|A Gala for Liberty
The Independent Institutes Gala Reception and Dinner
Presentation of the Alexis de Tocqueville Award
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Reception at 6:30
With music by The John Santos Sextet
Dinner and Awards Ceremony at 7:30 p.m.
The St. Regis Hotel
125 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
On September 16, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, actor and director Andy Garcia, and entrepreneur William K. Bowes, Jr. were honored at the Independent Institutes A Gala for Liberty. Each honoree received the Alexis de Tocqueville Award in recognition of their contributions to advancing the ideas and ideals of liberty, entrepreneurship, innovation, and peace.
Desmond M. Tutu is the world-renowned Nobel Peace Prize laureate who, as Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, brought a peaceful settlement to the end of Apartheid and is being honored for his work throughout the world to champion democracy, freedom, human rights, and peace.
Andy Garcia is the Academy Award-nominated, Havana-born actor, director, and producer, whose 38 films include The Lost City (2005), For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story (2000), The Godfather: Part III (1990), When a Man Loves a Woman (1994), Oceans Eleven (2001), and The Untouchables (1987). Mr. Garcia has been a leader in overcoming the plight of the Cuban people under communism and is being honored for championing civil and economic liberties in Latin America through his work.
William K. Bowes, Jr. is the pioneering venture capitalist in the Bay Area for nearly 50 years who founded and helped to build U.S. Venture Partners as a pioneer in venture capital. Mr. Bowes was the founding shareholder of Amgen and was its first Chairman and Treasurer, and he is being honored for his work in business entrepreneurship and science and utilizing market-based innovations to greatly enhance the welfare of people in the U.S. and worldwide.
Jehan Al Sadat, Ph.D.
Former First Lady of Egypt
The Dalai Lama
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach
Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs International
Václav Klaus, Ph.D.
President, Czech Republic
Muhammad Yunus, Ph.D.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Robert W. Alspaugh
Former Chief Executive Officer, KPMG International
Timothy C. Draper
Founder and Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson Associates
Robert W. Galvin
Chairman Emeritus, Motorola, Inc.
Michael T. Moe
Co-founder and Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ThinkPanmure, LLC
William J. Rutter, Ph.D.
Chairman, Synergenics, LLC
Lisa J. Stevens
Regional President, Wells Fargo Bank
Chocolate truffle confections courtesy of Sees Candies.
Special Thanks to John M. Bryan, Hoogasian Flowers, and the John Santos Sextet.
The Alexis de Tocqueville Award|
Born to aristocratic parents in 1805 shortly after the French Revolution, Alexis-Charles-Henri de Tocqueville was to become the greatest classical liberal thinker of the 19th century. At an early age, he distanced himself from the prejudices of his social standing, and joined the struggle to establish a free society in France. His alarm at the dangers of political centralization, and his perception that tyranny could be rooted in the despotism of either an elite or a majority, led him to travel through America to observe a society that was both equalitarian and decentralized. In 1831, at the age of 29, Tocqueville spent nine months traveling the breadth of Jacksonian America to inquire into the future of French society, as revolutionary upheaval gave way to a radically decentralized civil society in America. The result was set forth in his masterful book, Democracy in America.
Long recognized as a brilliant observer, Tocqueville was also a profoundly original thinker. Out of his American experience emerged a book that has had a profound impact on the thinking of the world. So uncanny, in fact, are Tocqueville's insights into economic, social and political affairs, so accurate are his predictions, that he was not merely describing the American identity, but actually helping to create it. In his further books, travels, and cultural and political affairs, he continued his devotion to advancing a society of individual liberty, where all human endeavors and institutions were voluntary and indigenous, and hence directly accountable to those affected. In short, to Tocqueville, the health of a civil society rested upon on its being based on a natural law order of individual freedom to choose and act in all economic and social matters.
To honor the tradition of Tocqueville's pioneering work, the Independent Institute awards The Alexis de Tocqueville Award to outstanding individuals in recognition of their dedication and contributions which advance our knowledge and practice of the principles of individual liberty as the foundation of free, prosperous and humane societies.
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