OCTOBER 30, 2019

Honoring Gay Hart Gaines and Rush Limbaugh

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 Trustees has created the William F. Buckley Jr. Prizes for Leadership in Political Thought and Leadership in Supporting Liberty. Past awardees include the DeVos family, the late Harold Simmons, Mike Grebe, Bruce and Suzie Kovner, Karen Buchwald Wright (Supporting Liberty) as well as Charles Krauthammer, Victor Davis Hanson, The Hon. George Shultz, Tom Wolfe, and Edwin J. Feulner (Political Though). Notable public intellectuals, philanthropists, and leaders in the conservative movement attend to show support for our honorees, Bill Buckley’s enduring legacy, and the National Review mission.

At the 2019 gala, the Buckley Prize for Leadership in Political Thought will be awarded to Rush Limbaugh in recognition of his exceptional success articulating and popularizing conservatism to millions of Americans through his acclaimed talk show. Bill Buckley was a master at creatively reaching people with his important ideas. Through Firing Line, Buckley was able to engage a large and diverse audience, discussing issues ranging from political philosophy and economics to faith and the arts. So too, Rush Limbaugh has captured the attention of millions of Americans, discussing the important issues of the day and disseminating the core principles that make this nation exceptional. Bill Buckley was a close friend and mentor of Rush Limbaugh. He held Mr. Limbaugh in high regard, saying, “Rush Limbaugh is by everyone’s reckoning a phenomenon, the most spectacular media success of recent years.” Rich Lowry, NR editor-in-chief and NRI trustee, will introduce Mr. Limbaugh.

The Prize for Leadership in Supporting Liberty, which recognizes conservative philanthropy, will be awarded to Gay Hart Gaines, honoring her countless contributions to the conservative movement—and in particular, her role in the establishment and early leadership of NRI. The concept of a non-profit Institute to complement the magazine was first conceived in her Palm Beach home in the presence of NRI fellow John O’Sullivan and former NR publisher Wick Allison. After the Institute was established, Mrs. Gaines served as its first chairman from 1991 to 1993. In addition to her critical role in NRI’s founding, we recognize her longstanding and consequential contributions to patriotic causes, from GOPAC and the Mount Vernon Ladies Association to the Society of the Four Arts, among many other conservative groups. NRI fellow Richard Brookhiser will introduce Mrs. Gaines.


We are pleased to offer individual tickets starting at $1,000 and several sponsorship opportunities. Registration for tickets will open in August. If you are interested in a sponsorship opportunity, please fill out the below form or contact Alexandra Rosenberg by email (alexandra@nrinstitute.org) or by phone (212.849.2858). Sponsors who have submitted pledges by August 1 will be included as a member of the host committee on our forthcoming invitations.

2019 William F. Buckley Jr. Prize Dinner Sponsor Registration Form

To reserve a room at The Breakers using our special rate, please click here.