New York University President John Sexton today awarded NYU’s Lewis Rudin Award for Exemplary Service to New York City, awarded in recognition of service to the city and its communities typified by Lewis Rudin during his life, to Beverly Sills Greenough, chair emerita of the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center, at NYU’s 174th Commencement Exercises in Washington Square Park. Some 19,000 graduates, faculty, staff, and guests attended the morning ceremony.
The following citation was read in conferring the honor on Beverly Sills:
“Beverly Sills, one of the greatest coloratura sopranos of the twentieth century, you have instilled music into the hearts and lives of millions around the globe and countless fellow New Yorkers. With warmth, intelligence, and humor, you serve as a diligent and eloquent advocate for the arts in America even as you work to ensure that they are available to everyone. Both on stage and off, you have cultivated young artists and reached out to broader audiences. In addition to thrilling listeners in opera houses the world over, you have advanced the cause of culture through your work as general director of the New York City Opera and chair of Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera. A native of Brooklyn, your boundless commitment to serving others has improved innumerable lives in New York City and beyond. As national chair of the March of Dimes Foundation, you have enhanced the lives of our country’s children, one of many worthy endeavors to which you have lent your time and talents. For your exemplary leadership in the arts, your commitment to bettering the lives of New Yorkers—and the sheer thrill your voice has given to generations of music lovers—New York University is proud to present you with The Lewis Rudin Award for Exemplary Service to New York City.”