Sydney S. Gross
Director of Communications
The former President of the Republic of Estonia, the creator of Netflix show Orange is the New Black, and the president and CEO of Cantillon Capital Management, among others, are being honored for their professional achievements at the 39th Annual John Jay Awards Dinner on Wednesday, March 1.
The John Jay Awards Dinner benefits the John Jay National Scholars Program, which provides financial support and academic programming for outstanding Columbia College students.
The 2017 John Jay Honorees are:
David B. Barry CC'87
President, Ironstate Development Co.
Joseph A. Cabrera CC'82
Vice-Chair, Eastern Region, Colliers International
Toomas Hendrik Ilves CC'76
Former President, Republic of Estonia
Jenji Kohan CC'91
Executive Producer and Screenwriter
William A. von Mueffling CC'90, BUS'95
President and CEO, Cantillon Capital Management
“We are so pleased to be celebrating five of our notable alumni for their professional achievements and commitment to Columbia College,” said James J. Valentini, Dean of Columbia College and Vice President for Undergraduate Education. “Our honorees are an inspiration to our John Jay scholars and to all of our students, demonstrating how Columbia College students distinguish themselves after graduation and make a difference in their communities and in the world.”
More than 200 honorees have received this prestigious award since its inception. Past recipients including Emanuel Ax CC’70, 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.
The John Jay National Scholars Program is named after Founding Father and College alumnus John Jay, a student of classics and law and a leading proponent of the principles of the American constitution. The program promotes intellectual growth, leadership development and global awareness.
“The John Jay National Scholars Program enables us to bring exceptional students Columbia, who contribute so much to our community, and allows us to support these students through special programs and advising,” Valentini added. “The program motivates scholars to reach beyond their comfort zones, to learn that they can make a difference in society, and, in fact, that they have a responsibility to make a difference.”