2016 Annual Luncheon marks 50 years of impact in the lives of young children and families

Highlights included a keynote speech from The New York Times columnist David Brooks and the presentation of the Spirit of Erikson award to photographer and longtime Erikson trustee Kathy Richland Pick.

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More than 700 people representing a half-century of Erikson Institute history gathered on November 14 at our 2016 Annual Luncheon to show their support for our pioneering work on behalf of young children and families.

Co-chaired by Erikson trustees Eric Adelstein and Ashley Hemphill Netzky, the luncheon brought together members of the Erikson community as well as notable civic, business, and early childhood leaders to celebrate our 50th anniversary. The event also raised $1.1 million to support our programs that impact the lives of children and families in Chicago and beyond.

“For those of you who are new to Erikson Institute, we welcome you warmly; for those who have been friends over our 50 years, we thank you for your support,” said Michelle L. Collins, chair of Erikson’s Board of Trustees. “Erikson wouldn’t be where it is today without the work, leadership, and support of many key people in this room: our founders, past and present leaders, alumni, students, faculty, staff, and trustees.”

In a keynote address that touched on the importance of relationships and attachment, The New York Times Op-Ed columnist David Brooks, placed Erikson’s work and the early childhood field in a broader social context, drawing connections to the state of America in the days after a contentious presidential election. Attendees also rose to their feet to applaud photographer and Erikson trustee Kathy Richland Pick, who was honored with the Spirit of Erikson Institute award for her more than 30 years of leadership.

In remarks that reflected on Erikson’s founding as well as growth that continues today, Erikson President and Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey A. Nagle, Ph.D., read from a “poignant” letter sent by an alumna to Barbara Bowman, one of our founders, in 1993 that illuminated the importance of Erikson’s work through a real-life experience working with a young boy.

“Everyone in this room is here to make a lasting impact on young children, families, and communities,” Dr. Nagle said. “Today, that impact reaches farther than ever before.”

Scroll down to view highlights from the luncheon

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Spirit of Erikson Institute Honoree: Kathy Richland Pick

Watch the photographer and longtime Erikson trustee’s award acceptance speech.

Erikson President and CEO Geoffrey A. Nagle, Ph.D.

In his remarks at our Annual Luncheon, Dr. Nagle read from a 1993 letter to Barbara Bowman, illuminating the importance of Erikson’s work through a real-life experience.

Thank you, Erikson Institute!

Tiombe Eiland
“Thank you, Erikson, for giving me a valuable gift. You helped me realize that I’m never too old to learn.”

Myron Cislo
“Thank you, Erikson, for sending us these great students. We learn from them as much as they learn from us. I’m very proud to be a part of their learning experience.”

Natasha Anderson
“Thank you, Erikson, for helping me become a more confident mother. You are a wonderful support to our family and you’ve really made a difference in our lives”

Saleem Hue Penny
“Thank you, Erikson, for showing me that my heart has been in early childhood all along, for creating space at a table, and for giving me the strength and courage to become a leader.”

Luncheon Media Coverage

Chicago Splash magazine highlights our Annual Luncheon
A December 13 piece in Chicago Splash magazine offers an overview of our Annual Luncheon plus a gallery of photos from the event.
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