Chautauqua Institution Announces Naming of Climate Change Initiative Directorship
Chautauqua Institution today announced $6 million in philanthropic commitments to bolster its Climate Change Initiative, including the naming of the Peter Nosler Director of Climate Change in honor of one of the patrons whose gifts made this possible. This recognition follows a $3 million challenge grant and a complementary gift made to the Institution’s Climate Change Initiative by the Batten family (Norfolk, Virginia) and the family of Peter Nosler (Carmel, California). These gifts provide key funding to ensure Chautauqua Institution’s work to advance climate solutions globally and at home in Chautauqua County, NY continues far into the future.
“The Batten family, and Peter and his wife Julie Veitch, provided key support in the creation of our Climate Change Initiative,” said Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill, Ed.D. “We are delighted that their collective generosity will provide a permanent endowment for the leadership of this program. Peter was the first to suggest that Chautauqua Institution commit to being a leader in conversations regarding climate change, and we are thrilled that his name will be assigned to the director’s role. We are so grateful to the Batten family and Peter’s family for these transformative commitments.”
The Chautauqua Climate Change Initiative was established in 2021 to harness the Institution’s convening authority to promote discussion, facilitate programming and inspire action on climate change. Under the leadership of Mark Wenzler, the Institution’s inaugural Peter Nosler Director of Chautauqua’s Climate Change Initiative, the Institution has produced dozens of lectures, roundtables, video resources and other events to address its goals. Additionally, Chautauqua Institution has partnered with the Jefferson Project (a collaboration of IBM Research, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Lake George Association) to implement one of the most advanced lake science research efforts in the United States, focused on identifying ecological challenges facing Chautauqua Lake and developing data to inform solutions.
In addition to the $3 million challenge grant provided by the Batten family, Jane Batten has also provided key support for the “Washed Ashore – Art to Save the Sea” installation, on display throughout Chautauqua’s grounds through October 2023. The exhibit consists of 14 elaborate sculptures that represent marine life affected by plastic pollution. The sculptures are made by artisans who use debris that have washed up on beaches around the world. Mixing art and science, the exhibit aims to promote awareness of plastic’s environmental impact and encourage plastics reduction and recycling. Admission to the grounds is free outside of the Summer Assembly (June 24 – August 27), as well as on Sundays during the Assembly period, on July 20 for Chautauqua County residents (Chautauqua County Day) and on August 8 for Buffalo area residents (Buffalo Day). Partial-day and multi-day gate passes for other days during the Summer Assembly may be purchased online at tickets.chq.org or in-person at the Main Gate Welcome Center located at 1 Massey Avenue in Chautauqua.
Jane Parke Batten is a Virginia philanthropist with a strong interest in education and the environment. Peter Nosler is a co-founder of DPR Construction, a multi-billion-dollar company based in Redwood City, California. The company has been a leader in building Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified (LEED) corporate buildings. Nosler also serves on the DPR Foundation board, which supports organizations that help under-resourced youth. In November 2015, DPR’s three co-founders were honored by the San Francisco Business Times with a Most-Admired CEO award. He lives in Carmel, California.
For more information about Chautauqua Institution and its Climate Change Initiative, please visit climate.chq.org.
About Chautauqua Institution
Chautauqua Institution is a not-for-profit, 750-acre community on Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State, where approximately 7,500 persons are in residence on any day during a nine-week season, and a total of more than 100,000 attend scheduled public events. Chautauqua is dedicated to the exploration of the best in human values and the enrichment of life through a program that explores the important religious, social and political issues of our times; stimulates provocative, thoughtful involvement of individuals and families in creative response to such issues; and promotes excellence and creativity in the appreciation, performance and teaching of the arts.
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