April 30, 2003 Library of Congress Honors Philanthropist John W. Kluge and Opens Scholars' Center

Contact: Helen Dalrymple, (202) 707-1940

May 6 Celebration Features Tony Bennett, Premiere of Sousa "Library of Congress" March; Distinguished Scholars, John W. Kluge To Speak on May 7

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, Congressional leaders, celebrities and scholars pay tribute to philanthropist John W. Kluge at a black-tie dinner on May 6.

On May 7, Kluge will open officially the John W. Kluge Center for Scholars at the Library.

These invitation-only events are open to credentialed press and include:

WHAT: Kluge Tribute

WHEN: Tuesday, May 6, 6 to 8 p.m.

WHERE: Great Hall, Main Reading Room

  • A special performance by singer Tony Bennett, the first event of its kind ever in the Library's majestic Main Reading Room;
  • The premiere of a "new" composition by John Philip Sousa, "The Library of Congress March." Reconstructed for this occasion by Stephen Bulla, a leading American composer and arranger of concert band music from manuscript sketches and orchestrations from the Library's Sousa Collection; the March will be performed by the Virginia Grand Military Band.
  • A reading by U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins;
  • The presentation of a biographical film about John W. Kluge, narrated by actor James Earl Jones

WHAT: Formal Opening of the John W. Kluge Center for Scholars

WHEN: Wednesday, May 7, 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

WHERE: Room LJ 119

Two panel discussions by Kluge Center scholars on the center's role in the intellectual life of the nation; scholars include:

  • John Hope Franklin (Distinguished Senior Visiting Scholar), pioneering historian of the African American experience
  • Judge John C. Noonan (Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance), senior judge, Ninth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals
  • Robert Remini (Distinguished Visiting Scholar of American History), currently at work on a history of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Klaus Larres (Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations), who is writing on U.S.-European relations at the Kluge Center
  • Romila Thapar (Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South), a leading scholar of Indian and South Asian history
  • Libby Larsen (Papamarkou Chair in Education), a prominent composer and advocate of reforms in music education
  • Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, who is concluding his second year at the Library of Congress as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry
  • Baruch Blumberg (member of the Kluge Center's Scholars Council), recipient of 1976 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine

Following a question and answer period with the panelists, Kluge will make remarks, after which he and the Librarian will cut the ribbon, officially opening the Kluge Center.

John W. Kluge, one of the nation's leading philanthropists and the Library of Congress' greatest single benefactor, helped the Library establish the National Digital Library, created a leadership development program and brought important historical collections and exhibitions to the nation's library. His support of the Kluge Center for Scholars has enabled the Library to create a permanent home for the world's best scholarship and foster a mutually enriching relationship between scholarly thinkers and political leaders. In November, the center will present the first John W. Kluge Prize in the Human Sciences, a $1 million award, to a scholar for lifetime achievement in history, philosophy, politics, anthropology, sociology, religion, criticism or linguistics. For additional information about the Kluge Center, visit its Web site: https://www.loc.gov/loc/kluge.

For more information, contact:

Jeff Weintraub (202) 828-8836 and/or Danny Maiello (202) 828-8899 at Fleishman-Hillard

Advance response required for media interested in covering, contact: Daniel Maiello, Vice President, Fleishman-Hillard, 1615 L Street, Suite 1000, NW, Washington, D.C. 20036; telephone (202) 828-8899; fax (202) 271-4347.


PR 03-082
ISSN 0731-3527