On Tuesday, November 18, 2014, NYSCI will be hosting its annual Gala, An Evening of Science and Inspiration, at Cipriani 42 in Manhattan. As a preview, we will be profiling our honorees here on NYSCI’s website.

Alan Friedman was in love with science, but what he loved even more was connecting people to possibilities by reawakening the natural scientist that exists inside each of us.

During Alan’s 25-year tenure as president, he transformed NYSCI into one of New York City’s most formidable cultural and educational institutions. By 2006, he had overseen expansion projects totaling more than $100 million, with full-time staff expanding to 100, and nearly 450,000 annual visitors to the museum.

At the core of Alan’s vision for NYSCI was the commitment to provide the opportunity for high school and college students to develop their interests in science by sharing the experience of discovery with others. For nearly 30 years, the brilliance of that vision has been proven through the many programs Alan created and inspired, most notably the Science Career Ladder.

But the Science Career Ladder has never been just a program; it was the centerpiece of Alan’s vision for what NYSCI could become as he set out to resurrect the promise that was once imagined in the “Great Hall of Science,” created for the 1964-1965 World’s Fair.

We honor his memory at this year’s gala, and carry on his legacy by establishing the Alan J. Friedman Center for the Development of Young Scientists, with seed funding from the Noyce Foundation. The Friedman Center will encompass both the Science Career Ladder program and the recently launched SCL Institute, which provides Explainers with intensive support through career preparation, pre-professional mentorship and apprenticeships, field trips, networking opportunities and research-methods training. In the future, additional programs will be created to cultivate the interests and careers of young scientists in ways we can only imagine.

Knowing that Alan meant so much to all of us, we take inspiration from knowing that the Center will enable his vision to stay at the heart of NYSCI’s mission long into the future.

For more information about the gala, and to reserve the limited seats available, click here.