Fall 2014/Winter 2015 - Sharing the Vision

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Featured story: Nova Dives into Science

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  • I N TH IS I SSUE

    Investing in Nova

    Trusting Masterpiece

    Simone Stedry Winston Is New RLS Chair

    An Eventful Season

    Will Thorndike Welcomes New Overseers

    FOR FR I ENDS AND SUPPORTERS OF WGBH

    Nova Divesinto Science

    FALL 20 14/WINTER 20 15

  • the PresidentView from

    P romoting an understanding of science and inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers is part of WGBHs DNA. Back in 1974, the common wisdom was that science wasnt suitable for television, says Nova senior executive producer Paula Apsell. WGBH and PBS thought otherwise, and launched an ambitious experiment. Forty years later, Novain all its glorious facets: on air, online, radio, mobile (see sidebar, page 3)has irrefutably proved that Americans have not only an interest in, but an insatiable appetite for science. Nova tackles some of the most important stories in science and technology todayfrom marine biologists hunt for clues to one of the greatest environmental catastrophes facing our planet: ocean acidicationto an investigation into the most confounding engineering mysteries of the ancient world. Look for the premieres of Lethal Seas and Building Wonders in winter/spring 2015. In this issue, well introduce you to some of WGBHs generous and visionary friends who are making our work possible. Youll meet new WGBH supporters DuBose and Nancy Montgomery (page 3), who are big fans of Nova and its many educational digital components. And the late Sudi Cummings, whose passion for WGBH and Masterpiece lives on through a generous bequest in support of the Masterpiece Trust (page 7). And speaking of the Masterpiece Trust, Im thrilled to share the news that the Trust, which was created to ensure Masterpieces future, has hit a major milestone: nearly $12 million raised since its launch four years ago. Youll also hear from our new Ralph Lowell Society Chair and longtime supporter Simone Stedry Winston (page 4) and catch up with Zena Lum, a former RLS director whose commitment to WGBH continues through her RLS membership (pages 4 and 5). Were grateful to them, and to all of you for matching your passion with your philanthropyfor strengthening WGBHs ability to innovate public media, in the public interest, every day.

    J O N ATHAN C . A B B OT T P R E S I D E N T A N D C E O

    On the cover: Novas Lethal Seas will premiere in spring 2015

  • Silicon Valley Couple Invest in NovaDubose and nancy montgomery met and earned degrees in Boston he from MIT, where he studied electrical engineering, computer science, and management before going on to Harvard Business School; she from Wellesley College, where she majored in biology. The pair loved the educational climate, but they hated the winters. In 1974, they packed up their car and drove to San Francisco just as Silicon Valley was about to take off. Their timing couldnt have been better. At 27, DuBose co-founded one of the earliest and still most successful venture capital rms in the country. Menlo Ventures has helped launch biomedical and high-tech companies and products that have changed the world, from Gilead Sciences to Siri. Nancy was busy, too, earning an MBA from Stanford and serving as chief nancial ofcer of Applied Biosystems, which manufactured equipment biotech companies use to synthesize and sequence DNA and proteins. After their two daughters were born, she switched to consulting and, nally, full-time parenting. Fast forward to 2014: the children are grown and this dynamic couple is looking ahead. We are now at the stage where we are thinking about how to give back on a more global scale, says Nancy. Science and education have always been important to us. Its the generations that will come after us that have to lead, and they need to have a good understanding of our world and how it works. Enter Nova, WGBHs stellar science series and its many educational digital components. Weve watched and admired Nova for years, says DuBose, who with Nancy recently made a generous gift to Nova through their family foundation. We think it is the gold standard for science education in the US. Nova does a great job tackling the really difcult, complex issues in sciencefrom string theory to evolutionand making them understandable and entertaining. Novas leadership in fostering science literacy is important to the Montgomerys. So, too, is the woman at the series helm: Paula Apsell. The people who run organizations are the key to their success, Nancy says. Paula is driven, dynamic, and thoughtful. We had the pleasure of spending some time with her, and we are excited about her vision for Novapast, present, and future. We hope our gift helps Paula create even more great programs and projects!

    Whats New with NovaNova is the only series on US television that

    tells important science stories every week...

    and so much more. Nova senior executive

    producer paula apsell presides over a multi-plat-

    form powerhouse

    (pbs.org/nova)

    dedicated to

    fostering science

    literacy. We

    denitely are not your grandfathers Nova,

    says Paula.

    On TV and online anytimeStream nearly any Nova program at your

    convenience at pbs.org/nova.

    Nova NextExplore this online collection of timely

    articles by the nations top scientists and

    science journalists, along with companion

    video and animation.

    Nova + PBS LearningMediaNova is the #1 contributor of STEM content

    to PBS LearningMedia (pbslearningmedia.

    org), WGBH and PBSs pioneering library

    of free digital resources for K-12 educators

    nationwide. 1.5 million users in 48 states

    have signed on.

    Nova LabsNova Labs opens the door for high school

    students to real-world science investigations,

    providing online access to scientic data

    and research opportunities.

    Gross ScienceThis new Web series shares revolting stories

    from the natural world to pique the curiosity

    and scientic interest of younger viewers.

    The Elements iPad appNovas rst iPad app features an interactive

    periodic table and game in which players

    build atoms and molecules to make every-

    day things. It makes science feel like magic

    in your hands. Xeni Jardin, Boing Boing

    Plus, Nova ScienceNow, The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers, and more. Visit pbs.org/nova for all things Nova.

    PAG E 3S H A R I N G T H E V I S I O N N EWS L E T T E R FA L L 2 0 1 4 / W I N T E R 2 0 1 5

  • News from the Ralph Lowell SocietyNew Chair, New Year

    A s I take on my new duties as Chair of the Ralph Lowell Society, I am excited to follow in the footsteps of some extraordinary

    predecessors, most

    recently Melinda

    Rabb, who completed

    her term this summer

    after three years of

    helping grow both

    our RLS membership

    and our annual

    support of WGBH.

    Those are accomplishments I intend to

    build on. Our recent RLS survey that many

    of you participated in provided valuable

    insights. You care deeply about WGBHs

    mission to create public media that expands

    opportunities for all. You are excited about

    recent RLS events and trends, particularly

    our efforts to serve the multiple generations

    who make up the RLS. And you want to

    share your enthusiasm for WGBH and the

    RLS with your friends.

    And thats wonderful, because RLS members

    are our most effective ambassadors. I invite

    you to bring a friend to an RLS event in

    2015. Its the perfect way to get an up-close

    look at some of your favorite productions

    and to meet the talented people behind them.

    And speaking of events, we had some

    great ones this fall. New York Times columnist

    and best-selling author Nicholas Kristof

    stopped by to discuss his latest book and

    documentary, A Path Appears, on how smart

    philanthropy can make a real difference in

    peoples lives. (Our RLS support of WGBH

    certainly does that!) We also met with chef

    extraordinaire Lidia Bastianich and enjoyed

    a preview of Masterpieces Death Comes to

    Pemberley, followed by a fascinating lecture

    about Englands great manor houses.

    And theres much more to come in 2015,

    including a very special Masterpiece Tour to

    England this summer (see page 5), so stay

    tuned.

    Wishing you a happy New Year, and

    many thanks for making WGBH a priority

    in your life!

    simone stedry winstonchair , ralph lowell society

    rls benefactor and event co-host jane arneth tyler chats with rls chairmans circle member and event host graham gund

    An American ExperienceRLS Chairmans Circle members Graham and Ann Gund (Trustee) graciously hosted a

    gathering at their Nantucket home this past summer in celebration of the upcoming 2015

    PBS premiere of American Experiences Last Days in Vietnam. Now in limited theatrical

    release, the lm already is generating Oscar buzz.

    rls innovators circle members and event co-hosts marjie kargman (trustee) and her husband bob kargman (right) with american experience executive producer mark samels

    rls sponsors peg condon (left) and elizabeth rogers (overseer) catch up

    Americas Test Kitchen Up CloseRLS members enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of Americas Test Kitchen in Brookline this

    summer that included mingling with Test Kitchen chefs and sampling their delicious fare.

    rls members get an up-close and delectable look at americas test kitchen in brookline

    rls sponsors denis reno and karen jorgenson check out whats cooking

    rls members and wgbh friends explore americas test kitchens extensive library

    rls members and wgbh friends learn more about american experiences new film, last days in vietnam, in the gunds garden on nantucket

    from left: event hosts graham and ann gund with mark bailey, last days in vietnam filmmaker rory kennedy, and american experience executive producer mark samels

    PAG E 4

  • RLS Chair Simone Stedry WinstonDirector Vanya TulenkoSenior Events Manager Jeanmarie Roberts Senior Development Associate Christopher ReillyDevelopment Assistant Glenna Moran Pop-Stefanov

    ralph lowell society membership levelsfriend $ 1 ,500fellow $2 ,500sponsor $5 ,000benefactor $ 10 ,000presidents c ircle $25 ,000chairmans c ircle $50,000innovators c ircle $ 100,000For a complete list of the benets and privileges at each membership level, please call the Ralph Lowell Society Hotline at 617-300-3900, visit wgbh.org/ralphlowell, or email ralph_lowell_society@wgbh.org. We welcome your questions and value your support.

    Masterpiece Tour June 24 to June 30, 2015Join us for a Masterpiece Tour of London,

    Oxford, Glyndebourne, and Wimbledon.

    Well visit Osterley House, Syon Park, Eltham

    Palace, and Londons The Inns of Courtall

    settings for Masterpiece productions over the

    years. Highlights include a private tour of

    Bodleian Library and Ashmolean Museum

    at Oxford University; an elaborate, seated

    picnic and performance at the Glyndebourne

    Festival Opera; a private lunch and tour of

    Hampton Court; a stop at Sherlock Holmes

    Publick House; an optional day at Centre

    Court, Wimbledonand much more. Supporting What She KnowsZ ena lum knows WGBH. She served as director of the Ralph Lowell Society for seven years and when she left in 2009, she decided to stay connected through an RLS membership at the Friend level. I wanted to honor the hard work and accomplishments of the great staff and volunteers I worked with during my time at GBH, Lum says. But theres another reason she joined the RLS. Having enjoyed an insiders view, Lum appreciates the vital public service WGBH provides. Our media landscape is becoming more and more convoluted, she says. WGBH stands out as an independent voice thats ensuring everyone has access to high-quality news and entertainment. Today, Lum helps nonprots nd new leaders as search director for Lois L. Lindauer Searches. She lives in the South End with her husband Ben Smith a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyst for the states Executive Ofce of Energy and Environmental Affairsand their nine-year-old son, Dylan.

    What are your familys WGBH favorites? My favorite is Sherlock on Masterpieceits such a clever adaptation. I always learn something new on Frontline and Nova. My husband is a huge Nova fan and my son is becoming one.

    Do you listen to 89.7 WGBH or 99.5 WCRB? I listen to Morning Edition on 89.7 as I get ready for work. My son is a cellist and as we immerse ourselves in the world of classical music, were listening to WCRB more and more.

    What do you enjoy most about your RLS membership? The events are great. I took Dylan to see the advance screening of The Hundred-Foot Journey and he loved it so much we went out and bought the book.

    Why are you condent about WGBHs future? Jon Abbott [WGBH President and CEO] and his team do not take WGBHs future success for granted. They are always thinking about creative, cutting-edge ways to bring thoughtful and deeply relevant content home to viewers and listeners.

    For more information, please contact Vanya Tulenko (vanya_tulenko@wgbh.org), or call 617-300-3900.

    Zena Lum (center) with good friends Lisa Paap (left) and Amy Slade

    PAG E 5S H A R I N G T H E V I S I O N N EWS L E T T E R FA L L 2 0 1 4 / W I N T E R 2 0 1 5

  • New Class of OverseersNew Board of Overseers Chair will thorndike , who previously served as Vice Chair, welcomed our latest class of Overseers to WGBH this past spring. Wills own ties to WGBH run deep. The great-nephew of WGBH founder Ralph Lowell, Will serves on multiple WGBH committees, including Technology and Finance. He is the founder and Managing Director of Housatonic Partners and the author of The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success. Our Board of Overseers is a dynamic group of civic-minded leaders, Will says, as our newest members so amply demonstrate.

    2014 Becton Fellow Greg Sheagreg shea once dreamed of being in a rock band.

    Today, hes made it on stage, but the

    instrument in his hands isnt the guitar hes

    played since middle schoolits a camera.

    And Shea, executive producer of WGBHs

    new digital and broadcast series Front Row

    Boston, uses it to capture bands like the

    Dropkick Murphys performing at iconic

    Boston clubs, from Brighton Music Hall to

    the House of Blues.

    Relying on small, handheld cameras

    with as many as six

    videographers led

    by Shea shooting

    from on stage and

    in the crowd

    Front Row Boston

    blends into the

    venues intimate

    atmospheres to

    convey the bands energy and artistry.

    My hope is that people will see the

    show as Bostons version of Austin City

    Limits, Shea says.

    WGBH President Jon Abbott recently

    named Shea the 2014 WGBH Becton

    Fellow. The fellowship, which is supported

    by the Becton Fund and named in honor

    of WGBHs former president and current

    Vice Chair Henry Becton, Jr., recognizes

    promising WGBH producers and content

    creators whose work is emblematic of

    WGBHs mission.

    Shea also specializes in short-form

    videofor the Web and TVfor WGBHs

    Antiques...