How do you thank a friend? For those who’ve committed $1 million or more to MD Anderson, it’s a heartfelt invitation to The Anderson Assembly.
The distinguished group of MD Anderson’s most philanthropic friends marks its 25th anniversary this year. Since 1989, The Anderson Assembly has grown from 23 members, mostly Texas residents whose donations totaled more than $63 million, to 255 members in 24 states and eight countries and total donations of more than $1 billion.
On April 23, MD Anderson supporters and staff gathered to celebrate its quarter-century milestone at the Four Seasons hotel in Houston. Harry Longwell, chair of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, served as master of ceremonies for the evening. Highlights included Longwell’s recognition of current members followed by an introduction of new members by MD Anderson President Ron DePinho, M.D.
DePinho also named winners of the inaugural R. Lee Clark Fellows Award. The Clark Fellows program, named in honor of MD Anderson’s first president, highlights junior faculty members whose early excellence indicates their potential to become future cancer leaders. Clark’s granddaughter, Melina Fiveash, and great granddaughter, Hannah Fiveash, were on hand for the recognition.
John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society, delivered the evening’s keynote address, on the importance of philanthropy in preventing and putting an end to cancer.
The Anderson Assembly takes its name from the MD Anderson Foundation. Established in 1936 by Houston businessman Monroe Dunaway Anderson, the charitable foundation eventually created the Texas Medical Center and MD Anderson.