Ceremony Part of Weeklong Celebration of Medals of Philanthropy, Carnegie UK Trust Centennial
DUNFERMLINE, Scotland—Part of a park donated by Andrew Carnegie to the people of Scotland has been named after Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York and a leading steward of the noted philanthropist’s legacy.
Today’s ceremony dedicated a pathway as “Vartan’s Way” at Pittencrieff Park in Andrew Carnegie’s birthplace of Dunfermline, Scotland. The ceremony is part of weeklong celebrations in Scotland surrounding the 2013 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, an honor awarded by the family of Carnegie institutions to recognize those who embrace Carnegie’s philosophy of using their private wealth for the public good.
“For fifteen years, I have endeavored to be a good steward of Andrew Carnegie’s legacy as head of Carnegie Corporation of New York,” Gregorian said. “But it is important to note that the good work of Carnegie Corporation is not, of course, ‘Vartan’s Way’ but will always be ‘Andrew’s Way.’ This great honor is ultimately a reflection of the example Mr. Carnegie set in establishing a family of organizations to do ‘real and permanent good in this world.’ I am deeply touched by the generosity of my Scottish colleagues.”
The 76-acre Pittencrieff Park or “The Glen,” as it is known locally, is one of Scotland’s most popular urban parks, welcoming more than 750,000 visitors annually. The park is now the location of the Carnegie UK Trust’s headquarters.
Andrew Carnegie called Pittencrieff Park “the most soul-satisfying gift I ever made or ever can make.” Mr. Carnegie spent the first 13 years of his life in Dunfermline before emigrating to the United States in 1848. During his childhood, Pittencrieff was a private estate that was only open to the public one day a year—and because his grandfather and uncles led a campaign for greater public access, Andrew Carnegie and his family were barred even on that day. In 1903, Mr. Carnegie bought Pittencrieff and donated it to the town as a park open to all.
Prior to joining Carnegie Corporation of New York in 1997, Gregorian served as President of Brown University and as President of The New York Public Library. Earlier, he was the founding dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania and also served as provost there. He is the recipient of numerous fellowships, scores of honorary degrees, and many awards, including the American Academy of the Institute of Arts and Letters’ Gold Medal for Service to the Arts, the National Humanities Medal, and the Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civil award. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed him to serve on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. He has authored The Road To Home: My Life And Times; Islam: A Mosaic, Not A Monolith; and The Emergence of Modern Afghanistan, 1880-1946.
Martyn Evans, Chief Executive of the Carnegie UK Trust, said: “Since joining the Corporation in 1997, Vartan has been an incredible asset to not only Carnegie Corporation of New York but also the family of Carnegie organizations worldwide. He believes passionately in philanthropy and over the last 16 years has steered the Corporation on its mission to honor Andrew Carnegie’s drive for access to education and knowledge, international peace and healthy democracy.”
“It is most fitting that his achievements should be recognized in the park Andrew Carnegie donated to his beloved hometown of Dunfermline.”
The ceremony is part of the Andrew Carnegie International Legacy Week festival of events, celebrating the Medal of Philanthropy and the centennial of the Carnegie UK Trust. The week will culminate on Oct. 17 with the Medal of Philanthropy ceremony at the Scottish Parliament. The award—often described as the “Nobel Prize” of philanthropy—has gone to many notable philanthropists, including Bill Gates, Brooke Astor, Michael Bloomberg, Walter Annenberg and Leonore Annenberg, and the Rockefeller Family. This year’s medalists are Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar, Sir Tom Hunter, Jim and Marilyn Simons, and the Wolfson Family.
Carnegie Corporation of New York was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote “the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding”. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation’s agenda focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of democracy.