Founder's Award 2015

The 2015 Founder's Award dinner took place on May 7, 2015 at The Union League in Philadelphia. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania honored novelist Sue Monk Kidd with its prestigious Founder's Award. Board member Alice Lea Tasman received HSP's Heritage Award.

Kidd is a New York Times best-selling author known for her beloved novel, The Secret Life of Bees. She has also authored The Mermaid Chair, Traveling with Pomegranates, and three highly regarded spiritual memoirs: God’s Joyful Surprise, When the Heart Waits and The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, which together comprise her groundbreaking work in the field of feminine spirituality and feminist theology. Kidd's highly anticipated 2014 novel, The Invention of Wings was chosen as the newest Oprah's Book Club 2.0 selection, and focuses on the 19th-century abolitionist Grimke sisters.
 The book was be released on paperback on May 5, 2015, days before the Founder's Award dinner.

Over 243 individuals attended the Founder's Award dinner May 7th. The evening, which was themed around women of excellence through history, began with a cocktail hour and silent auction, followed by the dinner, awards ceremony, and live auction to conclude the evening. Wells Fargo was the Premiere Sponsor for the event, and Wells Fargo's Chief Historian Andy Anderson spoke about the importance of institutions like the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and the various projects funded by Wells Fargo at HSP, including the preservation of the records of the Bank of North America and HEAD for the Future” (History, Education, and Documents), an new national education program delivering document centered learning opportunities.

Gerry Lenfest presented Alice Lea Tasman with the Heritage Award to Alice Lea Tasman, and HSP Board Chair Bruce Fenton presented the Founder's Award to Sue Monk Kidd. Samuel T. Freeman III of Freeman's Auction lead the live auction, featuring items such as a week on the Island of Nevis with air fare, and a week-long stay on Ameila Island, off the coast of Florida. Former Governor Ed Rendell made an appearance at the conclusion of the evening to lead a "charitable auction" in which attendees raised their paddles to donate anywhere between $100 and $2,500 to help preserve and protect select women's collections at HSP. This alone raised over $30,000 that will fully fund this project in the year to come. 

The event raised over $210,000 in net income, 100% of which will be directed towards HSP's mission to inspire individuals and organizations to create a better future through historical understanding.