Founders’ Day

Founder’s Day Event Celebrates Rouse Legacy May 9

Biographer and Professor of Urban Planning Featured

Community members are invited to attend “Founder’s Day: A celebration of the vision, leadership and legacy of James Rouse “ on Tuesday, May 9, from 9 a.m.-noon, in Smith Theater, Howard Community College (HCC).  The event is being presented by the Columbia 50th Birthday Celebration and HCC.  It is free and open to the public.

“The vision for Columbia was to create a ‘better city,’ and James Rouse established the foundation for that ‘better city,’ but the success of Columbia is up to the people living and working in Columbia today,” explained organizer Barbara Kellner, Director of the Columbia Archives.  “Founder’s Day gives everyone a chance to explore the possibilities with other community leaders.”

Biographer Josh Olsen, author of “Better Places, Better Lives: A Biography of James Rouse,” will serve as moderator for the morning’s activities, and Harvard Professor of Urban Planning Ann Forsyth is the keynote speaker.  Her topic is “Health and Well-Being in Columbia: Early Aims and Future Potential.”

Following Forsyth’s presentation, she will moderate a roundtable discussion featuring Ian Kennedy, Executive Director of the Downtown Columbia Arts and culture Commission; Nikki Highsmith Vernick, President & CEO of The Horizon Foundation; Heather Kirk-Davidoff, Enabling Minister, Kittamaqundi Community Church; and former Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, President of Margrave Strategies.  They will look at “Going Forward: Today’s Answers to Creating a Better City.”

The event is free but registration is encouraged.