BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
Forget Sue, or any of the other iconic creatures that awe the eye at the Field Museum. For 600 gala guests, in the words of Cary Grant, it was all about “Judy, Judy, Judy.”
Judy Block, a past president of the Field’s Women’s Board and the first woman to chair the museum’s Board of Trustees, received the 2019 Marshall Field V Award for Distinguished Leadership. The event, which served as the culmination of the Museum’s 125th anniversary celebration, raised $2.3 million for groundbreaking science research, conservation programs, visitor experiences, and education outreach in Chicago and around the world.
Over desserts of individual birthday cakes, Marshall Field V celebrated Block: “It’s difficult to fully express the impact Judy Block has had at the museum over four decades. She has displayed outstanding leadership and support. She became the first woman to chair the board of a major cultural institution in Chicago when she took on her role as our board chair in 1997, and she was the driving force behind our acquisition of Sue, the world’s largest and most complete T. rex fossil.”
The vibrant Kentuckian Megan Hoffman, mother of four boys who anticipate almost weekly Field Museum adventures with their mom, chaired the Gala. She saluted Women’s Board President Donna Greenberg, whom she said was a driving force for the event.
Hoffman told us: “The Field Museum is changing the world through its research and STEM internships for young women. It has impact and discovery, and for my boys to see their scientists at work as well as learn firsthand about natural history, it is pretty special.”
Michael O’Grady, CEO of Northern Trust, accepted the inaugural Corporate Philanthropy Award in honor of the Bank’s 125 years of partnership with the Field. Museum President and CEO Richard Lariviere told the audience: “Northern Trust has been stalwart in its philanthropic commitment to the museum since the founding of our institution in 1893. They have helped bring world-class exhibitions to the Field, and Chicago, and they have been profoundly important to our work with Chicago students and teachers.”
Wilbur Gantz III serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees.
The Gala’s formula for success featured decor by HMR Designs, dinner and dessert by Calihan Catering, and music by Talk of the Town Big Band. The museum’s young professionals group, the Field Associates, co-hosted the Gala after-party.
For more information about the Field, visit fieldmuseum.org.