The Glimmerglass Festival’s Board of Trustees this week named Nellie Gipson, Robert Schlather, and Senator James Seward Honorary Life Trustees, recognizing the trio’s exceptional involvement with the world-renowned program.
“Honorary Trusteeships were established several years ago by the governing board to recognize and acknowledge individuals from our ranks for their extraordinary service and exceptional contributions,” said Board Chairman Robert Nelson. “Nellie, Bob, and Jim have provided and continue to provide invaluable guidance as regular trustees, and this additional distinction is a special way we are able to express our deepest appreciation.”
Mr. Nelson said the Honorary Life Trustee honor is not an annual event but is reserved only for those times when the Board believes they should recognize high achievement.
“It’s the highest honor a trustee for the Festival can ever reach,” Mr. Nelson said. “Their total contributions over the years are amazing.”
Nellie Gipson served on the Glimmerglass Festival Board of Trustees since 2018; she and her husband, Robert, are major supporters of many of the area’s historical, educational, and cultural institutions.
Cooperstown attorney Bob Schlather has contributed thousands of hours to the Festival, helping the organization evolve from its years in the Cooperstown High School and finding and securing the Company’s 37,000-sq. ft. warehouse and rehearsal hall in the Town of Warren – a move the Board calls “a necessity and game-changer as the Festival grew in scope and reputation.”
During his three decades as a New York State Senator, Jim Seward was vital to the Company after its move from the high school to the Opera House. He made possible nearly $4 million in special state funding for projects ranging from flood damage repairs to the expansion of restrooms, the building of the rehearsal hall, and major improvements to the Festival’s campus.
“We’re so thrilled to honor all three,” Mr. Nelson said. “Our Board is so diverse and all are from the Cooperstown area. That means so much to us as a Board that all have been a huge part of the community as well as a huge part of us.”