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Ray Lamontagne and Lewis Lapham Inspire at the Century Association

Matthew Denny, UCB Computer Science, Class of 2006

April 14th 2010

On February 25, Lewis Lapham hosted an event for the Siebel Scholars Foundation featuring a talk Ray Lamontagne at the Century Club in New York City. 

Mr. Lamontagne has held a great variety of philanthropic leadership positions, including as Chairman of the Board of Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang (a camp for children with life-threatening diseases), as an Associate of John D. Rockefeller III working with many of Rockefeller’s non-profit organizations, and as an early organizer assisting Sargent Shriver in the formation of the Peace Corps.  In his talk, he shared his thoughts on his many experiences in philanthropy, which helped the Siebel Scholars get a better perspective on the place of philanthropy among today’s working professionals.

Although the event happened to take place during the worst blizzard the New York area has seen in the past five years, we were still able to fill the vast majority of seats set up for the talk at the Century Club.  The evening’s agenda started with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres before the talk, which gave all the Siebel Scholars an opportunity to talk with each other as well as the guests, who were, as always, very accessible.  For example, I spent considerable time talking with Lewis Lapham about audio podcasts that he is making available over the Bloomberg Terminal and his website

When the talk started, Mr. Lamontagne’s perspective on his experiences provoked a lively dialog among the audience and speaker.  Specifically, the discussion centered around the role of philanthropy in the lives of busy professionals and how charities can be held accountable for ensuring that their efforts are effective.  The discussion was involved enough that it continued well after the talk was over while we all had (an excellent) dessert. 

In summary, the event lived up to the expectations we all have for Siebel Scholar events: interesting speakers and Siebel Scholars interacting in a way that gives us all a new perspective on the role of philanthropy in our lives.