Visitors to ARRL Headquarters will be greeted with something new in the area in front of the main entrance. Complementing the terrace of memorial bricks and benches on the left, a new Centennial Terrace on the right side of the main entrance was dedicated on July 17 at a ribbon-cutting and reception, held in conjunction with the ARRL National Centennial Convention now underway in Hartford, Connecticut. The Centennial Terrace features an impressive central granite pillar bearing the visage of ARRL Co-Founder Hiram Percy Maxim, W1AW, and the names of the ARRL Second Century Campaign (SCC) Committee, chaired by David Brandenburg, K5RQ. The central pillar, which also displays the SCC logo, is flanked by two granite panels. Engraved on these are the names of those who have gone the extra mile in contributing to the League’s future as members of the Maxim Society by giving between $10,000 and $1 million over their lifetimes.
ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, told the gathering of about 200 that contributing to the Second Century Campaign “is not so much a donation to the ARRL as an investment in the future of Amateur Radio.”
“We are the conduit. We are the means. Amateur Radio is the end,” she added in thanking all contributors.
The permanent installation is a means to “make sure that future generations remember your generosity,” ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, said.
ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, hosted the gathering, which Sumner called “bittersweet,” since Hobart is stepping down at the end of July to retire. “We’ll miss her tremendously,” he said.
Sumner said the Centennial Terrace dedication and the convention are a part of the history of Amateur Radio, which, he continued, would have ended long ago had it not been for “the vision of the founders of this organization.”
“The only way we have to repay that debt is to pay it forward to the future to make sure that Amateur Radio and the ARRL as the defender and supporter of Amateur Radio, are here long after we’re gone.” Donors to the campaign “now are a part of the ARRL’s history and of Amateur Radio’s history,” he concluded.
Brandenburg said he stepped up to chair the Second Century Campaign Committee because he felt a need to help those coming into the hobby in the same way he was helped when he got into Amateur Radio when he was 14. “For everybody here,” he said, “ham radio is a big deal to us, and it’s very important to us that we keep it going.”
Sumner said that when this week is over, there will be two groups of radio amateurs: Those who attended the ARRL National Centennial Convention and those who wish they had.
An 11 minute video of the Centennial Terrace dedication is available for viewing on YouTube.