April Monthly Membership Luncheon

Thu 4
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Date(s) - 04/04/2019
11:30 am - 1:30 pm


Princeton Marriott Hotel & Conference Center 


Speaker:  Scott McVay, Author Past Founding Executive Director; Robert Sterling Clark Foundation Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

Topic:  A Surprise Encounter Can Change Your Life

Join author, Scott McVay, as he shares stories from his book, Surprise Encounters with Artists and Scientists, Whales and Other Living Things.  What are We but our Stories?  Life Lessons — and laughter –are found therein.

“From his eye-opening encounters with bottlenose dolphins, to his founding of the acclaimed Dodge Poetry Festival, to his broad and deep philanthropic influence, McVay’s stories stir the imagination and challenge us to explore possibilities with relentless curiosity, passion, and a profound commitment to stewardship of our remarkable world.  Surprise Encounters conveys Scott’s excitement for life tha ranges from finding delight in the smallest details to envisoning and executing far-ranging change for good.”   –  Elizabeth Good Christopherson, President & CEO, The Rita Allen Foundation

Scott McVay was the founding executive director of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

Among his grant-making initiatives was creating a program of Chinese language instruction in high schools across America which grew to 2,000 schools nationwide and stimulating a passion for poetry through biennial Dodge Poetry Festivals, 27 hours of which were on PBS, reaching 60 million people. Governor Tom Kean asked McVay to put together The Partnership for New Jersey, comprised of the top CEOs here, to make New Jersey a better place to live and work.  He did, and it thrived – today its Leadership program flourishes.

McVay was 16th president of the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York State, which attracts 6,000 people daily during a 2,100-event summer season.

In 2010, Hella and Scott McVay created a Poetry Trail in Greenway Meadows in Princeton to celebrate the awe, wonder, surprise, and delight in the natural world.

A graduate of Princeton University in English literature, he served in the U.S. Army in Berlin, Germany (1956-58) as a special agent with the Counter Intelligence Corps on civilian status.

He published book chapters in Just Money: A Critique of Contemporary American Philanthropy (TPI Editions), The Biophilia Hypothesis (Island Press), 33 Steps to Biology(Scientific American), Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, and Animal Abuse (Purdue University Press).  In 2012, McVay published a book of 99 poems, Whales Sing and Other Exuberances, In 2015, he published Surprise Encounters with Artists and Scientists, Whales and Other Living Things.

McVay has served on the boards of the Smithsonian, World Wildlife Fund, W. Alton Jones Foundation, Knowles Science Teaching Foundation, Bat Conservation International, Grounds for Sculpture, among others.

McVay authored whale papers in Scientific American, Science (Songs of Humpback Whales with Payne), Bulletin of Atomic Sciences, American Scientist, Natural History, Mind in the Waters (Scribners).  The National Film Board of Canada made a documentary of his second expedition to study, record, and film the rare Bowhead whale in the Alaskan Arctic.


Ticket for a ‘Future Member’ is $75

Ticket for a ‘Member’ is $50

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