New York, NY,
Nov 26, 2003 — Karen Bacon, PhD, dean of Stern College for Women, will receive the inaugural Presidential Medallion at the university’s 79th Annual Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation on Sunday, December 14, at The Waldorf=Astoria.
Dr. Bacon, the Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean of YU’s undergraduate college for women, will also deliver the Convocation address.
The Convocation begins at 5:30 pm in The Starlight Roof, where university President Richard M. Joel will present the award to Dr. Bacon and confer honorary degrees upon four communal leaders and philanthropists: Ruth L. Gottesman, J. Ezra Merkin, Marcia Robbins-Wilf, and Josh S. Weston.
A 1964 valedictorian of Stern College, Dr. Bacon was appointed the school’s first female dean in 1977. She has overseen a period of remarkable growth at the college, during which time the faculty grew, the student body almost doubled, and academic programs and facilities expanded. Dr. Bacon’s recognition coincides with the yearlong celebration of Stern College’s 50th Anniversary.
A former researcher in molecular biology, Dr. Bacon received a PhD in microbiology from UCLA, where she was a National Institute of Health Predoctoral Fellow and a United States Public Health Service Doctoral Trainee. She subsequently taught at the University of Indiana and Yeshiva College, YU’s undergraduate college for men.
•Ruth L. Gottesman, professor emerita of pediatrics, retired in 2001 after a 33-year career at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Gottesman founded the Adult Literacy Program at the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC) at Einstein in 1992 and is a vice chairperson of Einstein’s Board of Overseers and chairperson of its Student Affairs Committee. She has served as a member of the board of trustees of Columbia University Teachers College since 1989, and was the first director of The Fisher Landau Center for the Treatment of Learning Disabilities at Einstein.
•J. Ezra Merkin has been a managing partner of Gabriel Capital Group and its predecessor firm since 1985 and chairs the investment committees of Yeshiva University and of UJA-Federation of New York. Mr. Merkin is a trustee of the Beyeler Foundation and Museum in Basel, Switzerland. He is president of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue and vice chairman of the Ramaz School in New York.
•Marcia Robbins-Wilf is a founding member of the board of directors of Stern College for Women and chairperson of the board’s academic advisory committee. An educational consultant and reading specialist, Dr. Robbins-Wilf is a board member of Tzivos Hashem-Jewish Children International and the New Jersey Reading Association. She is also a trustee of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a member of the executive board of the Sister Rose Thering Endowment Fund.
•Josh S. Weston is the former chairman and chief executive of Automatic Data Processing Inc., and served for 11 years as chairman of the board of directors of Sy Syms School Business, YU’s undergraduate school of business. Mr. Weston has been an outside director of Russ Berrie & Co. Inc., J. Crew, Olsten Corporation, and Shared Medical Systems Inc. He has also chaired the Committee for Economic Development, Boys Town Jerusalem, and New Jersey Business Partnership; and vice chaired the board of Business Executives for National Security.
Several university trustees and Benefactors will participate in the gala: Mordecai D. Katz, dinner chair; Erica Jesselson, honorary dinner chair; Joseph Wilf, convocation chair; and Jack A. Belz and David I. Schachne, Scroll of Honor chairs. Ruth Madoff is arrangements chair. Proceeds from the event will support YU scholarships.