By Christina Mueller, CQ Press Editorial Assistant
Stepping into the Old Reading Room of the Folger Shakespeare Library at the SAGE 45th Anniversary celebration stole the hearts of all those with a passion for books – and in the field of publishing one can safely assume that included everyone in the room. Home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare materials and a world-renowned research center, the library was a fitting place to honor the international and independently-owned publishing company.* Located on Capitol Hill, in the heart of Washington, DC, the space was equally poignant for a celebration of the social and behavioral sciences, the theme for this year’s anniversary.
Now with more than 1,000 employees and offices on four continents, SAGE has much to celebrate. But on a balmy Washington night in May, true recognition and appreciation went to publisher and executive chairman, Sara Miller-McCune. For the newest members of the SAGE family, it was the first time authors, editors, and employees of CQ Press could come together to share the accomplishments and work of SAGE’s founder. Sara held candid conversations with attendees, many of whom were meeting her for the first time, and signed complimentary copies of her new book, Being SAGE: Memories of the First 45 Years. CQ Press President and Publisher, John Jenkins, and President and CEO of SAGE, Blaise Simqu, presented Sara with a first folio of Two Gentlemen of Verona commemorating the event.
“It was inspiring to hear some of SAGE’s first authors talk about the company’s beginnings and the important role Sara played in nurturing their work,” recalled Brenda Carter, Executive Director for College Publishing at CQ Press. “She was instrumental in establishing new fields of inquiry that have helped frame contemporary social policy discussions.”
Among the guests were some of CQ Press’s first authors, Walter Oleszek and Frances Lee. Their book Congress and Its Members – now in its twelfth edition – was the second title signed to CQ Press’s well-known political science list.
Special recognition was also paid to Marilyn Gittell, the founding editor of Urban Affairs Quarterly (now Urban Affairs Review) SAGE’s first journal, who passed away February 26, 2010. Gittell, a political scientist and professor at Queens College, was Sara’s former professor and life-long friend and mentor — what Sara calls her “publishing partner-in-crime.” Both women shared a passion for social justice and a dedication to education that echoed throughout their lives. The example of their lives and work resonated with guests, inspiring all of us who are passionate about our contributions and careers in academic publishing.
*The library is also home to the Folger Elizabethan Theater, among the few replicated Elizabethan-style theaters and a popular haunt for DC theater-goers. For a handful of lucky CQ Press employees, tickets to the Folger’s recent production of Hamlet were raffled off to attendees. Intimate and progressive, the innovative interpretation of the play appropriately capped off a special evening for CQ Press and the SAGE family.