Four distinguished alumni to be honored with Arents Awards at Reunion Gala Luncheon
Four distinguished alumni to be honored with Arents Awards at Reunion Gala LuncheonSeptember 15, 2008Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
Four distinguished Syracuse University alumni representing excellence in the areas of literature, publishing, business and medicine will be honored at Reunion + Homecoming Weekend with George Arents Pioneer Awards, the highest alumni honor the University bestows.
At the Reunion Gala Luncheon on Friday, Sept. 19, Edwin N. London ’49, Andrea Davis Pinkney ’85 and Daniel H. Present ’55 will receive Arents Awards for their outstanding accomplishments.
The fourth Arents Award will be accepted by Barry Hyman, son of the late Shirley Jackson ’40, who is being honored posthumously with an Arents this year.
The Reunion Gala Luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. Reservations are required; contact the Office of Alumni Relations for further information.
Edwin N. London ’49George Arents Pioneer Award for excellence in the field of entertainment industry management
London of White Plains, N.Y., is recently retired as New York managing partner of Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman, which specializes in financial services to clients in music, motion pictures, television, literature and other creative and performing arts.
A Rochester native, London worked in the radio, advertising and public relations fields before entering the photographic supply retail business in New York City. Eventually, he owned seven stores in New York and a graphic arts supply distribution business in Connecticut. He is a past president of Photo Marketing Association International and Photographic Research Organization Inc., for which he also served as chairman. Following the sale of his stores in the late 1970s, London joined Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman, becoming a principal and managing partner of the New York office. In recent years, he has helped facilitate the establishment of the Billy Joel Scholarships for the advancement of music education at various universities, including the Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University.
At SU, London dual-majored in journalism and management.
He has served on the SU Alumni Board of Directors and the Advisory Board for the College of Visual and Performing Arts. London and his wife, Elaine ’50, have chaired the SU Annual Fund Campaign of Greater New York and served as area interviewers for student recruiting. In 2003, London received the honor of Outstanding SU Alumnus of Year. He currently is a member of the board of overseers of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the board of directors of the ASCAP Foundation.
Andrea Davis Pinkney ’85George Arents Pioneer Award for excellence in the field of publishing
Publishing executive Pinkney’s diverse professional background and experience come from being well versed in the many aspects of the publishing process.
As vice president and editor-at-large for Scholastic Trade, Pinkney has acquired and edited a robust mix of titles, including the Newbery Honor Book “Elijah of Buxton” (2007) by Christopher Paul Curtis; “Sunrise Over Fallujah” (2008) by Newbery Honor author and National Book Award finalist Walter Dean Myers; “March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World” (2008) by Christine King Farris (the sister of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.); and the upcoming “Sassy” series by New York Times best-selling author Sharon Draper. Additionally, Pinkney will soon publish “Crow Call,” the first picture book by two-time Newbery Medalist Lois Lowry.
Pinkney began her editorial career at Essence Magazine as senior editor for Contemporary Living, where she headed up one of the most vibrant profit centers at the magazine. She then went on to pursue a career in children’s book publishing, serving as an acquisitions editor at Simon & Schuster and then as editorial director at Disney Publishing’s Hyperion Books for Children. During her tenure at Disney, she was the founding editor of “Jump at the Sun,” the first African American children’s book imprint at a major publishing house. Under “Jump at the Sun,” Pinkney launched the popular best-selling series “The Cheetah Girls,” which has now become a Disney media franchise. Pinkney also created the “Shanna Show” book series, now a Disney Channel animated selection.
After Disney, Pinkney joined the Children’s Division of Houghton Mifflin as vice president and publisher. While there, she served as the strategic visionary and chief architect of the children’s trade editorial program and oversaw the successful expansion of the company’s key franchises, including the Curious George publishing program and the media tie-in program for the bestselling children’s classic “The Polar Express.”
This year, Pinkney was named one of the “25 Most Influential Black Women in Business” by The Network Journal, a publication for black professionals.
Pinkney is also a writer and has authored more than 20 books for children, including the Caldecott Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Honor Book “Duke Ellington” (Hyperion, 1999), illustrated by her husband Brian Pinkney; “Let it Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters” (Gulliver Books, 2000), a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and winner of the Carter G. Woodson Award; and “Alvin Ailey” (Hyperion, 1993), a Parenting Publication Gold Medal winner. Pinkney’s newest book, to be published this fall, is “Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation” (Amistad), the story of the Montgomery bus boycotts of 1952, as told from the point of view of a blues-guitar-playing hound dog.
Pinkney lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.
Daniel H. Present ’55George Arents Pioneer Medal for excellence in the field of medicine
Present is a clinical professor of medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and internationally recognized practicing gastroenterologist, earning a reputation as one of the top researchers in this specialty. He has been a leader in the ongoing research to find cures for such illnesses as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and is a pioneer in developing effective treatments for these debilitating gastrointestinal problems.
Present is a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Gastroenterology, a member of the American Gastroenterological Association and the IOIBD, and a master of the American College of Gastroenterology. He has published more than 150 articles and many abstracts on inflammatory bowel disease. He has served as section editor for the Journal of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and has served as an ad hoc reviewer for the New England Journal of Medicine, the Annals of Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, the American Journal of Gastroenterology and Gut.
Present co-founded with his wife, Jane ’56, the Foundation for Clinical Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which supports clinical research and education for both physicians and patients. He is a recipient of the American Gastroenterological Association Distinguished Clinician Award and the Crohn’s and Colitis Lifetime Achievement Award.
Present graduated from SU in 1955 and has stayed active in alumni clubs and events in New York City. He and his wife have also been very involved in SU’s High School for Leadership and Public Service in New York City, developing mentoring programs for students and coordinating alumni volunteers. In 2007, their son Douglas, a 1986 SU graduate, established a scholarship in his parents’ names to be awarded to a graduate of the High School for Leadership and Public Service.
Shirley Jackson ’40George Arents Pioneer Award for excellence in the field of literature
Jackson was an influential novelist, playwright and children’s writer in the 1950s, best known for her short story “The Lottery.” A consistently best-selling fiction author and pioneer for women writers, she died in 1965 at the age of 48.
Jackson attended high school in Rochester, and went on to the University of Rochester before transferring to SU, where she honed her writing skills and co-edited a new campus literary magazine, The Spectre. She graduated in 1940 with a degree in English and went on to marry classmate Stanley Edgar Hyman, who would become a noted literary critic.
Living in New York City following graduation, Jackson became an editorial assistant for The New Republic and saw success in getting several stories nationally published. In 1945, Jackson and her husband moved to Vermont, where she authored “The Lottery,” which was published in 1948 in the June 26 issue of The New Yorker. Jackson continued writing for several decades. Her novels include “The Road Through the Wall” (Farrar, Straus and Co., 1948), “Hangsaman” (Farrar, Straus & Young, 1951), “The Bird’s Nest” (Farrar, Straus, 1954), “The Sundial” (Ace, 1958), “The Haunting of Hill House” (Amereon Limited, 1959) and “We Have Always Lived in the Castle.” (Amereon Limited, 1962). Many of Jackson’s works were adapted for the stage, television and movies. In addition to her adult literary novels, Jackson also wrote children’s novels, including “9 Magic Wishes” (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2001).
In 1965, Jackson and her husband returned to the SU campus to teach a seminar. At the time, it was announced that she was selected to receive an Arents Award. Jackson, however, passed away before she was able to receive her award.
After her death, her husband released a posthumous volume of her work, “Come Along With Me” (Viking Adult, 1968), containing several chapters of her unfinished last novel, as well as several rare short stories. Her and her husband’s papers are collected in the Library of Congress.