Memorial Fund Set for Former Hill Staffer

Posted December 3, 2004 at 2:37pm

Family and friends of former Capitol Hill staffer Adrienne Burns, who died of a brain tumor in April at age 37, held a memorial reception in her honor on Nov. 17 and are raising funds to build a memorial labyrinth at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.

Burns graduated from Rhodes College in 1988 and worked as a staff assistant for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee from 1989 to 1990. She then went on to various governmental affairs positions at Sonat Inc., a natural gas company in Birmingham, Ala.

After being diagnosed with a benign brain tumor in 1999, Burns attended Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and received her MBA in May 2003, the same week she discovered that the tumor was cancerous, said her husband, Steven Burns.

Rep. Jo Bonner (R) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) of Alabama and former Sen. Jim Sasser (D-Tenn.) attended the reception, as well as a number of Hill staffers and lobbyists who knew Burns.

Money raised in Burns’ honor will fund the construction of a labyrinth — a circular, single-path maze used as a meditation tool. Steven Burns said the project will cost $50,000 to $75,000, and they have raised nearly $50,000.

Donations can be sent to the Adrienne Burns Memorial, Attention: Jenna Goodloe Wade, director of development, Rhodes College, 2000 North Parkway, Memphis, TN 38112.

Capitol Holiday Tree to Be Lit Thursday

With crews from the Architect of the Capitol’s office working to finish trimming this year’s U.S. Capitol Holiday Tree with more than 5,000 handcrafted ornaments and 10,000 lights, Members and staffers on Capitol Hill are looking forward to Thursday night’s official tree lighting ceremony.

The tree will be lit at 5 p.m. Thursday and will be on display each evening from nightfall to 11 p.m. through Dec. 27.

Architect of the Capitol Alan Hantman will serve as master of ceremonies during Thursday’s ceremony, and Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) will flip the switch to light the tree.

This year’s tree hails from the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest in Highland County, Virginia. A sendoff ceremony was held Nov. 13 and after a multicity tour, the 64-foot red spruce arrived at the Capitol Nov. 29.

The Capitol Holiday Tree has been a tradition since 1964.

Historian, Philosopher Win Second Kluge Prize

Librarian of Congress James Billington announced last week that historian Jaroslav Pelikan and philosopher Paul Ricoeur had been selected to receive the second annual John W. Kluge Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Human Sciences. The two scholars will receive their $1 million shared award at a ceremony Wednesday in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.

Pelikan’s historic research deals with Christian traditions from the ancient Near East to the present. For more than 50 years he has studied intellectual, cultural and religious history, and his major achievements include his work on the life and work of Martin Luther and his volumes on the expansion of Christian sects in modern time.

Ricoeur is a French philosopher who began teaching in 1945. At 91 he still draws on a wide range of Western philosophies to explore the meaning of self. He is an author and an activist who continues to reach across disciplines to explain and understand different ways of thinking and communicating.

The Kluge prize is given for lifetime achievement in the humanities and social sciences, two areas of scholarship for which there are no Nobel Prizes.

Campaigns, Groups Team Up for GAIN Days

Staffers can put networking skills to work while mingling with top campaigns, organizations and employers from the political community at GAIN Days from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at H20 Restaurant and Lounge, 800 Water St. SW.

The day will consist of career seminars, a job fair and interviews with employers such as the Sierra Club, EMILY’s List, Planned Parenthood, America Votes, League of Conservation Voters, AFL-CIO, Democratic National Committee, Women’s Information Network, Human Rights Campaign and many others.

A networking reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Space is limited, but more information can be found by calling (202) 863-GAIN or visiting www.Democratic GAIN.org.

— Dori Berman, John McArdle and Jennifer Lash