Founder’s Day celebrates James Rouse’s legacy with May 9 event in Columbia

April 27, 2017

Community members are invited to attend “Founder’s Day: A Celebration of the Vision, Leadership and Legacy of James Rouse” on Tuesday, May 9, from 9am-noon in Smith Theatre at Howard Community College (10901 Little Patuxent Parkway). The event is being presented by the Columbia 50th Birthday Celebration and HCC. It is free and open to the public.

Registration is encouraged at

“The vision for Columbia was to create a ‘better city’ — and James Rouse established the foundation for that ‘better city’ — but the success of Columbia is up to the people living and working in Columbia today,” explained event organizer Barbara Kellner, director of the Columbia Archives. “Founder’s Day gives everyone a chance to explore the possibilities with other community leaders.”

The event’s moderator is Josh Olsen, author of “Better Places, Better Lives: A Biography of James Rouse.” The keynote speaker is Harvard University professor of urban planning Ann Forsyth, who will speak about “Health and Well-Being in Columbia: Early Aims and Future Potential.”

After her presentation, Forsyth will lead a roundtable discussion titled “Going Forward: Today’s Answers to Creating a Better City”, featuring:
Ian Kennedy, executive director of the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission
Heather Kirk-Davidoff, enabling minister at Kittamaqundi Community Church
Nikki Highsmith Vernick, president and CEO of The Horizon Foundation
Ken Ulman, former Howard County executive and now the president of Margrave Strategies
Columbia’s 50th Birthday Celebration began in March and is continuing through Saturday, October 7, featuring a variety of community organizations and institutions that will be showcasing exhibits, events and activities throughout the 29-week celebration. More information is available at ColumbiaMD50 on Facebook and Twitter, as well as at

About Columbia Association

Columbia Association (CA) is a nonprofit community services corporation that manages Columbia, Maryland, a planned community that is home to approximately 100,000 people and several thousand businesses — and was named the No. 1 small city to live in by Money Magazine in 2016. Additional information about CA is available at

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