2009 Hadrian Award Gala

Honoring David Rockefeller, Jr. for his extraordinary commitment to the world’s environmental and cultural heritage

The 2009 Hadrian Award gala was a great success. Some 300 guests filled the grand ballroom of the Plaza for the evening, which featured a special tribute to the honoree by his longtime friend Mort Zuckerman. Other highlights of the gala, which was presided over by WNET president Neal Shapiro as master of ceremonies, included performances by the Cantata Singers of Boston, of which Mr. Rockefeller is a founding member, and chamber music by the Attacca Quartet with pianist Michael Bukhman. The evening concluded with the presentation of the award to Mr. Rockefeller by WMF President Bonnie Burnham and Chairman of the Board Lee Brown.

About the 2009 Hadrian Award

Each year, the World Monuments Fund presents the Hadrian Award to an international leader whose patronage has advanced the understanding, appreciation, and preservation of the world’s art and architecture. The award was inspired by the Roman Emperor Hadrian (a.d. 76–138), a brilliant commander and administrator and a great patron of the arts, who demonstrated a concern for the survival of outstanding artistic works and a desire to convey the standards embodied in these works to his contemporary world.

These concerns are no less vital to our times. As our understanding of mankind’s impact on our planet evolves and sustainability concerns mount, however, it has become clear that the natural environment and the built environment can no longer be managed in isolation. In recognition of his vision, deep commitment, and myriad accomplishments in the protection and stewardship of the natural environment and the world’s shared cultural heritage, the Board of Trustees of the World Monuments Fund is proud to present the 2009 Hadrian Award to David Rockefeller, Jr.

Mr. Rockefeller has successfully built upon a family legacy of philanthropy that generates positive social change, principally through the Rockefeller Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. He has become a force in conservation and cultural heritage through his work with the Alaska Conservation Foundation, the Pew Oceans Commission, the National Parks Foundation, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In 2003, he founded Sailors for the Sea, a "new voice for ocean conservation." Mr. Rockefeller is the former Chair of the North American Nominating Committee for the Praemium Imperiale, the Japanese prize for outstanding international achievement in the arts. He is also a Trustee of the Museum of Modern Art, the Asian Cultural Council, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He chaired Arts, Education and Americans, which produced the book, "Coming to Our Senses: The Significance of the Arts for American Education."

In presenting the 2009 Hadrian Award to David Rockefeller, Jr., the World Monuments Fund celebrates his vision that our collective heritage is not merely a series of important buildings, landscapes, sites and natural areas to be protected; rather, these are dynamic elements in the social and environmental fabric of our world. 

For additional information, contact World Monuments Fund at 646-424-9594.