives are carried out by the Koç Group of companies. In 2007, the Koç family’s outstanding cultural activities were recognized by the World Monuments Fund through the Hadrian Award.
Rahmi M. Koç will accept the Carnegie Medal on behalf of the family. He is active in a number of philanthropic, social and professional organizations. Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Vehbi Koç Foundation, Member of the International Advisory Board of the Council on Foreign Relations, Honorary Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association, Honorary Trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art are some of his present titles.
Betty and Gordon Moore
In 2000, with a gift worth about $5 billion, Betty and Gordon Moore, founder of Intel and Chairman Emeritus of the Caltech Board of Trustees, established the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, with a programmatic focus on three areas: environmental conservation, science, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Betty and Gordon Moore’s philanthropy has an evidence-based focus; the Moores give to institutions and causes they believe can produce "significant and measurable" results.
In that spirit, in 2001, the Moores and their Foundation together awarded $600 million to Caltech, one of the largest gifts ever to an institution of higher education. They said that the gift was to be used to keep Caltech at the forefront of research and technology. This was followed by other major gifts to Caltech and the University of California, which will help the institutions to build the world's largest optical telescope with a mirror 30 meters across, nearly three times the size of the current record holder.
Passionate about improving the quality of health care, it was Betty Moore’s vision and leadership that led the Foundation to approve the 10-year Betty Irene Moore Nursing Initiative in 2003, intended to improve patient safety and outcomes through nurse-led initiatives in acute care hospitals within the five San Francisco Bay Area counties. Recently, the Nursing Initiative was expanded to four counties in Greater Sacramento.
Joan and Sanford I. Weill
Joan and Sanford I. Weill‘s philanthropy spans more than a half century. During this period, the Weills’ philanthropic giving has totaled more than $800 million, according to BusinessWeek. Major beneficiaries have included New York's Carnegie Hall and Cornell’s Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences, as well as Cornell University’s Weill Bugando Medical Center in Tanzania.
A long-time proponent of the importance of education, the Weills instituted a joint public-private sector partnership with the New York City Board of Education in 1980 that established the Academy of Finance. This school is designed to prepare high school students for careers in financial services, hospitality and tourism, information technology and engineering. Mr. Weill serves as Founder and Chairman of the National Academy Foundation (NAF), which oversees more than 500 career-themed Academies in 40 states, as well as the District of Columbia. In addition to NAF, Mr. Weill gives of his time as chairman of Carnegie Hall and Weill Cornell Medical College. Mrs. Weill is chair of Alvin Ailey American Dance Foundation, where she has been a key organizer of the effort to raise funds and construct in New York City an expanded dance facility, and Paul Smith’s College of the Adirondacks, through which she directed the establishment of a regional digital research library and is involved in the building of the Student Center. Together, Mr. and Mrs. Weill are co-chairs of the White Nights Foundation of America, which is committed to strengthening relationships between Russia and the United States.
Among the many beneficiaries of the Weills’ service and munificence are: Sidra, a 380-bed special teaching hospital to be completed in 2011 in Qatar; New York Presbyterian Hospital; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; The New York Weill Cornell Medical Center’s Women’s Health Symposium, which Mrs. Weill co-chairs; Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan; and Citymeals-On-Wheels.
In addition to their own generous donations, the Weills have helped to leverage many millions of dollars from individuals and corporations for the culture, health, and education causes they hold dear. In celebration of Mr. Weill’s 70th birthday, to give one example of this, the couple raised a record $60 million through their $30 million matching gift for the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, which promotes music education in classrooms around the world.