Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winning HADESTOWN Star André De Shields to Receive a 2022 NYU Distinguished Alumni Award at NYU Alumni Association’s Annual Awards Luncheon at Gotham Hall on Apr. 1

André De Shields with his Emmy Award and Tony Award. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winning Hadestown star André De Shields will be honored on Friday, April 1 at Gotham Hall (1356 Broadway and 36th St.) in New York by his alma mater New York University at the NYU Alumni Association’s Annual Awards Luncheon, where he will be celebrated alongside five other distinguished alumni. De Shields will receive the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award. Nick Grassi (LS ’12), Cofounder of Finerio, and Nily Rozic (CAS ’07), Assemblywoman for New York’s 25th District, will receive 2022 Distinguished Young Alumni Awards. Zachary Carter (LAW ’75), 78th Corporation Counsel of the City of New York, will receive the 2022 Keogh Award for Distinguished Public Service. 2022 Lifetime Service Awards will be presented to Marvin Leffler (STERN ’42, ’51), President Emeritus and Trustee, Town Hall Foundation, and Betty Weinberg Ellerin (WSC ’50, LAW ’52), Senior Counsel, Alston & Bird LLP.

New York University President Andrew Hamilton and NYUAA President Dasha Rettew (GAL ’14) will co-host the 2022 NYU Alumni Awards Honorees for a luncheon and awards presentation.

To accommodate their global community, you can experience the 2022 NYU Alumni Awards either in-person with a three-course lunch or for free from home via Livestream. The in-person ticket includes event admission, a three-course seated lunch with your choice or entree, and wine. The watch-from-home ticket will include a livestream link emailed the day before the event.

The NYUAA proudly recognizes outstanding graduates from across the University for their exceptional personal and professional achievements. Honorees are selected through a comprehensive nomination and evaluation process by the Awards Committee of the NYUAA Board. This year’s honorees exemplify NYU’s spirit through their contributions to their communities and around the world.

André De Shields (GAL ’91) In a career spanning more than half a century, André De Shields has acquired a number of sobriquets, among them–“Broadway Deity,” “Professional Charmer” and “Papa Dré.” A showstopper at age 76, André was the triple-crown winner of the 2019 award season, garnering Tony, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Grammy Awards for his universally praised role as Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, in Hadestown. De Shields has also distinguished himself as director, philanthropist and educator. His defining theatrical performances include roles in the original Broadway productions of The Full Monty (Tony Award nomination), Play On! (Tony Award nomination), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award) and the titular role in The Wiz. Currently, De Shields is experiencing growing pains as he prepares for his next adventure as Actor/Activist, eradicating the inauthentic while elevating the inexplicable. Ubuntu!

Nick Grassi (GLS ’12) is the cofounder of Finerio, the first automated platform empowering over 200,000 Latinos to take control of their personal finances in Mexico and other Latin American countries. Finerio has appeared in Forbes, TechCrunch, and Entrepreneur, and won first place as the most important startup in Mexico in the Everis Prize out of over 800 entrants. Grassi has worked for years in microfinance, consumer finance, and helping other entrepreneurs around the globe. Grassi will receive the 2022 Distinguished Young Alumni Award.

Nily Rozic (CAS ’07) Assemblywoman representing New York’s 25th District, who was the youngest woman ever elected to the NY state legislature and first woman ever to represent her district. Rozic will receive the 2022 Distinguished Young Alumni Award.

Zachary Carter (LAW ’75) Federal and state judge who has served as the Corporation Counsel for the City of NY and the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Carter will receive the 2022 Eugene J. Keogh Award for Distinguished Public Service.

Marvin Lefler (STERN ’42, ’51) President emeritus of the Town Hall Foundation, to which he served as the organization’s voluntary president for 35 years; and founding co-president of the NYU Alumni Association. Lefler will receive the 2022 Lifetime Service Award.

Betty Ellerin (WSC ’50, LAW ’52)
Senior counsel in Alston & Bird, LLP’s Litigation & Trial Practice Group in New York City, the first woman appointed as deputy chief administrative judge of the State of New York for the New York City Courts, and founding co-president of the NYU Alumni Association. Ellerin will receive the 2022 Lifetime Service Award.

The Awards Luncheon will take place on Friday, April 1, 2022, from 12:00-2:00 p.m. at Gotham Hall in New York City. For more information or to register for this event, click here.

The NYU Alumni Association (NYUAA) is the umbrella organization for all University alumni from every NYU school. With a network of more than 600,000 NYU alumni worldwide, membership in the NYUAA begins upon graduation, is free for life, and includes an array of alumni benefits. The mission of the NYUAA is to build and sustain a lifelong relationship between the University and its alumni through communication, programs, services, volunteering, and opportunities for lifelong learning.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang loves to tell stories that are diverse and inclusive – as an actor, a multi-media content producer, award-winning filmmaker, and a performing arts photographer and documentarian. Photo archives: Lia Chang Theater Portfolio collection,1989-2011, housed in the AAPI collection in the Library of Congress’ Asian Reading Room; Lia Chang Photography Collection in The Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library. Awards: 2000 OCA Chinese American Journalist Award, the 2001 AAJA National Award for New Media. Lia is an AAJA Executive Leadership Graduate (2000), a Western Knight Fellow at USC’s Annenberg College of Communications for Specialized Journalism on Entertainment Journalism in the Digital Age (2000), a National Press Photographers Association Visual Edge/Visual Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute for New Media (2001), a Scripps Howard New Media Fellow at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism (2002), and a National Tropical Garden Environmental Journalism Fellow (2003). A co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, Lia makes films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. She stars in and is the Executive Producer for the indie films Hide and Seek (AA Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Best Actress Nomination), Rom-Com Gone Wrong, and When the World Was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). Lia has also appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, and The Last Dragon. Along with an extensive career in Off-Broadway productions, favorite stage credits include her debut as Liat in a national tour of South Pacific with Barbara Eden and Robert Goulet and playing Joy in Signature Theatre’s revival of Sam Shepard’s Chicago.,

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