New York University President John Sexton today bestowed NYU’s “Lewis Rudin Award for Exemplary Service to New York City” on New York Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein at NYU’s 177th Commencement Exercises in Yankee Stadium. Over 25,000 graduates, faculty, staff, and guests attended the morning ceremony.
The following citation was read in conferring the Rudin Award on Chancellor Klein:
“Joel I. Klein- As Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education for seven years and an outstanding leader in public education, you bring honor and pride to New York City. Your efforts are transforming the nation’s largest public school system and assuring New York City families of their essential right to better, safer, and higher-quality schools. A native New Yorker and a graduate of William Cullen Bryant High School in Queens, you went on to graduate magna cum laude from Harvard Law, spent two decades in public and private legal work, and served our country as assistant attorney general with the US Justice Department in the Clinton Administration. With any number of career options open to you, you chose instead to heed Mayor Bloomberg’s call and give back to our city. You have served our city as an educator in the public school classroom, teaching math to sixth-graders in Queens, and now as a capable, compassionate leader who has embraced the vibrant and diverse tapestry of our public school system and has partnered with institutions of higher education, including NYU. Your wisdom and keen business acumen are manifest in the groundbreaking initiatives you have implemented, particularly your comprehensive education reform program, Children First, which has encouraged the role of parents and bolstered the achievements of both students and principals alike. You have set the benchmark for other urban school systems, and your firm belief that education powers the world affirms our shared dedication to students in this great metropolis. For your many contributions to New York City and your staunch commitment to our educational system, we proudly present to you the Lewis Rudin Award for Exemplary Service to New York City.”