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Letter From the Director
White House Fellows Join Nation In Celebrating the Life of John W. Gardner
President Announces New Commissioners
Colonias Domestic Study Policy Trip
2001-2002 Class Enthusiastically Embraces Community Service
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Where are They Now?

John Gardner's passing on February 17, 2002, saddened all members of the White House Fellows community. More than 120 WHF alumni and former Directors, including current Director Jocelyn White, attended memorial services held for John at Stanford and Georgetown Universities and at the New York Public Library. Fellows came together to remember our founder and friend, and to learn about the tremendous contributions he made to the Nation through his leadership in government, philanthropy, education, and citizen advocacy.

Prominent speakers -- including Former President Bill Clinton, Carnegie Corporation head Vartan Gregorian, Independent Sector Founding President Brian O'Connell, and journalist Bill Moyers - all spoke of John's commitment to renewal. White House Fellows in attendance felt the call for renewal in our own lives and in the life of our WHF community.

The Washington, D.C. ceremony was cosponsored by the White House Fellows Association, Common Cause, Independent Sector, and the National Civic League, all organizations founded by John. Peter Krogh (‘67-‘68) hosted a reception following the service at his home.

Speaking on behalf of fellow WHF alumni, Bobbie Kilberg (‘69-‘70) recalled a thought shared by Tim Wirth (‘67-‘68); that John found a way to "bet on each of our futures." “He took personal interest in so many Fellows," she said, and instilled "a sense of values to strive for and a set of standards to live up to, partially for myself, but partially for him because he expected it of me."

Since the news of John's passing, White House Fellows from all classes have expressed their sympathies to John's widow, Aida, and their daughters, Francesca and Stephanie. Many alumni have made creative suggestions as to how we might pay tribute to John. A preliminary proposal, developed by members of the Association Board, has been distributed. Recommendations include: making permanent our support for each new class of Fellows, creating opportunities to strengthen the alumni community, and establishing an award to bring national attention to John's mission of mentoring future leaders.

The Gardner Family has received the proposal warmly. Francesca Gardner praised it as “wonderful. Mother is particularly strong on anything to bolster the alumni group and make it a force for the good of the country and a community for its members. That is what Dad wanted to see grow, a community that is ongoing, strong and motivated."

The process for refining our tribute to John is underway, and all Fellows are invited to participate in shaping the initiative. If you would like to be involved, please let us know via email at

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