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28th Annual Summer Celebration

The Aspen Institute looks forward to hosting the 28th Annual Summer Celebration on Saturday, August 13 at the Aspen Meadows campus in Aspen, CO. This year, we are honored to present Pulitzer Prize winning authors and historians Professor Annette Gordon-Reed and Jon Meacham with the Public Service Award in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to the American historical narrative.  We look forward to welcoming them to the Greenwald Pavilion stage at 5pm MT for an engaging conversation with host of NPR’s “Weekend Edition Saturday”, Scott Simon. An elegant cocktail reception and dinner with the evening’s honorees will immediately follow the conversation in the Doerr-Hosier Center.

The Aspen Institute hosts Summer Celebration every August to mark the end of the summer season in Aspen, as well as to honor exemplars of values-based leadership. Funds raised by Summer Celebration help to ensure that the Aspen Institute may continue to accomplish its mission-driven work.

Please contact Dianna Shypailo, Senior Special Events Associate, with any questions about the conversation or dinner at or (202) 736-3503.

About the Honorees:

Annette Gordon-Reed is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard.

Gordon-Reed has won sixteen book prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2009 and the National Book Award in 2008, for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. In addition to articles and reviews, her other works include Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy, Vernon Can Read! A Memoir, a collaboration with Vernon Jordan, Race on Trial: Law and Justice in American History, a volume of essays that she edited, Andrew Johnson and, with Peter S. Onuf, “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination. Her most recent book is On Juneteenth. Gordon-Reed was the Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History at the University of Oxford in 2014-2015.

Between 2010 and 2015, she was the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.  She was the President of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic from 2018 to 2019. She is the current President of the Ames Foundation.  A selected list of her honors includes a fellowship from the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, a Guggenheim Fellowship in the humanities, a MacArthur Fellowship, the National Humanities Medal, the National Book Award, the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, the George Washington Book Prize, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.

Gordon-Reed served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College from 2010 to 2018.  She was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011 and was a member of the Academy’s Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2019, she was elected as a member of the American Philosophical Society.

Jon Meacham is a renowned presidential historian, contributing writer to The New York Times Book Review, contributing editor at TIME, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. His books include The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better AngelsDestiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker BushAmerican Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White HouseThomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship, and American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation.

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the Society of American Historians, Meacham is a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt University. He is a contributing writer to The New York Times Book Review, a contributing editor of TIME, and has written for The New York Times op-ed page, The Washington PostVanity Fair, and Garden & Gun. Meacham is also a regular guest on “Morning Joe” and other broadcasts.

A former executive editor at Random House, he published the letters of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and books by, among others, Al Gore, John Danforth, Clara Bingham, Mary Soames, and Charles Peters. After serving as Managing Editor of Newsweek for eight years, Meacham was the Editor of the magazine from 2006 to 2010. He is a former editor of The Washington Monthly and began his career at The Chattanooga Times.

Born in Chattanooga in 1969, Meacham was educated at St. Nicholas School, The McCallie School, and graduated from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, with a degree summa cum laude in English Literature; he was salutatorian and elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

A trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, The McCallie School, and The Harpeth Hall School, Meacham chairs the National Advisory Council of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University. He has served on the vestries of St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and of Trinity Church Wall Street as well as the Board of Regents of The University of the South. The Anti-Defamation League awarded Meacham its Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Prize. In 2013 the Historical Society of Pennsylvania presented him with its Founder’s Award; in 2016 he was honored with the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute’s Spirit of Democracy Award. Meacham also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University in 2005 and holds honorary doctorates from Middlebury College, Wake Forest University, the University of Tennessee, Dickinson College, Sewanee, and several other institutions.

He lives in Nashville with his wife and children.

About the Moderator:

Scott Simon is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writer and broadcaster. He is the host of NPR’s “Weekend Edition Saturday”, which The Washington Post has called “the most literate, witty, moving, and just plain interesting news show on any dial.” He is also a Special Contributor to CBS Sunday Morning. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador and Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His nonfiction books include Unforgettable: A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime; Home and Away: Memoirs of a Fan; Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball; and Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other, about the joys of adoption. He is also the author of several novels, including Pretty Birds, Sunnyside Plaza, and the upcoming Wins, Losses, Saves.







Please contact Dianna Shypailo, Senior Special Events Associate, with any questions at or (202) 736-3503.

Event information
Sat Aug 13, 2022
Aspen Meadows Resort
Aspen, CO