Over the Moon: MSI’s Columbian Ball



By Judy Carmack Bross




William Anders, Frank Borman, Co-chair Denise Dayan, Jim Lovell, and Co-chair Christopher Lorenzen.


Apollo 8 Astronauts Colonel Frank Borman, Captain James Lovell, and Major General William Anders received honoree take-homes at the recent Museum of Science and Industry’s Columbian Ball like no other: locations on the moon officially named in their honor! The 38th annual ball titled To the Moon and Back Again, honored those first Astronauts to orbit the moon 50 years ago, a trip launched December 21, 1968. The names bestowed included Mount Marilyn—named for Jim’s wife of 66 yearsand 8 Homeward, commemorating Frank who navigated the trip to Earth and back. Anders Earthrise names the crater shown in William’s iconic photograph that has captivated millions of people for the last 50 years.


Frank Borman at  dinner.


The Lovell family before the 38th annual Columbian Ball.


Guests make Apollo 8 capsule LED with help from Wanger Family Fab Lab.


Co-chaired by Laura and George Bilicic, Denise Dayan, and Christopher Lorenzen, with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and First Lady Amy Rule as honorary co-chairs, the Columbian Ball raised over $2 million for its educational programs, exhibits, and experiences. David Mosena serves as MSI President and CEO, Kent Dauten is Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Smita Shah heads the President’s Council.


Liz and Kent Dauten, Smita Shah, and Maarten De Jeu. 


Greg and Fiona Hyslop, Courtney Anderson, and Eze Burts III.


Guests mingling in Entry Hall during cocktail hour.


Matt and Christine Boler,  Elyse and Frank Liyoa, and Jonna and Sean Helliker.


David Mosena gives remarks during dinner presentation.


The Museum’s magnificent rotunda where hundreds of guests feasted on out of this world faire, including a galaxy birthday cake, must have seemed a sharp contrast to the Astronauts’ own tiny command module housed in a gallery nearby. Master of Ceremonies, Bill Kurtis, asked the Astronauts to re-live their moon adventure before guests retired to the late night lunar lounge to try on the latest wearable,  virtual-reality technology.


Bill Kurtis on stage with William Anders, Jim Lovell, and Frank Borman. 


Co-chair Denise Dayan, Michelle Edmunds, Katherine Genson, Jennifer Chamets, and Shannon Shallowitz.


Lorilyn Aquino, John Gitta,  and Jaleesa Scott.


The evening began with the Liz Stiffel Liftoff reception featuring the music of DJ E-6. A splash down party, featuring dancing and after-hours access to exhibits including MSI’s newest temporary show, The Science Behind Pixar,  as well as the Apollo 8 command module, enticed guests to keep partying.


Brad and Krista Nunemaker with a recreation of Buzz Lightyear. 


Guests go on virtual spacewalk. 


Shahnaz and Jonathan Kelleher, Patrick and Megan Brannon, and Sean Kelleher.


Photo Credit:

Alison Neidt Toonen

Kasumi Chow

John Wheeler