The inaugural Jerome H. Stone Philanthropy Award for Alzheimer's Research was presented to the Zenith Society in July at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Boston.
The new award honors the legacy of Jerome Stone, the primary founder of the Alzheimer's Association, who was among the very first to call for investment in Alzheimer's research after his late wife, Evelyn T. Stone, was afflicted with the disease.
The Alzheimer's Association Zenith Society, one of the first examples of venture philanthropy, was founded by Stone in 1990 and over the last 23 years has granted more than $30 million to more than 100 researchers worldwide, who have gone on to receive subsequent funding of $631 million from additional sources.
"It is particularly fitting that members of the Zenith Society are the inaugural recipients of this award," said Gerry Sampson, Chair of the Alzheimer's Association Board of Directors. "More than 20 years ago, it was Jerry Stone himself who asked fellow philanthropists to donate $1 million to promising Alzheimer's studies. That kind of investment was unheard of at that time and the results are the foundation of much of the science we have today."
Stone, who helped build the firm now known as Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. into a multi-billion dollar corporation, is a former Chairman of the Board of Jewish Vocational Service and is the co-founder of the Catholic-Jewish Dialogue group. He has served as Vice-President of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation Board of Directors, chaired JUF's Paper Division, and served as Special Gifts Chairman. He also served as president of North Shore Congregation Israel and chaired the congregation's Building Fund, raising the lion's share of funds to build the synagogue on Sheridan Road, which now stands as an architectural landmark.
In addition to his leadership in the Jewish community, Stone also is renowned for his pivotal involvement with both the Museum of Contemporary Art and Roosevelt University.
"It is truly significant that this was award was established in the year when the community has celebrated Jerry's 100th birthday," said Steven B. Nasatir, President of JUF/Federation. "We wish him a hearty mazel tov on this wonderful occasion.
"Jerry is a philanthropic visionary whose foresight, determination and generosity have literally helped shape the philanthropic landscape across this city and across our nation," Nasatir said.