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Lehman College

About the Honorees

Billy CollinsBilly Collins

Poet and Distinguished Professor of English, Lehman College

BILLY COLLINS is the author of ten books of poetry, including Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems, Horoscopes for the Dead, Ballistics, The Trouble with Poetry and Other Poems, Nine Horses, Sailing Alone Around the Room, Picnic, Lightning, The Art of Drowning, The Apple That Astonished Paris, and Questions About Angels, which was selected by Edward Hirsch for the National Poetry Series.  He has edited Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry, 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day, and Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems about Birds. Collins' poetry has appeared in anthologies, textbooks, and a variety of periodicals including Poetry, The American Scholar, Harper's, The Paris Review, and The New Yorker.  His work appears regularly in The Best American Poetry and has been translated into a dozen languages.  He has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 1992 he was chosen by the New York Public Library to serve as a "Literary Lion.” He is a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College (CUNY).  He served as United States Poet Laureate (2001-2003) and as New York State Poet (2004-2006).

Wendy Lehman LashJohn Corigliano

Composer and Distinguished Professor of Music, Lehman College

JOHN CORIGLIANO continues to add to one of the richest, most unusual, and most widely celebrated bodies of work any composer has created over the last forty years. Corigliano's scores, now numbering over one hundred, have won him the Pulitzer Prize, the Grawemeyer Award, five Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, and have been performed and recorded by many of the most prominent orchestras, soloists, and chamber musicians in the world. His many celebrated scores include One Sweet Morning (2011) a four-movement song cycle; Conjurer (2008) for percussion and string orchestra; Concerto for Violin and Orchestra: The Red Violin (2005), developed from the themes of the score to the film of the same name, which won Corigliano an Oscar in 1999; Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan (2000) the recording of which won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Composition in 2008; and Symphony No. 2 (2001) which garnered a Pulitzer Prize in Music. Other important scores include String Quartet (1995), Grammy Award, Best Contemporary Composition); Symphony No. 1 (1991) Grawemeyer Award; the opera The Ghosts of Versailles (1991); and the Clarinet Concerto (1977). Corigliano’s music is performed widely on North American and international stages. In 2012 he traveled to Caracas, Shanghai, Tokyo, Krakow, Toronto and throughout the U.S. for performances of his music. In 2013 he celebrated his 75th birthday with celebrations at Carnegie Hall, Chicago, St. Paul and Caracas. Corigliano serves on the composition faculty at the Juilliard School of Music and holds the position of Distinguished Professor of Music at Lehman College, City University of New York.

Wendy Lehman LashWendy Lehman Lash

President, Edith A. and Herbert H. Lehman Foundation

WENDY LEHMAN LASH is the granddaughter of Herbert H. Lehman, former Governor and Senator from New York. Since 1989, Wendy has served as President of the Edith A. and Herbert H. Lehman Foundation.  The Foundation supports a wide range of organizations and initiatives focused on arts and culture, social services, health care, and animal welfare, and K-18 education. Mrs. Lash attended the Brearley School in New York, and Connecticut College, where she graduated in 1964 with a major in sociology. She has been actively involved with the Williams College Museum of Art, the Lyman Allyn Museum in Connecticut, served as a Trustee of Connecticut College, and was the Executive Director of the Somerset House Art History Foundation from 1986 until 1992. An enthusiast and breeder of Jack Russell terriers, Wendy has also been a board member of the Animal Medical Center in New York. She and her husband Stephen, Chairman Emeritus of Christie’s Americas, are the parents of Abigail S. Lash and William Lehman Lash, three Jack Russells, and the grandparents of Hattie Lehman Shapard and Lucy Lash Shapard, all of New York.