Star-Spangled Affair

2017 Founders Gala overview shot


The delicate notes of a piccolo, mixed with the ratta-tat-tat of a snare drum, alerted guests that this was no ordinary Founders Gala. USD’S signature black-tie fundraising event, held on Nov. 11, 2017, was attended by a record-topping 600 guests and raised an unprecedented net revenue of $1.3 million.

This year’s event grew the Founders Endowed Scholarship Fund that was established at the inaugural gala in 2009, and established a new, endowed scholarship fund dedicated to student veterans.

“On this very special Veterans Day, we honor the students, alumni and countless other men and women around the world who served in the military and vowed to protect our country and the freedoms on which it was founded,” President James T. Harris III, DEd, said at the event. “Tonight is about establishing and enhancing scholarships that can change the lives of our students who, in turn, can change the world.”

See a video of the evening at

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