I have long admired the Aspen Institute for its deep-rooted history as a thought-provoking organization dedicated to improving the world. The organization and its scholars foster open-minded dialogue and as such, I wanted to help create a meeting place for discussion on challenges facing our nation and the world.
That is why The Bren and Melvin Simon Foundation is sponsoring the development of a new pavilion and terrace located at the Institute’s location in Aspen, Colorado.
“Bren Simon has been a longtime friend of the Aspen Institute who understands the importance of setting aside a safe space to examine and exchange ideas,” said Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson. “Our campus is such a space, where thousands of people gather annually – from different communities, beliefs, backgrounds, faith, and ideologies – to join in a timeless conversation about the role that we all have in creating a good and just society.”
The Bren and Melvin Simon Foundation is honoring the new pavilion to former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. She embodies all in which we hope to instill upon those who pass through the Aspen Institute’s doors. Her drive, forward thinking, and patriotism has bettered this nation, just as we hope those attending conferences at the Institute will do for years to come.
“In naming our new pavilion in honor of her good friend Aspen Institute Trustee Madeleine Albright, the Bren and Melvin Simon Foundation is not only helping us expand our footprint on the campus, it also helps perpetuate a critically important legacy of leadership,” continued Isaacson. “Bren Simon’s decision to name the building after someone like Madeleine Albright, who has given her entire life as an educator and public servant, is not only a celebration of this remarkable individual, but an example to us all of civic philanthropy.”
The pavilion and terrace are scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2018. Jeffery Berkus Architects will incorporate a modern design aesthetic while preserving the building’s key elements originally designed in 1955 by the renowned Herbert Bayer and Fritz Benedict. They will overlook Aspen’s mesmerizing scenery, with careful attention not to obstruct the stunning mountain views of Castle and Maroon Valleys.
I hope that the thought leaders who come to the new pavilion will be inspired to find solutions to national and international issues and help turn words into action.