The lady won't be 100 until next year.
But there will be plenty of activity, loads of celebrations and parties, many a civic event leading up to the Statue of Liberty's centennial Oct. 28, 1986. And meanwhile the lady is undergoing almost a full-length lift. (The renovation is expected to be finished by July, 1986.)
This past week Nancy Sureck, national director for special events for the centennial, was in town, visiting with the local committee, museum people, civic leaders and important business people and coordinating local activities with the national plans.
Suzanne Marx, whose community activities will be curtailed when she joins the Grand Jury on July 1, hosted a ladies' reception at the Regency Club for a group of local doers and the local staff for the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. She talked about the emotional experience it is to fly over the statue and her torch. And then she introduced Maggie Hardy, formerly with the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, where she worked with Peter Ueberroth and Harry Usher. Usher is now director for the foundation and Maggie is associate director. The local news is that on Oct. 26 there will be an all-day celebration in Los Angeles honoring the Statue of Liberty and ending with a gala in a historical landmark building, Patriotic Hall, located where the Santa Monica and Harbor freeways meet.
Nancy's news concerned Oct. 28. On that date there will be the world premiere of Richard Adler's "The Lady Remembers," performed by the Detroit Symphony at Washington's Kennedy Center. The black-tie event is a thank you to major donors to the centennial celebration and is being underwritten by the Chrysler Corp. Fund.
On the Fourth of July in New York, President Reagan will be on hand for the return of the Tall Ships, yet another salute to the statue. And then on her actual birthday, France's President Francois Mitterrand (you do remember that the statue was France's gift to the United States) joins President Reagan in the re-dedication of the Statue of Liberty and the real birthday party.
Listening attentively at the Regency Club reception were, among others, Jo Usher, Anita Nye, Keith Kieschnick, Lady Dodge, Loreen Arbus, Diane Keith, Betty Leonard, Patricia Hearst, Sally Stewart, Bobbie Galpin, Judy Horton, Arletta Tronstein, Peggy Parker, Lisa Specht and Nancy Vreeland.
The Peking Self-Study University has no campus, no regular teaching staff and no government funding. But since it began in 1980 it has registered about 250,000 students from all over China. There is no restriction as to age or background, so the student body is a widely varied one. No one seeking an education, we're told, is turned away.
"Many of the students are those who could not go to school during the Cultural Revolution," explains Madame Sylvia Wu, who first heard of the university last October from her friend Peter Sun, then general manager and vice president of the Great Wall Hotel.
Feeling that the "Chinese people must be educated if they are to deal with American and other foreign interests seeking to do business with China," Madame Wu accepted the challenge to try to raise money for the university.
Mrs. Richard Wolford (for 10 years executive president of the Amazing Blue Ribbon) also has been recruited and with Madame Wu will co-host a glorious Chinese gala dinner (five chefs from the Great Wall Hotel will be at the woks) on Sept. 4 at Madame Wu's Garden to raise money for the university. The date just happens to coincide with the restaurant's 25th anniversary, so the celebration will be doubly festive.
Both ladies will also co-host a luncheon Friday at the restaurant to talk about the needs of the university and its goals. Among those who've been invited: Mrs. Hal Wallis, Mrs. Robert Erburu, Mrs. Peter O'Malley, Mrs. Richard Keatinge, Mrs. Gordon Davidson, Mrs. Otis Chandler, Mrs. Jack Wrather, Virginia Milner, Mrs. Dennis Stanfill, Mrs. Thomas Wachtell, Mrs. Armand Deutsch, Mrs. Herbert Boswell, Mrs. Vernon Underwood, Mrs. Marco Weiss, Mrs. Harry Falk, Barbro Taper, Wallis Annenberg and Lyn Kienholz.
The Rodeo Drive Committee will be honoring that tall and aristocratic fashion designer, the Vicomtesse Jacqueline de Ribes, at its 1985 gala Nov. 1. Chairing the black-tie affair, which will benefit the County Museum of Art (tickets are $250 per person), are Tiffany's Roberta Herbison and Vidal Sassoon's Andrew Forbes.
Pay close attention, please. Columbia Pictures has moved its world premiere of "Silverado," a benefit for the American Film Institute, to July 8. The AFI Associates committee, headed by president Patricia Barry, Patti Skouras and Nancy Ellington, are madly trying to get the word out. Their invitations, long since popped into the mail, gave the date as July 11. And that's wrong, wrong, wrong.
As for the Princess Grace Foundation gala at the Beverly Wilshire, the date there is Nov. 3.