Crown Family Donates $10 Million to Institute’s Fellowship Program

Chicago philanthropist, Lester Crown, and his wife, Renee, announced a $10 million gift from the Crown family for the Aspen Institute’s Henry Crown Fellowship Program. It’s one of the largest individual gifts in the Institute’s history, and it will augment the endowment established to support the 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.

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.”

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 Crowns own the Aspen Skiing Co.