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He joined Steve Weinrib, Leonard Franklin and John Vassallo to form Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo over 55 years ago, and he became managing partner. Michael E. Hill, President of Chautauqua Institution, whose comments follow, has embraced the idea.

Gifts can be made to Chautauqua Institution through various vehicles and all are tax deductible:

For those who wish to make a substantial impact, multi-year pledges are possible.

Please contact Geof Follansbee, Senior Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer, at [email protected] for more details. Chautauqua’s President Michael E. Hill counted Mike as a personal friend.

Notable authors who have been on Chautauqua’s platforms include Kurt Vonnegut, Dan Brown, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Billy Collins, Anthony Doerr, David McCullough, Sandra Cisneros, Ann Patchett, Joy Harjo, Isabel Wilkerson, John Irving, and E.L. While Chautauqua’s lectures, artistic offerings and quiet moments enjoying its adjacent lake brought Mike huge pleasure, as is no surprise, it was through his love of literature that he made his imprint at Chautauqua.

We’ve all experienced the famous Michael Rudell question of “what are you reading now?”.

At Chautauqua, he found an abundance of answers, and through this generosity and care, he exponentially expanded the choices people had to answer that question. We hope to honor Mike at Chautauqua in a way that forever cements Mike’s spirit, his passion for literature and his love of Chautauqua. A scholarship which would enable a writer from an under-represented minority to attend one week of workshops and activities at Chautauqua, with the goal of developing the recipient’s literary acumen and writing.

This scholarship would highlight Michael’s lifelong commitment to diversity. Ton-Aime has also partnered with Chautauqua’s African American Heritage House to convene monthly reading circles to discuss in open and welcoming conversations book about diversity, race relations, and/or the state of society.

I have a deep personal commitment to find a way to celebrate Mike’s legacy and Chautauqua, and I’m grateful if you can help.


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