May 25, 2010

34th Annual Dinner Honors Scaroni, SyCip, Pincus and Lear

Nearly 900 people — more than 450 alumni — attended the gala event at New York’s Waldorf Astoria.

Nearly 900 people — more than 450 alumni — gathered together on the evening of May 3, 2010, for the School’s 34th Annual Dinner. Held at its traditional venue, New York’s Waldorf Astoria, the gala event raised an impressive $3 million in unrestricted funds for Columbia Business School programs and activities.

Paolo Scaroni ’73, CEO of Eni, and Hillary Rodham Clinton, secretary of state of the United States, received the Distinguished Leadership Awards in business and government, respectively. Washington Z. SyCip, MS ’43, founder of the SGV Group, received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Sidney Taurel ’71, chairman emeritus of Eli Lilly and Company, chaired the event.

In his opening remarks, Dean Glenn Hubbard spoke about the School’s expanding intellectual and geographical reach. “Business schools can and must train not just executives or professionals in specific, traditional ‘business’ disciplines,” Dean Hubbard said, “but as whole leaders, thinkers and doers, who are able to grasp the 360-degree view and inspire confidence through their decision-making and problem-solving skills, whether they work in business, government, the nonprofit sector or academia.”

In accepting the Leadership in Business award, Scaroni, a member of the School’s Board of Overseers, talked about the international value of the Columbia Business School degree.

“Looking ahead, I am willing to bet that the skills, mindset and network that Columbia Business School gives its students and alumni will only increase in importance,” Scaroni said. “Columbia is the most international of all the business schools. And, today, a career is either international or it is no career at all.”

Unable to accept in person, Clinton gave a short video acceptance speech.

The dinner was dedicated to the memory of two dear friends of the School: Lionel Pincus ’56, a member of the School’s Board of Overseers for 25 years, and Robert W. Lear, founder of the School’s Executives in Residence Program.

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