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30th Gala – An elegant and successful night

On Wednesday, October 26th, 2016, the German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA® hosted its 30th Annual Council of 1000 Award & Fundraising Gala to honor the philanthropist and entrepreneur Mr. Philip Anschutz as 2016’s Distinguished German-American of the Year™. Members of Washington’s German-American community as well as friends and family of Mr. Philip Anschutz gathered at the elegant Anderson House in Dupont Circle to celebrate this momentous affair. Distinguished guests included members of the diplomatic community, German-American organizations, prominent business representatives. The featured keynote speaker was John Mack, Senior Advisor and former CEO of Morgan Stanley.

The event began with a cocktail reception in the Olmstead Gallery of the Anderson House where attendees had the opportunity to enjoy the German AmerHM’s latest exhibit – Unter Unser Leit: Finding Kansas’s Volga-Germans. Paying tribute to Mr. Anschutz’s Volga-German ancestry, this new exhibit tells the widely unknown story of the more than 100,000 Volga-Germans who left the banks of the Volga River in Russia for the American Midwest.

The gala continued in the ballroom with opening remarks by Rolf Hoffmann and GAHF board member Erik Hotmire followed by the recitals of the US and German national anthems. The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod presided over the invocation. Attendees listened to a fascinating presentation on Volga-Germans by GAHF board member Aaron Lewis. Recounting a number of anecdotes with Mr. Anschutz as well as commending Anschutz’s numerous career achievements, keynote speaker, John Mack, introduced the award recipient, which was followed by the official award ceremony and presentation with GAHF President Dr. John Manoyan. Mr. Anschutz accepted the award in the name of his family.

Born in Russell, Kansas in 1939, Anschutz is the grandson of Carl Anschutz who immigrated to the United States from Samara, Russia in 1878. Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, Mr. Philip Anschutz also became a successful businessman but more importantly a generous philanthropist. The owner of Anschutz Corporation, Anschutz has also become the governor of the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer, and is an executive member of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences. Anschutz’s business ventures have also included the development of major sport arenas such as the Staples Center in Los Angeles and the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin.

The Award was presented to Mr. Anschutz “for his alertness to opportunity as entrepreneur and philanthropist; for setting a standard of excellence across industries in the United States of America; for his good stewardship in cultivating the imagination of free peoples on both sides of the Atlantic”, and to honor the Volga-Germans through him and his family.