On Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, The Fund for American Studies’ board members, staff, supporters, students, friends and alumni gathered at TFAS Headquarters in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the 50th anniversary of TFAS. The birthday party was only the beginning of a year of celebrations in the city, across the nation and around the world. Alumni chapter celebrations and TFAS-led lectures, dinners and parties will culminate in the black-tie 50th Anniversary Gala, held Sept. 28 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.
At the kick-off birthday party on Feb. 6, almost 150 alumni and supporters packed into the Headquarters for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a chance to see friends old and new. The chairman of the Board of Trustees, Randal Teague, made the first comments of the evening, welcoming everyone and speaking briefly about the history of TFAS. He named each of the founders – Charles Edison, William F. Buckley, Walter Judd, Marvin Liebman and David R. Jones – and talked of their foresight in establishing the organization in 1967.
“This is what we have now,” he said, gesturing to the crowd “… a tremendously successful effort to teach political and economic freedom to the rising generations.” He noted how TFAS has expanded over the years, from one summer institute to multiple institutes and semesters in Washington, D.C., plus institutes in Europe, South America and Asia, and an alumni network of thousands stretching across the globe. He proposed a toast to all those who put their hard work into the first 50 years.
TFAS president Roger Ream then took the microphone. He offered his own thanks, with special thanks to the Board of Trustees and Board of Regents members, who had given their time attending meetings earlier in the day and had stayed for the party. He then made brief comments on the three main goals for TFAS for the future: spreading the message of freedom, engaging and mobilizing alumni more effectively and continuing to develop leaders for free societies.
To round out the event, the 2017 Spring Semester Programs students led the crowd in singing the birthday song as a chocolate cake decorated with a fondant medallion of the new 50th anniversary logo rolled into view, which Roger and Randal cut together. Guests remained past the official end to continue their conversations and wish a happy anniversary to the TFAS leaders.
As the guests began to trickle out, many stopped to sign a black graffiti wall with silver and gold pens, wishing TFAS a happy birthday and writing what the organization means to them. Guests also entered their names into a drawing for two complimentary tickets to the 50th Anniversary Gala to be held on Sept. 28, 2017 at the National Building Museum.
The following week, on a video on social media, President Roger Ream and Jane Mack, director of special events, drew a winner out of the pot – Marie Mimiaga of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Congratulations, Marie!
The board members, staff and supporters of The Fund for American Studies cordially invite all who wish to join, to attend the black-tie 50th Anniversary Gala on Sept. 28 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. and celebrate 50 years of teaching freedom. Further information can be found on our 50th Anniversary Gala event page. Sponsorship opportunities will be announced in late March.