Five accomplished Columbia College alumni to be honored for professional achievement

Mar 03, 2016, 13:43 ET from Columbia College

NEW YORK, March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The president and CEO of Boston's public radio station, the former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and the president and CEO of the United Way of New York City, among others, are being honored for their professional achievement at the annual John Jay Awards Dinner on Thursday, March 10. The dinner raises money for financial aid and special programming for outstanding Columbia College students.

This year's other recipients are the co-chairman and chair of antitrust and sports law practices at a prestigious international law firm and the co-chairman of global mergers and acquisitions at a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. 

The honorees are:

  • Jonathan C. Abbott CC'84, president and CEO of WGBH;
  • Julius Genachowski CC'85, managing director of The Carlyle Group and former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission;
  • Jeffrey L. Kessler CC'75, LAW'77, co-chairman of Winston & Strawn and chair of the firm's antitrust and sports law practices;
  • John Vaske CC'88, co-chairman of Global Mergers and Acquisitions at Goldman Sachs & Company; and
  • Sheena Wright CC'90, LAW'94, president and CEO of the United Way of New York City.


The dinner raises money for the John Jay National Scholars Program, which provides financial aid and special programming to enhance the experiences of outstanding Columbia College students.

The John Jay National Scholars Program is designed to promote intellectual growth, leadership development and global awareness and is centered on panels, discussions and presentations by leading professors and professionals from a variety of fields. Students are selected for the program based on the originality and independence of their thinking and their records of accomplishment.

The program and award are named after Founding Father John Jay, Class of 1764, a student of classics and the law. During the past 38 years, more than 200 Columbia College alumni have been honored with this award, including Emanuel Ax CC'70, Lester Bernstein CC'40, Ric Burns CC'78, Max Frankel CC'52, Dede Gardner CC'90, Art Garfunkel CC'62, Allen Ginsberg CC'48, Maggie Gyllenhaal CC'99, Eric H. Holder Jr. CC'73, Benjamin Jealous CC'94, Joel I. Klein CC'67, Robert K. Kraft CC'63, Tony Kushner CC'78, Robert J. Lefkowitz CC'62, Arthur Levitt CC'21, Sidney Luckman CC'39, Terrence McNally CC'60, George Stephanopoulos CC'82 and Julia Stiles CC'05.

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SOURCE Columbia College