Tiger Management LLC’s Julian Robertson and William Donaldson, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, dined together yesterday at the New York Public Library’s Celeste Bartos Forum.
Also attending the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy Awards Luncheon were Citigroup Inc. Chairman Richard Parsons (who sat with beauty executives and sisters Aerin and Jane Lauder); the president of Yale University, Richard Levin; Walter Isaacson, who has written a biography of Steve Jobs; and Andrew Carnegie’s great grandson, William Thomson, the honorary chairman of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy Selection Committee.
The awards honor the example of philanthropy set by Andrew Carnegie, who was born in Scotland and made his fortune in the U.S. in railroads and steel. Twenty-three institutions established by Carnegie nominate candidates for the award, which has been given every two years since 2001.
A bagpiper led the procession of the 2011 recipients.
Fiona Druckenmiller accepted the award on behalf of herself and her husband, Stanley, who didn’t attend. Their friend Ken Langone, co-founder of Home Depot, said they are an example not just of time, talent and treasure but of having passion and feeling for the causes they support: Stanley for the Harlem Children’s Zone, and Fiona for the New York University Langone Medical Center Neuroscience Institute.
Pierre Omidyar, chairman of EBay Inc. and co-founder of the Omidyar Network, thanked his financial adviser, Michael Mohr, and said he and his wife, Pamela, “learn new lessons every day about what to do and what not to do” as philanthropists.
Accepting his award, Hong Kong industrialist Li Ka-shing, chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. and father of two, said pursuing philanthropy is “like having a third son.”
Crowns, Danforths, Pews
The other award recipients were the Crown family of Chicago; the Danforth family of St. Louis, Missouri, whose William H. Danforth built Ralston Purina Co.; Fred Kavli, whose Kavlico Corp. makes aeronautic and automotive sensors; the Pew family, arcing back to Joseph Newton Pew, creator of Sun Oil, and his children, who established the Pew Charitable Trusts; Leonard and Evelyn Lauder; Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder; and the Pritzker family of Chicago.
The medalists were served Saint Andrew’s Absinthe and Champagne Punch. The punch takes the name of the term Mark Twain used to address Andrew Carnegie in a 1906 letter thanking him for a gift of whiskey.
Other Scottish touches: purple tartan ribbons wrapped around the napkins and bouquets of heather on the tables.
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)