Renowned presidential historian and Andrew Jackson Foundation trustee Michael R. Beschloss will deliver the keynote address at the Music City Center.
“The Hermitage is honored to celebrate the legacy of Andrew Jackson and to honor these outstanding civic and political leaders,” said Howard Kittell, president and CEO of the Andrew Jackson Foundation. “This promises to be a great evening.”
Corker will receive the Jackson Award, named for the seventh president and presented to those whose leadership and courageous convictions have enhanced the lives of Tennesseans and brought benefit and honor to the body politic. Knestrick will receive the Lewis R. Donelson Award, named after the prominent lawyer and public servant in Tennessee who was the great grandson of Andrew Jackson Donelson and the nephew and protégé of Jackson. This award is given to a leader who has supported The Hermitage and its preservation efforts or has brought honor and recognition to Jackson, his era and his legacy.
On the Thursday night before the Gala, a Patrons’ Reception will be held at the Tennessee Residence hosted by Gov. and Mrs. Bill Haslam. The governor and the first lady will also serve as honorary chairs for the gala.
Corker was Tennessee’s commissioner of Finance and mayor of Chattanooga before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1974 with a degree in industrial management. He is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and an active member of the Banking Committee and the Budget Committee. Corker continues his efforts to end modern slavery and human trafficking in both the U.S. and abroad.
Knestrick, a Nashville native, has been a community leader and education advocate for many years. In 1991, she was named the first full-time “education specialist” for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, where she served as vice president of Education until her retirement in 2002. She is also a past board member of the PENCIL Foundation and the Ladies’ Hermitage Association (now the Andrew Jackson Foundation), where her leadership as regent was critical for the organization during and after the flood in 2010.
“These deserving recipients are leaders in our community and great representatives of Tennessee,” said Frances Spradley, Andrew Jackson Foundation regent. “We are honored to add them to our long list of esteemed Jackson and Donelson Award recipients.”
This marks the 10th year that The Hermitage will host its black-tie affair, which serves as the Foundation’s premier fundraising event. Co-chairs for the evening are Lake Eakin and Sandy Sangervasi. All Gala proceeds benefit the education and preservation programs at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, a nonprofit institution.
About The Hermitage
Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage: Home of the People’s President is one of the largest, most well-preserved and most visited presidential homes in the United States. Opened to the public in 1889, The Hermitage is one of America’s first presidential museums. Today, The Hermitage is a 1,120-acre National Historic Landmark with 27 historic buildings, including Jackson’s mansion and tomb, restored slave cabins, a church, and gardens. In recent years, new interpretive initiatives and educational programs have enhanced the experience of its 200,000 annual visitors. In 2015, The Hermitage launched Andrew Jackson: Born for a Storm, a state-of-the-art exhibit that delves into the life of Andrew Jackson, including his military and presidential careers. For more information, visit www.thehermitage.com.