- Social Media
- Active Citizenship
- Good Giving
- Corporate Responsibility
- Be Fearless
Yesterday marked a momentous milestone for our chairman, Steve Case, who co-founded AOL (then Quantum Computer Services) 25 years ago, as well as our CEO, Jean Case who was a long-time marketing executive with the company.
The anniversary of AOL was a significant occasion for everyone at the Case Foundation. Steve and Jean's philanthropic endeavors began during their time at AOL, through their work in bridging the digital divide and through the creation of the AOL Foundation under Jean's leadership. A core principle of the Foundation and our programs - leveling the playing field for individuals to make a difference through community involvement and other philanthropic efforts, is very much in line with the spirit of AOL, which leveled the playing field for consumers to easily access online services, changed the way we interacted with each other and created new communities.
Yesterday's anniversary, and the fantastic festivities hosted by the company on its Dulles campus, was also an opportunity for us to reflect on the significant influence the AOL spirit of community has had on giving back in the greater Washington, D.C. area and beyond. Former Vice-Chairman Ted Leonsis' work is probably the most well-known, through the Leonsis Foundation, his work with Hoop Dreams, a nonprofit organization committed to expanding the academic and career horizons of Washington, D.C. public school students, and his other philanthropic endeavors. AOL co-founder Jim Kimsey has also made a significant impact on the local D.C. community and internationally for many years through the Kimsey Foundation, which was established in 1996. The list of contributions continues with former SVP Miles Gilburne, who has long supported educational and health initiatives; former CEO of AOL International Jack Davies through his work on the board of Venture Philanthropy Partners as well as his involvement with a variety of D.C.-area nonprofits; and the thousands of current and former AOL employees who have been inspired by these efforts to give back and become involved with their communities. And, we were particularly thrilled yesterday when AOL's CEO, Tim Armstrong, announced that the company would be re-launching the AOL Foundation, focused on giving back to the communities in which AOL works.
In addition to reflecting on the influence of AOL's development on the D.C.-based philanthropic community, a few of us former AOL-ers now at the Case Foundation had the opportunity to take part in the celebration, which honored Steve's contributions to the company and the development of the interactive services industry overall, as well as those of Jim Kimsey and Ted Leonsis. The significance of the occasion, celebrating the company that pioneered interactive services and connected tens of millions of Americans and people around the world to the Internet and to each other, can be seen in the tremendous amount of media interest in the event. Here are just a few highlights of the broadcast interviews articles looking back at the last 25 years and wondering about the next 25 for the iconic brand:
- Steve Case and Tim Armstrong (CEO of AOL) interview with CNBC
- Fox News' Neil Cavuto interviews Steve
- Associated Press video covers the anniversary, including comments from Steve and Tim
- US News and World Report features a Q&A with Steve and Tim
- The Washington Post features the anniversary and covers the history of AOL
The highlight of the day for us was the dedication of the Dulles headquarters building to be renamed the "Steve Case Center." As part of the festivities, the company also shared this great video tribute for Steve:
Happy Anniversary, AOL!