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

SYRACUSE, N.Y., Sept. 15, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fifty alumni of Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications—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."

Honorees include:

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
Bob Costas '74 Sportscaster, NBC
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 Creative Strategist, 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
Larry Kramer '72 Former President and Publisher, USA TODAY
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"
Rob Light '78 Partner and Managing Director, Head of Music, Creative Artists Agency
Kitty Lun G'80 Chairman and CEO, Lowe China
Sandra Cordova Micek '91 Senior Vice President, Global Brands, Hyatt
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
Tonia O'Connor '91 President, Content Distribution and Corporate Business Development, Univision Communications
James Olson '91 Vice President, Global Corporate Communications and Asia-Pacific Public Affairs, Starbucks
Stacy Pearsall '08 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 Owner and 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

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, CEO of TBWARAAD 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; 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 or to purchase tickets, table sponsorships or a congratulatory message, visit or contact Amanda Griffin at 315-443-7982 or

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

CONTACT: Wendy Loughlin at 315-443-2785 or wsloughl@syr.eduSource:Syracuse University