National Review Institute hosts inaugural William F. Buckley Jr. Prize Dinner at IAC Building in NYC; raises $1 million for the Institute’s programs. Recognizes the DeVos Family for Leadership in Supporting Liberty and Charles Krauthammer for Leadership in Political Thought.

New York, NY—On Wednesday, October 29th, 350 conservative leaders, philanthropists, and friends of National Review Institute (NRI) from around the country came together and filled Chelsea’s IAC Building to celebrate the legacy of William F. Buckley Jr. and the inaugural WFB Jr. Prize honorees. Attendees enjoyed a special menu of Buckley’s favorites, including peanut butter and bacon hors d’oeuvres and home-style chicken pot pie.

For his entire life, Bill Buckley sought to preserve and buttress the foundations of our free society. To honor his achievement and inspire others, NRI’s Board of Directors created the William F. Buckley Jr. Prizes for Leadership in Supporting Liberty and Leadership in Political Thought. These prestigious awards honor its namesake and those who champion the principles Buckley advanced during his lifetime.

Brian Murdock, Chairman of the Board of Directors, honored Buckley and his legacy. “Bill was the unifying voice for the conservative political movement for generations of Americans.” His intellect and insight made conservatism credible. His style and virtuosity made it chic. So it seems more than appropriate that NRI honors his legacy by establishing an annual award in his name, recognizing other significant contributors to the conservative principles he championed,” Murdock said.

This year’s recipients of the Buckley Prize were the DeVos Family, represented by Richard and Helen DeVos and Dick and Betsy DeVos, for Leadership in Supporting Liberty, and Dr. Charles Krauthammer for Leadership in Political Thought. Dinner co-chairmen were NRI board members Robert Agostinelli and Brian Murdock.

“It is a great honor to award the DeVoses, one of America’s greatest champions committed to free markets, religious liberty, and smaller government, and Charles Krauthammer, arguably today’s most distinguished and consequential public intellectual, with the inaugural Buckley Prize,” said Lindsay Craig, president of NRI. “Both are ardent defenders of the free society and epitomize the exceptional spirit of Bill Buckley.”

The Buckley Prize Dinner was a capstone event for NRI after a successful organizational reboot in late 2013 and year-long effort to strengthen its existing programs and launch a number of new initiatives aimed at engaging, educating, and energizing conservatives around the country. These include NRI’s four core programs: Policy Fellows, Regional Fellows, Regional Partnership Events, and William F. Buckley Jr. Fellowships in Political Journalism Programs—all which complement the mission and editorial work of National Review magazine.

This first-time event raised $1 million for the Institute’s programs and was sponsored by donors from around the world and across the United States.

The Robert F. Agostinelli Foundation generously underwrote the creation and production of the William F. Buckley Jr. Prize Bronze Bust. Sculptor Nick Marra (pictured beside Dr. Krauthammer), expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to recreate Buckley’s likeness, whom he called “the godfather of modern conservativism.”

Former President George W. Bush addressed dinner attendees via video. “Bill will be remembered for his principled thought and beautiful writing, as well as his personal warmth, wit, and generous spirit. You certainly see a lot of those qualities in tonight’s award recipients,” Bush said. “I’m honored to join you in recognizing these worthy individuals.”