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Five College Alumni Honored at John Jay Awards Dinner

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A festive crowd of more than 350 alumni, students, faculty, and family and friends packed Low Rotunda on March 10 for the 2009 John Jay Award Dinner.

The award recipients were actress Maggie Gyllenhaal '99, NAACP president Benjamin Jealous '94, Progenics CEO and CSO Dr. Paul Maddon '81, mortgage executive Thomas Francis Marano '83 and sculptor Gregory Wyatt '71.

John Jay Awards Dinner 2009
The 2009 John Jay Award recipients, on stage in Low Rotunda with President Lee C. Bollinger and Dean Austin Quigley, proudly showed their commemorative citations. From left, Benjamin Jealous ’94, Maggie Gyllenhaal ’99, Bollinger, Gregory Wyatt ’71, Dr. Paul Maddon ’81, Quigley and Thomas Francis Marano ’83.
Photo: Eileen Barroso

John Jay Scholar Samantha Elghanayan '09 addressed the attendees, prior to introducing Dean Austin Quigley. She noted how the program helps participants home in on "the importance of knowing yourself and knowing what drives you ... the program provides the tools to answer the question 'Who am I?' "

Quigley, attending the last John Jay Dinner of his 14-year tenure as Dean of the College, highlighted the achievements of each honoree, whose careers are varied yet all draw on the humanities in some way, and noted, "We give a special kind of education here at Columbia .... we're educating our students about the fundamental questions facing humanity today."

The black-tie dinner, an annual tradition, supports the John Jay Scholars Program, which honors the most outstanding first-year College students. John Jay Scholars benefit from the program by being offered the opportunity to participate in special programs such as panels, discussions and outings, all designed to promote intellectual growth, leadership development and global awareness.

For more on each honoree, please see College To Honor Five Alumni for Professional Achievement.

View the photo gallery.