|The Mission of the Manhattan Institute is
foster greater economic choice and
Honor To The Institute
When the Manhattan Institute presented its Alexander Hamilton Award to three deserving New Yorkers last night, it offered a useful glimpse at how this think tank has quietly helped change the course of this city - and nation.
MI doesn't run the American Museum of Natural History, one of the city's cultural treasures; Ellen Futter, its president and an honoree last night, does that.
MI can't claim credit for having founded the Central Park Conservancy; that honor goes to Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, another award recipient.
Nor is the institute a leader in the city's business world, a philanthropic mainstay for such institutions as the museum and the conservancy or a co-founder of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History; Richard Gilder, MI's third honoree, answers to those charges.
But by honoring these three, the institute helped promote its core priorities - cultural excellence, merit, an engaged citizenry. And Gotham benefits greatly from the transmission of those values.
Still, as award presenter, MI remains behind the scenes. It's a familiar role.
Indeed, though Rudy Giuliani rightly gets credit for Gotham's 1990s revival, it was MI that helped lay the intellectual groundwork behind his reforms. Ditto for welfare reform and other advances.
Surely the winners deserve all the honor bestowed on them last night. But so, too, do those who did the honoring.
©2002 New York Post
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