Celebration of Learning is Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year and one of the most anticipated evenings on the city’s cultural calendar.

A special thank you to our generous Celebration of Learning supporters. With your generosity, we raised more than $783,000 for key library services and programs.

Save the date for next year's event on Friday, November 1, 2019. More information coming soon.

2018 Celebration of Learning Committee

  • Jennifer Massanova and Lou Von Thaer
Committee Members:  
  • Lauren Bonfield
  • Barbara Brandt
  • Christina Cheng
  • Darci Congrove
  • Sue Cooper
  • Barb Derrow
  • Sandy Doyle-Ahern
  • Marjorie Duffy
  • DeeDee Glimcher
  • Don Gorman
  • Mary Jo Green
  • Melissa Ingwersen
  • Tom Katzenmeyer
  • Charlotte Kessler
  • Patrick King
  • Wayne Lawson


  • Trip Lazarus
  • Vicki Linville
  • Jennifer McNally
  • Antoinette Mongillo
  • Shannon Morgan
  • Lucy Porter
  • Cindy Rasmussen
  • Lynne Redgrave
  • Corde Westwater Robinson
  • Barbara Siemer
  • Cathy Strauss
  • Steve Weiler
  • Hope Wolman
  • Ellen and Ed Yen
2018 Honorary Chairs

Lou Von Thaer and Jennifer Massanova

Lewis “Lou” Von Thaer and Jennifer Massanova may be new to central Ohio, but their contributions to the region and Columbus Metropolitan Library are already being felt. Lou was named president and CEO of Battelle in 2017 after previously serving as CEO of DynCorp International. In addition to his board service for several defense-industry organizations, he also is a Kansas State University Foundation trustee.

Jennifer’s career includes more than 20 years’ experience in HR and operations, networking and telecom manufacturing, medical devices manufacturing, and management consulting. She currently serves on the board of trustees of the Kansas State University and Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation and has volunteered in various capacities for animal rescue groups for the past 18 years.


2018 Julian Sinclair Smith Award for Lifelong Learning Honorees

Donna and Larry James

Larry and Donna James have been at the heart of the central Ohio business, legal, civic, and political scene for the last three decades. Larry, a respected litigator and advisor to both local and national clients, serves as managing partner at Crabbe Brown & James, LLP. His work includes his role as lead counsel for Ohio State athletes being investigated by the NCAA and general counsel of the National Fraternal Order of Police.

Donna is a trusted advisor to private- and public-sector leaders, ranging from entrepreneurs to C-suite Fortune 500 executives. Before starting her own firm, Lardon & Associates, she was president of Nationwide Strategic Investments, a division of Nationwide Mutual Insurance. She also serves on the board of directors for L Brands, Marathon Petroleum, Boston Scientific and the privately held FIS Group.

In addition to their myriad business and corporate accomplishments, Larry and Donna have a remarkable record of civic service. Donna is the co-founder and former board chair of the Center for Healthy Families. She also is a board trustee for OhioHealth, North Carolina A&T State University, executive director for the African-American Leadership Academy and co-chair for the Columbus CelebrateOne initiative. Since 1987, Larry has served as a board member or director for more than 20 different city, county, and statewide organizations, in addition to co-founding the African-American Leadership Academy. Currently, he serves as a member of the board of trustees of Kenyon College, and is the president of the board of both the King Arts Complex and the Lincoln Theatre.


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