Renaissance Weekend

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Renaissance Weekend is an invite-only American retreat for leaders in business and finance, government, the media, religion, medicine, science, technology and the arts. Conversations are off-the-record and subject matter ranges widely, tending to focus heavily on policy and business issues.[1]


Founded in 1980 on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina by Linda LeSourd Lader and her husband Philip Lader,[2] the former U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James's, Renaissance Weekends, now held in several locations each year, are structured to encourage the transcendence of political, economic, and religious differences by bringing together distinguished participants from a wide range of fields, including CEOs, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, Nobel Laureates and Pulitzer Prize-winners, artists and scientists, astronauts and Olympians, judges, diplomats and Presidents, Prime Ministers, professors and priests, Republicans, Democrats and Independents.[3] The Weekends are geared towards the establishment of an environment free of partisanship and commercialism, where "civility prevails." Membership is by invitation only.[3]

Sixty families pioneered the Lader's 1980 New Year's house party. The result has been a cross-generational "continuing conversation" of individuals with broadly divergent perspectives, no political agenda, but a legacy of ideas and friendships.


The mission is "To build bridges among innovative leaders with exceptionally diverse perspectives."[4] Each Renaissance Weekend seeks to build bridges across traditional divides of professions, politics, geography, age, religions, philosophies, religion, and race.[5] For over 25 years, these family retreats' objective has been to encourage personal and national renewal.[5]

Through hundreds of panels, seminars and workshops each Weekend, participants themselves address such public policy and personal concerns as "America's Responsibility to the World," "Investment Perspectives," "How the Media has Covered the War Against Terrorism," "Corporate Governance After Enron," "Beating Cancer," "My Family's Legacies for Life," and "Christianity, Judaism & Islam - Eternal Truths & Current Myths."


"More than 1,000 participants will take part in 500 lectures, seminars, discussions and performances during the four-day event." The Clinton family attended Renaissance Weekend for 13 years.[6] Some former attendees of Renaissance Weekend, listed by the year(s) of attendance have included;




Military and intelligence[edit]

Science and technology[edit]


  • 2010 – Gordon Gee, President of West Virginia University and former President of Ohio State University.[9]
  • 2010 – Lawrence Bacow, lawyer and economist, former President of Tufts University.[9], President of Harvard University.
  • 2010 – Howard Gardner, Harvard educator, director of Harvard Project Zero and co-founder of the Good Project.[9]
  • 2010 – Sherry Turkle, professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[9]


  1. ^ Theroux, Paul (2015). Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads. London, UK: Hamish Hamilton. p. 46. ISBN 9780241146729.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Jehl, Douglas (1993-12-31). "Bill, Hillary and Other Plain Folks Are All Set for One Heady Weekend". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Renaissance Weekend returns to Charleston". Post and Courier. 2015-12-28. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  4. ^ "The Clinton Renaissance®". Weekly Standard. 2012-02-27. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  5. ^ a b Wallace, Meaghan. "Annual Renaissance Weekend starts with interfaith service at Mother Emanuel". Live5news. Frankly and Raycom Media. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  6. ^ a b c d "Renaissance Weekend: Mixing Ideas, Relationships". Chicago Tribune. 1997-01-02. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  7. ^ a b c JEHL, DOUGLAS (1992-12-30). "Clinton, Others Begin 5-Day 'Thinking Party' : Retreat: Renaissance Weekend is casual in tone, intense in discussion from spiritual to political". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  8. ^ a b c d BRODER, JOHN M. (1995-01-01). "Clintons Drop in on Renaissance Weekend : Conference: First Family joins gathering of 300 intellectual leaders. Participants say the talk and mutual support is just what the President needs". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Renaissance Weekend kicking off today expected to bring 1,100 to Charleston". Post and Courier. 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  10. ^ a b c d "Innovative leaders come to Charleston for Renaissance Weekend". ABC 4 News, of Mount Pleasant South Carolina. Sinclair Broadcast Group. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  11. ^ Stolberg, Sheryl Gay; Schweber, Nate (2010-07-16). "On the Trail of Chelsea Clinton's Wedding". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-06-20.

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