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A (Virtual) Celebration of Scotland's Treasures

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Gala & Auction

Celebrate the 20th anniversary of The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA with musical performances, updates from Scotland, and special guest appearances by past Great Scots and friends on both sides of the Atlantic. The 2020 Great Scot Award will be presented to crime novelist Denise Mina, author of Conviction and The Long Drop, by New York Times-bestselling author Laura Lippman (Lady in the Lake, My Life as a Villainess). Live and silent auctions will feature favorite Scottish brands and experiences that can be enjoyed from the comfort of home.

Registration information to follow.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the ongoing public health emergency, the NTSUSA office is open for limited hours and staff continue to work remotely. Please do not hesitate to contact executive director Kirstin Bridier at kbridier@ntsusa.org or 617-227-7500 at any time if we can be of assistance.

Denise Mina

2020 Great Scot Award Honoree

Denise Mina is a Scottish crime writer and playwright. Born in East Kilbride in 1966, due to her father’s profession as an engineer, the family moved 21 times in 18 years: from Paris to The Hague, London, Scotland and Bergen. Mina left school at sixteen and worked in a variety of low-skilled jobs. In her twenties, however, she returned to education, earning an undergraduate degree from Glasgow University Law School and a PhD from Strathclyde. It was while researching a PhD thesis and teaching criminology and criminal law at Strathclyde University in the 1990s, that she decided to write her first novel Garnethill, published in 1998, which won the Crime Writers Association John Creasy Dagger for Best First Crime Novel. In 2014 she was inducted into the Crime Writers’ Association Hall of Fame.

Mina has now published 13 novels and also writes short stories, plays, and graphic novels. Her 2019 novel Conviction was selected as a Reese Witherspoon book club pick and New York Times Best Crime Novel of the Year. She presents TV and radio programs as well as regularly appearing in the media, and at literary festivals. In addition, she leads masterclasses on writing, and was a judge for the Bailey’s Prize for Women’s Fiction 2014. Mina lives in Glasgow, the frequent setting of her novels.

“We are thrilled to honor one of the leading voices in contemporary crime fiction at such an exciting moment in her career,” said Charlotte Lyeth Burton, chair of The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA. “Denise Mina’s novels brings the gritty city of Glasgow to life for readers from far beyond Scotland. In many ways, the city itself is a character as much as it is the setting for her work.”

The National Trust for Scotland cares for nearly 100 natural and cultural heritage properties across Scotland, including several important sites in Glasgow that have literary connections to Ms. Mina’s work: Alexander “Greek” Thomson’s Holmwood House and the Tenement House, located in the Garnethill neighborhood.


Honorary Chairs

Mrs. I.W. Colburn

Curt DiCamillo

Michael Scott Morton


Alasdair Nichol and Susi Ritt Nichol • Ellen Poss • Paul Roberts and Stephanie Donaldson • Naoma Tate

Vice Chairs

Mr. and Mrs. Bruce R. Burton • Christopher Forbes • Christopher Gow • Paula C. Kirby and Peter M. McWhinnie • Helen and DuWayne Sayles • Donna Schinderman

Live and Silent Auction

A Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures is our most important fundraising event of the year and the auction plays a significant role in our success. Featuring both a live and silent auction, there are opportunities for guests to bid on items at every price point.

Alasdair Nichol, chairman and co-owner of Freeman’s and a popular appraiser on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow will preside over the virtual live auction featuring favorite Scottish brands and experiences that can be enjoyed from the comfort of home. More information about live auction lots and links to the silent auction to follow.

NTSUSA would like to thank the following individuals for their invaluable support of the auction: Cherie Burton, Mrs. I.W. Colburn, David Hopes, Sam R. Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. M. Holt Massey, Robert Rapson, Paul Roberts, David Ross, Donna Schinderman, Naoma Tate, the Robert Titley Consultancy, and Alicia Volk.

Auction Sponsors

2019 A Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures Image Gallery

About the Great Scot Award

The Great Scot Award is presented annually to a Scot or American who has contributed to the countries’ shared heritage. The recipient is selected by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and the award presentation is the highlight of the annual gala, A Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures. Honorees include Billy Connolly (pictured here with presenter Alan Cumming, also a Great Scot Award honoree), Phyllis Logan, Ken Burns, and Alexander McCall Smith. Most recently the Great Scot Award was presented to sculptor Andy Scott, best known for his monumental equine installation The Kelpies. Below you will find a full list of past Honorees.

Great Scot Award Honorees

  • Honorees 2008-2016


    Phyllis Logan

    Actor, best known for her roles as Mrs. Hughes on Downton Abbey and Lady Jane Felsham on Lovejoy.


     Sir Billy Connolly

    Stand up comedian, actor, musician, TV presenter, and artist


    Richard Scott

    10th Duke of Buccleuch and the 12th Duke of Queensbury


    Ian Gow

    Chief Curator, National Trust for Scotland


    The International Alliance for the Advancement of Scottish Roots Music


    Mrs. Thomas J. Hubbard



    Christopher Forbes

    Vice chairman of Forbes Inc., noted collector and connoisseur


    Alan Cumming

    Award-Winning Actor, Singer, Writer, Producer, Director, and Author


    Alexander McCall Smith

    Internationally Acclaimed Author

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