Countdown to the 2021 Friends of IHES Gala: Focus on honored guest, Marilyn Simons (Day-1)

The 2021 Friends of IHES gala is tomorrow! Staring at 6pm EST, guests will gather at the Lotte New York Palace to celebrate Women in Fundamental Research.

This year’s honored guest is Marilyn Simons, co-founder of the Simons Foundation.

Marilyn Hawrys Simons received a B.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from SUNY, Stony Brook. She has volunteered in the non‑profit sector for the last thirty years. In 1994, she co‑founded the Simons Foundation together with her husband, Jim Simons, and served as its President until June 2021.

The Simons Foundation funds research and educational programs in mathematics, physics and life sciences, in the United States and across the world. Both through the Simons Foundation and at a personal level, Marilyn Simons has supported programs promoting an increased diversity and improved equity in science and economics. In 2013, she was awarded the Carnegie Medal for Philanthropy, for her extraordinary and pre‑eminent role in philanthropy. Marilyn is involved in various education initiatives and serves as a board member for many prestigious scientific institutions, including the American National Museum of Mathematics.

Through the Simons Foundation, Marilyn Simons has played an essential role in supporting IHES’ ambition to develop greater financial independence. Over the course of two decades, the Simons Foundation has given more than $25 million to both specific projects, such as the building of the conference center that carries the names of Marilyn and Jim Simons, and to the Institute’s endowment, for example for the creation of the Simons Foundation Biology Fund at IHES. The Simons recently pledged an additional €25 million to support the institute over the next ten years.

For her personal and enduring dedication to supporting basic science, Marilyn Simons has importantly contributed to the advancement of fundamental research. In recognition of her contributions and achievements French Ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne will award Marilyn Simons the French Legion of Honor during a special ceremony that will be held at the beginning of the evening.

Join us on November 16, to hear more from Marilyn herself! This year, for the first time ever, we will also hold an hour-long virtual event. If you cannot attend the event in person, by joining us online from 7:30-8:30 pm EST, you will be able to enjoy a livestream from the gala room including a fireside chat with honoree Marilyn Simons. Register here.