The NYU Alumni Association is proud to recognize outstanding graduates for their exceptional personal and professional achievements. Awardees are selected through a comprehensive nomination and evaluation process by the Awards Committee of the NYUAA Board, and their contributions to their communities and around the world exemplify NYU’s spirit. Each spring, honorees are recognized at the NYU Alumni Awards luncheon in New York City.
From Washington to Broadway, UCLA to the Grammys and beyond, these #NYUAlumni are visionaries and innovators making a difference.
An American lawyer and Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing New York's 8th congressional district in Brooklyn and Queens, Rep. Jeffries has emerged as a tireless advocate for social and economic justice. He has played key roles in the FIRST STEP Act for criminal justice reform, the Music Modernization Act for updated copyright law, and the Keep America’s Refuges Operational Act.
In his more than three-decade career as a producer, Emanuel Azenberg (ARTS ’55) has presented more than 65 productions on Broadway, including more than 20 of Neil Simon’s plays. Azenberg taught at Duke University for 25 years. He is a member of the Theatre Hall of Fame and the 2012 recipient of the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.
In 2018, Neil Garg (CAS ’00) was appointed the inaugural holder of the Kenneth N. Trueblood Endowed Chair in Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA. His laboratory develops synthetic strategies and methodologies that enable the synthesis of complex bioactive molecules. His recent honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Thieme–IUPAC Prize, the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Merck Award, and the Elias J. Corey Award from the American Chemical Society.
Since meeting as NYU students, Chad King and Ian Axel (both STEINHARDT '07) of A Great Big World have been fusing epic pop sounds with intimate, heartfelt lyrics. Their 2013 single "Say Something," which featured vocals from Christina Aguilera, began a meteoric rise that included a Grammy award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. Recently, the band released two new singles and penned a song for the legendary Andrea Bocelli, which was also featured in Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
Erin Schrode (CAS ’13) is an activist and social entrepreneur. A leading voice on sustainability, social impact, and millennials, she recently ran an unprecedented campaign for US Congress in California. Since co-founding non-profit Turning Green in 2005, she’s developed eco-education platforms for millions. This bold innovator and community organizer champions civic leadership, inspiring and mobilizing people to discover and activate passion for social impact and policy change.
Meet the former NYUAA President and the 2018 NYU Alumni Meritorious Service Award recipient, Heather Cannady (CAS '04)