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Aspen Institute

Together with the Aspen Institute, we have been able to proudly honor the profound impact that the Tisch family has made on New York City. In memory of their father, Preston Robert Tisch, a joint grant from Steve Tisch, Laurie Tisch, and Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch to the Aspen Institute supports a series of discussions called Conversations with Great Leaders. These conversations feature inspiring and innovative leaders who are improving their communities and the world. Its five yearly programs explore themes of values-based leadership, civic engagement, public service, and other critical issues affecting American communities.  Past high-profile leaders have included Walter Isaacson, Arianna Huffington, and Marcus Samuelsson. The conversations take place in the historic Roosevelt House at Hunter College, where attendees also learn about the building’s history and meet in an intimate setting.

The Tisch family also supports the Aspen Institute’s annual Preston Robert Tisch Award in Civic Leadership, which is awarded to an individual who has made a significant positive impact on his or her community. Past recipients have been Congressman John Lewis, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and tennis icon Billie Jean King.

The Illumination Fund recently approved a $1 million campaign gift over 5 years to support a range of Aspen programs and initiatives and establish the Laurie M. Tisch Endowed Scholarship Fund. The gift will help launch new initiatives such as Aspen Across America and Project Play while expanding existing programs such as the Franklin Project. The scholarship fund will help increase the number of scholars with diverse backgrounds who are able to attend the Aspen Institute’s public events, policy roundtables, leadership seminars, and other convenings.


He obviously knew where to place his gifts. He has gifts. He was bringing people together.  He could have funded getting all the fields for the kids himself. He wanted the people to come together around the issue. He wanted to be an example of that.

Wynton Marsalis, on Preston Robert Tisch