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2019 Spring Gala The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership

On April 10, 2019, the Sorensen Institute community celebrated 26 years of service at the 2019 Annual Sorensen Institute Gala. This year it was held at the spectacular Altria Theater in Richmond, where more than 300 Sorensen alumni, supporters, board members, and staff, past and present gathered. It was a festive night, capped by the presentation of the first annual Sorensen Leadership Awards to a bipartisan group of distinguished Virginians and the Sorensen Founders’ Award to Leigh Middleditch.

Sponsorships and ticket sales for the Sorensen Gala totaled more than $180,000.00 You can still add to that total by making a contribution below. Sorensen relies entirely on your contributions and program fees, so we need your help.

This year’s gala seemed a bit more festive amid the architectural flourishes of the Altria Theater. The Altria had lit up its skylight in orange and blue as the Gala came just two days after UVA won the NCAA basketball championship.
Sorensen Gala guests came from all around Virginia, and beyond, and were greeted at the Altria Theater with a red carpet and a marquis heralding the big event.

Delegate Lashrecse Aird, a 2015 graduate of the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute Political Leaders Program, accepts the Emerging Leadership Award.

Phil Miskovic, accomplished councilman for the Town of Crewe and 2015 graduate of Sorensen's Political Leaders Program, accepts the Emerging Leadership Award.

Sharon Bulova, winner of the Sorensen Leadership Award, will soon retire following her third term as Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. For more than three decades she has governed with skill, engaged with her constituents, modeled transparency, and built a strong relationship with the Sorensen Institute.

Suzy Kelly accepts the Sorensen Leadership Award. As the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Kelly shared her business acumen and leadership knowledge across the Commonwealth. She built and leads a thriving business in Virginia, as well as served on the Sorensen Board.

This year the Founder’s Award was presented to Leigh Middleditch, a cofounder and long-time board member of the Sorensen Institute, with a decades-long record of service to Virginia. The Founder's Award has only been presented twice. It honors an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to building and sustaining the Sorensen Institute.

From all of us at Sorensen, thank you for supporting our Gala and helping us to raise the funds we need to continue the important work that makes you proud and makes Virginia’s government and politics work better for Virginians. It was a great party and we hope to see you there next Spring. Thanks to all you who support Sorensen in any way – with your contributions, by helping us to recruit and telling the story of Sorensen, and by your work each day in the governance of our Commonwealth.

By this time of year our Political Leaders Program is in full swing, with a dynamic group of leaders building relationships and learning about Virginia.

PLP Class of 2018

Our Candidate Training Program for 2019 is complete until next March and its graduates are on the campaign trail now, running ethical campaigns that can win!

CTP Class of 2018

Applications are being accepted for our Emerging Leaders Program through May 22.

ELP Class of 2018

And May 15 is the last day to apply to our weekend-long College Leaders Career Conference in June!

CLCC Class of 2018

Follow the link below to read more about the award winners on the Sorensen website.

To see more videos and learn more about the Sorensen Institute, subscribe to the Weldon Cooper Center YouTube Channel.

If you would like to donate to the Sorensen Institute, follow the link below to make a contribution.

Presented by the Weldon Cooper Center Media Team

Credits:

Created with images by Thong Vo - "untitled image" • Gabriel Santiago - "untitled image"

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