NYU President John Sexton and Provost David McLaughlin hosted a private faculty honors reception in the Silver Center’s Hemmerdinger Hall on Nov. 25 to honor faculty for receiving distinguished awards in 2013.
This is the second year for the reception, but the university plans to make it an annual event.
“The heart of any university is its faculty,” university spokesman John Beckman said. “We congratulate them on their well-deserved honors.”
Regina Drew, deputy director for Strategic Initiatives at University Relations and Public Affairs, explained that the reception is designed to highlight honors from non-NYU organizations. Some university awards are included, such as the Distinguished Teaching Award and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award.
However, the event focused on external recognition.
“It’s just a way to congratulate our faculty and also a really nice way to highlight the range and the diversity of the different faculty expertise,” Drew said.
At the reception, both Sexton and McLaughlin gave brief remarks. McLaughlin lauded the faculty for their varied accomplishments.
“Among you are winners of awards as diverse as the Natio-nal Humanities Medal and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, both awarded by President Obama, a Grammy, an Emmy, a Pulitzer and awards that span fields as disparate as applied mathematics, ceramics, architecture, philosophy and engineering, only at NYU,” McLaughlin said.
College of Nursing professor and winner of the Rosemary Ludden Award for Innovative Nursing Practice Wendy Budin said the scope of awards was impressive.
“Hearing John Sexton speak and hearing all of the incredible accomplishments of the other faculty, or not faculty, colleagues is just amazing,” Budin said.
Steve Koonin, director for the Center for Urban Science and Progress and winner of Crain’s New York Business People to Watch in Higher Education award, said he appreciated the recognition. Koonin also said he was surprised to be honored because he thought he was at the ceremony to support a colleague.
“It’s always nice to know people are watching,” Koonin said.
Susanne Wofford, the dean of the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, attended to support her school’s honorees in architecture, literature, teaching and the history of science. She said she appreciated how the reception drew attention to each NYU school.
“It’s easy for faculty to get cordoned off into their own little academic bailiwick,” Wofford said. “And we struggle always at NYU to build as many ties across those boundaries.”
She also appreciated Sexton’s support and said that the president gave his famous “elevator advice,” which is to make elevator conversation by bringing up the fact that in one year, NYU faculty won a Pulitzer Prize, a Nobel Prize and a Tony award.
“I’ve probably heard him say it three times a year for seven years,” Wofford said. “[Sexton is] very proud of it. He thinks that it’s distinguishing NYU, not just that we have great researchers, but we have great performers.”