Six Corporate Trailblazers to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award
Editor’s Note: Media check-in will begin at 6pm. A photo-op is set for 7pm in the West Foyer of The Waldorf=Astoria. Members of the press must bring photo identification and arrange for a credential from the Foundation in advance.
New York, NY, February 28 – The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) will host its Annual Awards Dinner on March 6, 2006 at The Waldorf=Astoria Hotel. Bill Cosby will serve as the master of ceremonies for the 25th consecutive year.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), will receive the Foundation’s ROBIE Award for Humanitarianism, while Donald R. Knauss, President and Chief Operating Officer, Coca-Cola North America, will be awarded the ROBIE Award for Achievement in Industry. Senator Clinton was cited for her contributions to improving the human condition through her selfless commitment in service to our nation. An author and advocate, she has been a catalyst for sparking dialogue on critical policy issues. Her commitment to children and education, in particular, are emblematic of Jackie’s legacy of emboldening individuals to pursue their dreams and creating the opportunities for them to do. Previous recipients of the Humanitarian award include Michael Jordan, Marian Wright Edelman, Stevie Wonder, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Brown president Dr. Ruth J. Simmons.
Under Donald R. Knauss’ leadership, Coca-Cola has become one of the most ardent and generous supporters of education in corporate America. An esteemed executive in the beverage industry, Knauss has been heralded for his work in cultivating a diverse workforce at Coca-Cola as well as for his support of Camp Coca-Cola, an innovative youth-development summer program that promotes leadership skills and civic engagement. Knauss joins a list of previous recipients that includes John A. Thain, CEO of The New York Stock Exchange, hotel legend J.W. Marriot Jr. and publishing star Linda Johnson Rice.
The Foundation will also bestow its Lifetime Achievement Award upon six men who were among the first senior-ranking corporate executives in America. Lee Archer (General Foods), James Avery (Exxon), Darwin Davis (Equitable), George Lewis (Philip Morris), and James “Bud” Ward (Marriott) and Clifton R. Wharton Jr. (TIAA-CREF) will be saluted for their pioneering achievements which forever altered the landscape of boardrooms across America as well as had a profound impact on the philanthropic world. Actor Danny Glover will present this award.
“Each of our honorees,” said Della Britton Baeza, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, “has cultivated pathways to opportunities for future generations. They have truly lived by Jackie’s creed that, ‘A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.’”
The dinner will feature current JRF Scholars and Alumni who will join Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s wife and Founder of JRF, Sharon and David Robinson, Jackie’s children and Leonard S. Coleman Jr., JRF Chairman. Other special guests include actor and activist Danny Glover who, along with President of Morehouse College Walter E. Massey and JRF Board member Cheryl Mills will serve as presenters for the evening; acclaimed film director Spike Lee, NFL Hall-of-Famer Harry Carson, jazz legend Billy Taylor and WCBS-TV news anchor, Maurice DuBois.
Founded by Rachel Robinson in 1973 as a vehicle to perpetuate the memory of Jackie Robinson and his achievements, the Foundation provides four year college scholarships as well as education and leadership development opportunities for students of color with strong capabilities, but limited financial resources. This academic year (2004-2005), JRF is providing more than $1.8 million in scholarship support to 266 Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars representing 34 states. Enrolled in 93 different institutions, Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars attend some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the United States and maintain a 97% graduation rate, highest among comparable programs.
For additional information on the Jackie Robinson Foundation, its programs and events, pleas contact JRF at 3 West 35th Street, New York, NY or call (212) 290-8600. You may also visit www.jackierobinson.org.