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KPBS Celebrates Gala inspired by Downton Abbey
Event logo
KPBS Staff
KPBS Celebrates Gala inspired by Downton Abbey Event logo

Geisel, Prebys, and Warner to be inducted into the KPBS Hall of Fame

KPBS is pleased to announce that audience favorite Downton Abbey is the theme for this year’s gala. The KPBS Celebrates Gala inspired by Downton Abbey will be held at the historic US Grant on Saturday, May 4, 2013. The event will also honor the 2012 KPBS Hall of Fame inductees Audrey Geisel, Conrad Prebys, and Brad Warner. Proceeds from the event support the station’s mission and programs.

Downton Abbey is one of the most exciting and highly acclaimed programs on PBS in decades,” said KPBS General Manager Tom Karlo. “Not to mention audiences love it! We’re thrilled to build on all the excitement around Season 3 and to celebrate this great series as well as public broadcasting in San Diego.”

Longtime KPBS member and donor, Darlene Marcos Shiley, is the event’s Honorary Chair. “Masterpiece is one of TV’s finest dramatic programs,” said Shiley. “I’m also very proud of KPBS and what it does to enhance our community. Chairing this event will help build even more support and enthusiasm for the series and KPBS.” Shiley is a major donor to the Masterpiece Trust. Last spring’s $1 million gift from Shiley is the largest to date for the Trust and underscores her commitment to arts programming, her appreciation for KPBS, and her love for Masterpiece.


Built in 1910, the US Grant is an ideal setting for the KPBS Celebrates Gala inspired by Downton Abbey. Event designers, Meeting Architects, will take the spirit and times of England in the early 1900s – from costumes, architecture and design – to create a one-of-a-kind event. From the moment guests arrive at Grant’s 4th Avenue entrance, they will feel as though they stepped into Downton for dinner with the Crawleys.

As part of the event, the station will recognize three extraordinary people in the KPBS Hall of Fame. Audrey S. Geisel will be recognized as a Visionary for her longstanding commitment to KPBS’ outreach and literacy programs for children. Also receiving the Visionary honor is San Diego developer and philanthropists Conrad Prebys and Debbie Turner for their recent gift to the Masterpiece Trust and KPBS.

KPBS’ first TV Program Manager, Brad Warner, is also being inducted with the Lifetime Achievement honor. Warner, who passed away in 2002, joined KPBS in 1967 and led many station firsts including the first TV broadcast, the first telecast in color, the first auction fundraiser, and the creation of the station’s public affairs department headed by the late Gloria Penner.

The KPBS Celebrates Gala is sponsored by CARS, Inc., The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, Scripps Health, and City National Bank. Additional support is also provided by the members of the Honorary Committee: Darlene Marcos Shiley, Audrey S. Geisel by way of the San Diego Foundation / Dr. Seuss Fund, Cymer, and Joan and Irwin Jacobs.


The KPBS Celebrates Gala is a festive way to support public broadcasting in San Diego while honoring the KPBS Hall of Fame inductees. For information, visit

Contact Claudine Casillas

(619) 594-4266

KPBS is a public service of San Diego State University, serving the region with TV, Radio and Internet content that is educational as well as entertaining—and free of commercial interruption.