Newhouse School to honor leading alumni at 50th anniversary celebration in New York City this fall

By Wendy S. Loughlin

September 14, 2015

The “50Forward” Gala will be held Oct. 29 at Guastavino's in Midtown Manhattan

Fifty alumni of the Newhouse School—accomplished professionals from all areas of the media industry—will be honored at a special event Oct. 29 in New York City. Attendees at the “50Forward” Gala will observe 50 years of the Newhouse School at Syracuse University and celebrate the strength of the school as it moves into the next 50 years.

“We have a strong heritage of legendary alumni, who have helped build the Newhouse School’s reputation as the best,” says Newhouse Dean Lorraine Branham. “And we continue to watch new generations of alumni live up to that reputation. We chose these honorees because they represent the kind of forward thinking for which our graduates have always been known. They show us why ‘the best and the brightest’ come to Newhouse not to be followers, but to be leaders.”

Special recognition:

Bob Costas ’74 Sportscaster, NBC

Larry Kramer ’72 Former President and Publisher, USA TODAY

Rob Light ’78 Partner and Managing Director, Head of Music, Creative Artists Agency

Kitty Lun G’80 Chairman and CEO, Lowe China

Tonia O’Connor ’91 President, Content Distribution and Corporate Business Development, Univision Communications

At the ceremony, Ross Greenburg, former president of HBO Sports, will present to Costas; Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s "Hardball with Chris Matthews," will present to Kramer; Michael Roth, chairman and CEO of Interpublic, will present to Lun; and Teresa Rodríguez, co-anchor of Univision’s "Aquí y Ahora," will present to O’Connor.

Rounding out the list of honorees:

Shanique Bonelli ’02 Director, Experiential Marketing – Entertainment, Anheuser-Busch InBev

Dwight Caines ’87 President, Domestic Theatrical Marketing, SONY Corporation of America, Columbia TriStar Motion Pictures Group

Sean Carey ’89 Vice President, Content Acquisition, Netflix

Pamela Chen ’05 Editorial Director, Instagram

Jon Cohen ’90 Co-Founder and Co-CEO, The FADER and Cornerstone Agency

Dennis Crowley ’98 Founder and CEO, FourSquare

Carol Cunningham ’87 Vice President, Consumer Insights and Business Strategy, BET

Deborah Curtis ’90 Vice President of Global Sponsorships and Experiential Marketing, American Express Company

Melanie Deziel G’13 Director of Creative Strategy, Time Inc.

Brian Edelman ’03 CEO, RAIN

Andrea Fant-Hobbs ’82 Chief Brand Strategist, Brand Strategy, Development and Innovation

Shelly Lotman Fisher ’80 President and Founder, Hope Paige Designs

Kraig Fox ’90 Senior Managing Director, Guggenheim Partners LLC

Ruth Fremson ’86 Photographer, The New York Times

Jeff Glor ’97 Anchor and Correspondent, CBS News

Meredith Goldstein ’99 Advice Columnist, The Boston Globe

Kristina Hahn ’98 Head of Consumer Packaged Goods, Google Inc.

Marcus Hayes ’90 Sports Columnist, Philadelphia Daily News

Malena Higuera ’01 Senior Vice President, U.S. Marketing, L’Oreal Paris

Larry Hryb ’89 Director of Programming, Xbox Live

Beth Ann Kaminkow ’89 Global Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Westfield Corporation

Keith Kaplan ’91 Head, Global Agency and Client Development, Yahoo

Richard Kirshenbaum ’83 CEO, NSG/SWAT

Andrea Lavinthal ’01 Style and Beauty Director, People and

Ed Levine ’78 President and CEO, Galaxy Communications LLC

Chris Licht ’93 Vice President of Programming, CBS News and Executive Producer, “CBS This Morning”

Sandra Cordova Micek ’91 Senior Vice President, Global Brands, Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Stacey Mindich ’86 Broadway producer, “Bridges of Madison County,” “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”

Helena Mitchell G’78, G’87 Executive Director, Center for Advanced Communications Policy, Georgia Tech

James Olson ’91 Vice President, Global Corporate Communications and Asia-Pacific Public Affairs, Starbucks

Stacy Pearsall ’05 Photographer and Founder, Veterans Portrait Project

Sterling Proffer ’08 Head of Growth, VICE Media

Rani Raad ’97 Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, CNN International

Melissa Richards-Person ’89 Vice President, International Marketing, Papa John’s International

Eli Saslow ’04 Reporter, The Washington Post

Fred Silverman ’58 Owner, Fred Silverman Company

Debra Adams Simmons ’86 Fellow, Nieman Foundation for Journalism, Harvard University

Marcus Solis ’91 Reporter, WABC-TV, New York

Seth Solomons ’91 CEO, North America, Wunderman

Shari Misher Stenzler ’92 Chairman and Co-founder, London Misher Public Relations

Michael H. Weber ’00 Screenwriter, “The Fault in our Stars,” “The Spectacular Now,” “(500) Days of Summer”

Jim Weiss ’87 Chairman and CEO, W2O Group

Lisa Williams-Fauntroy ’91 Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, Discovery Communications

Ed Wise ’00 Manager, Partnerships, Pinterest

Lee Zurik ’96 Investigative Reporter, WVUE, New Orleans

At the ceremony, Ross Greenburg, former president of HBO Sports, will present to Costas; Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s "Hardball with Chris Matthews," will present to Kramer; Michael Roth, chairman and CEO of Interpublic, will present to Lun; and Teresa Rodríguez, co-anchor of Univision’s "Aquí y Ahora," will present to O’Connor.

The Newhouse School is named for late publishing magnate Samuel I. Newhouse, founder of Advance Publications. His $15 million gift to Syracuse University supported the construction of Newhouse 1, the first of the school’s three buildings, which was dedicated by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. The building housed what was then the School of Journalism, but in 1971, the school merged with the Department of Television and Radio and was re-named the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, becoming the most comprehensive, stand-alone school of its type in the nation. With continued support from Mr. Newhouse, the second building in the school’s complex, Newhouse 2, opened in 1974 with a keynote address by William S. Paley, chairman of the board of CBS.

Following Mr. Newhouse’s death in 1979, control of his publishing empire went to his sons, S.I. Newhouse Jr. and Donald Newhouse. With their ongoing involvement through the S.I. Newhouse Foundation, the school continued to grow and strengthen. In 2007, with a lead gift from the Newhouse Foundation and the Newhouse family, the third building, Newhouse 3, was dedicated with a keynote address by Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts. And last year, following an $18 million renovation of Newhouse 2, the Newhouse Studio and Innovation Center was opened at a dedication ceremony featuring remarks from special guest Oprah Winfrey. The cutting-edge facility includes Dick Clark Studios and the Alan Gerry Center for Media Innovation.

“Mr. Newhouse had a vision—that this school would become the leading center for the study of communications, that the best students would come here, that the Newhouse name would become synonymous with excellence in communications education,” says Branham. “Fifty years later, with the continued, instrumental support of the Newhouse family, that vision is a reality. And the Newhouse School will continue to be the leading school of communications into the next 50 years.”

Gala co-chairs are Martin Bandier, chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing; Ron Meyer, vice chairman of NBCUniversal; Reda Raad '95, CEO of TBWA\RAAD Middle East; and David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications.

Alumni co-chairs, who head the event planning committee, are Deb Henretta G’95, senior advisor with SSA & Company and retired group president with Procter & Gamble; Scott Koondel '85, executive vice president and chief corporate content licensing officer with CBS Corp.; John Sykes ’77, president of entertainment enterprises with iHeartMedia; and Mike Tirico ’88, sportscaster with ABC and ESPN.

Tirico will emcee the event, which will be held at Guastavino’s, 409 East 59th Street, New York City, beginning at 6 p.m.

For more information about the event, visit or contact Amanda Griffin at 315-443-7982 or Please note that tickets for the event are sold out.

Press contact: Wendy Loughlin at 315-443-2785 or