Crown Family Commits $10 Million to the Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellowship Program

July 3, 2013

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jeff Harris
Public Affairs Manager
The Aspen Institute

Crown Family Commits $10 Million to the Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellowship Program

Washington, DC, July 3, 2013 – Chicago philanthropist and Aspen Institute Lifetime Trustee Lester Crown has announced, with his wife Renée Crown, a $10 million gift from the Crown family for the Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellowship Program. One of the largest individual gifts in the Institute’s history, the gift will augment the endowment established to support this prestigious leadership initiative. The Henry Crown Fellowship Program was launched in 1997 and has inspired a dozen leadership initiatives drawing Fellows from nearly 50 countries around the world. This gift is further affirmation of the Crown family’s commitment to and confidence in the Fellowship, perpetuating the principles and values that Henry Crown, the legendary industrialist whose memory the program honors, felt were so critically important to realizing the Good Society.

Lester Crown commented on the gift, saying “Over the last 16 years the [Henry Crown Fellowship] program has grown in unimagined ways and with the graduation of every new class we are reminded that more resources are needed to support this wonderful program. The Fellowship will always need just a bit more in order to continue to provide quality seminars and alumni and regional gatherings. We hope that this gift will inspire others to support a program that is not only making a big impact, but in every way making a world of difference.”

Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson added, “Over the years we have benefited in countless ways from Lester’s wise counsel, thoughtful leadership, and quiet generosity. He and Renée lead by example – in their philanthropy, in their tireless advocacy for the causes and organizations they support, and in their deep commitment to family. It is impossible to overstate what this gift will mean for the Henry Crown Fellowship Program, and for the Aspen Institute.”

The purpose of the Henry Crown Fellowship Program is to develop the next generation of community-spirited leaders. Using the time-tested Aspen Institute method of text-based dialogue, the program aims to provide the tools and perspectives necessary for effective, enlightened leadership. These dialogues stress, by example, the standards of ethical business leadership and civic responsibility that defined the life of Henry Crown. The ranks of Henry Crown Fellows, now 337 strong, include Pauline Brown, chairman of North America, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Inc.; Troy Carter, CEO and founder, Atom Factory; César Conde, president, Univision Networks; Reed Hastings, founder and CEO, Netflix, Inc.; Reid Hoffman, founder and executive chairman, LinkedIn; Mark Hoplamazian, president and CEO, Hyatt Hotels Corporation; Deval Patrick, governor, State of Massachusetts; and Andrea Wong, president, International Production, Sony Pictures Television and President, International, Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The Crown family’s gift has also significantly advanced the Scholars & Scholarships Campaign, a major fundraising effort underway at the Aspen Institute, which aims to discover, inspire, and nurture promising leaders and innovators who are working to secure our global future. This Campaign – the largest the Institute has ever undertaken – has raised $45 million toward a goal of $75 million. More information is available at

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit


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