Giving at the NAE

Private support enhances our capacity to be a public voice for engineering.

  • Radka Z. Nebesky
    Director of Development
    National Academy of Engineering
    2101 Constitution Ave., NW Washington, DC 20418
Photos from Previous Events
  • Vest Celebration Dinner
  • Golden Bridge 2013 Dinner

Noteworthy News

Highlights from the 2017 Golden Bridge Society Dinner

October 2017 - NAE President C.D. Mote, Jr. and his wife Patsy hosted an intimate dinner to celebrate the NAE’s most generous members and friends at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA). The NMWA is the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts. It was a fitting location for the dinner since the NAE is pursuing programs like EngineerGirl, the Grand Challenges Scholars Program, and others with the goal of preparing and enabling underrepresented groups to pursue careers in S.T.E.M. related fields and tackle Grand Challenge like issues.

This year Jim (’07) and Marci Truchard were welcomed as new Einstein Society members and presented with their statuette as a token of the NAE’s gratitude for their generous support. In addition, 4 new couples and members were welcomed into the Golden Bridge Society, including, Rob (’14) and Lenore Briskman, Diana and Michael (’03) King, Julia Phillips (’04) and her husband John Connor, and Buddy Ratner (’02) and his wife Cheryl Cromer. We were also joined by 9 members of our Loyalty Society, including, Tina Bueche, Virginia Bugliarello, Bob Loewy (‘71), Venky (’92) and Jaya Narayanamurti, Maxine Savitz (’92), Stan (’91) and Evelyn Settles, and Mavis White. The Loyalty Society recognizes those members and friends of the Academy that have given consistently for 20 years. 

The night closed with Dr. Mote highlighting the tremendous success of the third Global Grand Challenges Summit held in Washington, DC, and how important philanthropy will be to the future success of the NAE in addressing Global Challenge issues. Thank you to all of our members for your generous support, and thank you especially to those who are members of our giving societies. 

2015 Dinner Honors Most Generous Donors

October 2015 - NAE President C.D. Mote, Jr. and his wife Patsy hosted an intimate dinner to celebrate the NAE’s most generous members and friends at the Organization of American States (OAS), a historic building just a few blocks away from the NAS building. This building serves as the headquarters of one of the world’s oldest regional organization, an association of nations formed by 35 countries from North, South and Central America, and the Caribbean. The history and the significance of the OAS is what inspired our South American themed dinner. The Elegant Hall of the America’s where dinner was held, is also where heads of state, including Pope John Paul II, have addressed the OAS and where the historic Panama Canal treaties were signed in 1977. To compliment this year’s theme, we also recruited two dancers who performed the Argentine Tango.

This year seven new members were welcomed into the Golden Bridge Society including, Alton (’03) and Julie Romig who were present at the dinner. Other new GBS members not in attendance include, Harry (’90) and Rosemary Conger, Evelyn Hu (’02) and David Clarke (’99), James Mikulski (’97), Ronald Schmidt (’94), and Elias Zerhouni (’13). Michael (’03) and Diana King were bestowed with the Heritage Society Medal.In addition, three new Einstein Society statuettes were presented as a token of NAE’s gratitude to Gordon England (’12), Robert (’89) and Marilyn Forney, and Ming (’15) and Eva Hsieh. Unfortunately, Bob and Marilyn Forney could not attend the dinner, so their granddaughter Anne Forney and her husband David Colman accepted the Einstein on their behalf.

The night ended with Dr. Mote announcing “The Ming and Eva Hsieh Challenge.” Newly inducted member Ming and his wife Eva have agreed to fund a quarter of a million dollar “giving challenge” to inspire and encourage others to increase their support of the NAE in 2015. The Hsieh’s own gift will provide resources to programs aligned with the new NAE Strategic Plan. Gifts or pledges from donors must be received by December 31, 2015 to be eligible for a match.


Results - The Ursula Burns Challenge

In 2014, Ursula Burns (’13), Chairwoman and CEO of Xerox, challenged members of the classes of 2012, 2013, and 2014 to collectively give $100,000 to enable a stronger, more proactive NAE. We are excited to announce that over $300,000 was raised for this Challenge and the giving participation rate from the three eligible classes was 37%. Many thanks to Ursula and the members who joined in this initiative.

Celebrating 50+ Years

January 2015 - To celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2014, we developed five goals based on the theme “50 for the 50th.” Thanks to your support, NAE is on its way to thrive for another 50+ years!

Increase in Society Memberships and Leadership Gifts - chart

Percent Participation by NAE Section

2014 Annual Meeting Highlights

September 2014 - NAE President C. D. Mote, Jr. and his wife Patsy hosted some of NAE’s most generous members and friends at the 2014 Golden Bridge Society Dinner, held at the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum. The museum is one of Washington’s oldest public buildings; third to be constructed after the White House and Capitol building, and former home of the US Patent Office. This historic landmark is considered to be a fine example of Greek revival architecture. The Great Hall, where dinner was held, was used by President Lincoln and his wife as the reception area to greet guest who attended the president’s second inaugural ball. Wayne Clough, NAE member and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and Kim Sajet, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, provided our guests with brief remarks during the event.

The Sunday evening dinner has become an annual tradition to recognize and honor NAE’s best donors. An extraordinary number of donors were welcomed into the Academy’s three lifetime recognition societies – Einstein, Golden Bridge and Heritage. An unprecedented eight Einstein statuettes were presented. Three new members were welcomed into the Heritage Society and bestowed with the Heritage Society Medal, and 16 new Golden Bridge Society members were honored.

New Einstein Society members recognized at this year’s dinner included Lewis (‘74) and Connie Branscomb, Asad (‘11) and Taj Madni, and their son Jamal, Roger McCarthy (‘04), Phil (‘12) and Ellen Neches, Bob (‘97) and Lee Sproull, Arnie (’97) and Connie Stancell, John and Chris Wall (’10), and Adrian (’07) and Sandy Zaccaria.

Diran (’09) and Seta Apelian, Dan (’76) and Fran Berg, Murty Bhavaraju (’13), Uma Chowdhry (’96), Jim Ellis (’13) and Elisabeth Pate-Cornell (’95), Gordon England (’12), Edith Flanigen (’91), Sig (’88) and Nina Hecker, Richard (’03) and Marty Meserve, Cherry Murray (’02), and Jim Tien (’01) were welcomed into the Golden Bridge Society.  Dan (’76) and Fran Berg, Rob (’14) and Lenore Briskman, and John Wall (’10) were among the three honored with Heritage Society Medals.

$500,000 Gift to Vest Fund from Peter O'Donnell, Jr.

Peter O'Donnell image

April 2014 - The NAE is pleased to announce that Peter O'Donnell, Jr., a long-time supporter of engineering, science, and math education, generously gave $500,000 to the Charles M. Vest President's Opportunity Fund.

"Chuck was an extraordinary academic and engineer, impressive president of MIT, very able president of the National Academy of Engineering, and a man of excellent character -- he is very much missed," Mr. O'Donnell said.

"With this gift, I wanted to honor his important contributions to math, science, engineering education, and policy."

Grainger Foundation Commits $3M to FOE

March 2014 - The National Academy of Engineering greatly appreciates the Grainger Foundation's generous $3 million commitment to NAE's Frontiers of Engineering (FOE).

We are pleased to continue our support for the Frontiers of Engineering symposia, which have a proven track record for establishing critical connections between outstanding young engineers around the world,” said David Grainger, president and director of The Grainger Foundation.

Thanks to the generous support of The Grainger Foundation, Frontiers of Engineering symposium participants have the opportunity to join together and take on innovative ideas in the pursuit of ground-breaking research,” said C.D. “Dan” Mote Jr., president of the National Academy of Engineering.

Peter Farrell Challenge for Classes of 2012 and 2013

January 2014 - Last year, Peter Farrell (’12), a new member from Section 2 sponsored a $100,000 challenge to match gifts made by members of the classes of 2012 and 2013. 38% of our newest members responded to the Peter Farrell Challenge and blew past our $100,000 goal raising over $544,000 and inspiring a couple of $100,000 gifts.

"Thanks to Peter’s great generosity, the newest NAE members were encouraged to support NAE’s mission and moved to help meet our 50th Anniversary goal of 50% giving participation."

$1.5 Million to New NAE K-12 Engineering Education

November 2013 - Chevron U.S.A. Inc. contributed $1.5 million to a new National Academy of Engineering initiative that will provide expert, research-based guidance to those involved in overseeing engineering education in kindergarten through grade 12. The initiative will create a clearinghouse of curriculum materials and resources and connect engineering education experts with teachers, administrators, and others involved in providing engineering experiences to K-12 students.

"We're excited to support this project because Chevron believes that a solid grounding in the engineering design process is essential for creating a highly skilled work force and inspiring the nation's future innovators and problem- solvers," Blair Blackwell, manager, education and corporate programs, Chevron.

"Thanks to Chevron's generous gift, the NAE will provide solid, evidence-based support for teachers to help them improve the way that they teach engineering to elementary, middle, and high school students," said C.D. "Dan" Mote Jr., president of the National Academy of Engineering.

2013 Annual Meeting Recap

October 2013 - Golden Bridge Society Dinner - In honor of 60 of NAE’s most generous members and friends, NAE President Dan Mote and his wife, Patsy, hosted the Golden Bridge Society Dinner on Sunday, October 6th, at the Carnegie Institution for Science. Special guest Richard Meserve, President of the Carnegie Institution for Science and NAE Council Member, provided a brief history of the Carnegie Institution and spoke about founder and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. He noted that the Carnegie Institution and NAE both strive to achieve similar goals of furthering science and engineering education and innovation in the United States. 

Eight new Golden Bridge members were in attendance: Wm. Howard Arnold, Robert and Pauline Koerner, Ken and Marty Reifsnider, Martin Sherwin, Robert Wagoner, and Isabelle Katzer. Einstein statuettes were presented to new Einstein Society members: Ken Xie, Robert and Mavis White, and Dan and Patsy Mote. A Heritage Society medal was presented to Tina Bueche for making a provision in her will to donate property to NAE. Her gift will ensure that the Arthur Bueche Award, named for her late father and NAE member Arthur, will continue to be awarded to future members who show dedication to science and technology.

Dr. Mote expressed his gratitude to the honorees and donors in attendance. He stressed the importance of giving, particularly within the next year, so that NAE can reach and surpass its 50th anniversary fundraising goals.

October 2013 - Financial and Estate Planning Brunch - The 2013 brunch was well received by over 40 NAE members and guests. This annual event gives members a chance to learn about tax-wise financial strategies and to hear how to incorporate philanthropy into their long term plans. Cindy Sterling, an independent financial expert, described how people can incorporate philanthropy and giving into their retirement and estate plans while maximizing tax benefits. She highlighted charitable remainder unitrusts and charitable IRA rollovers among other ways of giving. She also touched on the estate tax and the ways it can impact your finances. 

As each person’s financial situation is unique, Cindy stressed the importance of taking these ideas to your CPA or financial adviser to review the details that would be most beneficial. Many interesting questions led to an active and lively discussion. For more information or for materials from the event, please contact Jamie Killorin, Director of Planned Giving, at 202.334.3833.

Celebrating Dr. Charles Vest

May 2013 - Dr. Charles M. Vest, president emeritus of NAE, and his wife, Rebecca Vest, were celebrated by one hundred close friends, family members, and colleagues at a dinner this month. Toasts offered by guests throughout the evening highlighted the immense contributions the Vests have made to the engineering profession during their time spent at West Virginia University, University of Michigan, MIT, and NAE. 

Norman Augustine, Henry Yang, and James Duderstadt, and many others hailed Dr. Vest as a visionary leader who was never afraid to do what was hard to accomplish what was right. They offered as examples the decision to develop OpenCourseWare at MIT when he was president and his refusal to accept the Justice Department’s directive not to cooperate with other universities in determining need-based financial aid for undergraduates. Priscilla Gray, who preceded Mrs. Vest as first lady of MIT, spoke about how Mrs. Vest came to MIT and quickly became a leading figure in the MIT community, making others feel welcome.

To honor Dr. Vest’s leadership and service to NAE, friends and colleagues set up the Charles M. Vest President’s Opportunity Fund. Beginning in 2014, the fund will provide the NAE with necessary resources to initiate new programs and bolster existing ones. NAE vice president Maxine Savitz thanked and recognized donors who have made significant contributions including Ray Stata, Richard and Virginia Simmons, Charles and Ann Holliday, Paul and Margaret Citron, Arnold and Constance Stancell, and many others who were in attendance.

W.M. Keck Foundation Gift to Name and Endow the Founders Award

May 2013 - The National Academy of Engineering has received a $500,000 gift from the W.M. Keck Foundation to endow and name NAE's Founders Award after Simon Ramo, the only surviving founding member of the NAE. Ramo turned 100 on May 7, 2013.

Ramo was a member of a committee of 25 that in 1964 advocated for establishing the National Academy of Engineering, which operates under the congressional charter that established the National Academy of Sciences. The Founders Award was established the following year to honor an outstanding member or foreign member who has upheld the ideals and principles of the NAE through professional, educational, and personal accomplishment. The award is presented at NAE's annual meeting each October.

"The Keck Foundation is pleased to make this gift in honor of Si Ramo," said Robert Day, chairman and CEO of the W.M. Keck Foundation. "The naming of this award for Si is a fitting way to express our appreciation for his championing of cutting-edge scientific and medical research and for his service as a valuable adviser to our grantmaking."

 "It is most gratifying to name this prestigious award after Si Ramo, who was so instrumental in the creation of the NAE almost 50 years ago," said Charles Vest, president of the National Academy of Engineering. "The NAE is very grateful to the W.M. Keck Foundation for helping us honor this great man by endowing this award."


2012 Madni Challenges

March 2013 - NAE held two matching gift challenges in 2012, both sponsored by Dr. Asad M. Madni ('11), his wife Taj, and their son Jamal to encourage giving from recently elected members, and from members of Dr. Madni’s own Section 7.

At the official announcement in early 2012, Dr. Madni shared his deep commitment to the work of the NAE, and emphasized the need for unrestricted giving in order to allow the NAE to anticipate and address new challenges and ensure continued U.S. technical and global leadership worldwide.

Asad Madni and Charles Vest
Charles Vest and Asad Madni

"These challenges are intended to encourage contributions to the NAE Independent Fund in order to assure the independence of our voice on national policy and to initiate projects that are vital to our nation’s future.” -Dr. Asad Madni

Madni Family and NAE President Chuck Vest
Jamal Madni, Taj Madni, Charles Vest, and Asad Madni

Results: The Asad, Taj, and Jamal Madni Challenge for Newer Members, which matched any gift from a member of the classes of 2009, 2010, 2011, or 2012, exceeded its $50,000 goal to raise $148,568.

The Asad, Taj, and Jamal Madni Section 7 Challenge, which matched any increase in a Section 7 member’s 2012 giving over that of the preceding year, was even more successful, raising $203,000. It also helped enable a 3% jump in giving participation in Section 7, to 25%, from the previous year.

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