News Release - Board of Trustees News: Geneva H. Thornton Retires; Simon K.C. Li Elected as New Member

Jul. 9, 2019

SAN MARINO, Calif.— Geneva H. Thornton, member of the Board of Trustees for The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens since 2008, has announced her retirement from the Board, effective immediately. Newly elected to the Board is Simon K.C. Li, longtime member of The Huntington's Board of Governors (formerly the Board of Overseers).

The five-member Board of Trustees is responsible for The Huntington's financial sustainability and overarching direction. It is supported in its work by a 60-member Board of Governors that helps advise on a range of specialized areas, including finance, research, and education, as well as the art, library, and botanical collections.

"Geneva has played a crucial leadership role here, providing strong direction and strategic wisdom during her tenure," said Loren R. Rothschild, the chair of the Board of Trustees. "We are deeply indebted to her." Geneva and her husband, Chuck, are longstanding Huntington supporters, having provided major support for more than two decades, including a substantial gift toward the renovation of the Huntington Art Gallery in the early 2000s; the portrait gallery is named in their honor.

Geneva is a fourth-generation Californian, whose great-grandfather began a family orchard shortly after the Gold Rush in the Sacramento area. A graduate of Pomona College, she had a successful career as an interior designer. The Thorntons' historic San Marino home, designed in 1928 by noted architect Myron Hunt, was transferred to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2018.

Newly appointed Trustee Simon K.C. Li retired from full-time journalism as assistant managing editor of the Los Angeles Times in 2007 after 23 years there. During his tenure at the Times, he directed coverage of the Gulf War. He has served on the board of directors of Inside Climate News, which was winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, and the International Press Institute. He received his bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford and his master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was elected to serve on The Huntington's Board of Governors in 2010. He also serves on the board of Huntington Memorial Hospital, Pasadena.

Li and his wife, June, are originally from Hong Kong. June is an art historian and the retired founding curator of The Huntington's Chinese Garden. Both are longtime supporters of The Huntington, helping to fund the construction of the garden as well as its programs. "Simon's long dedication to The Huntington, along with his experience and excellent judgment, will serve The Huntington well," said Rothschild. "He's a deeply analytical and incisive thinker. I look forward to working with him on the Board."

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Susan Turner-Lowe, 626-405-2147,
Thea M. Page, 626-405-2260,

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