NYU Stern Celebrates its Haskins Giving Society and Honors Kenneth Chenault, CEO & Chairman, American Express

Each year, Stern honors its most generous donors with an evening of celebration at the Haskins Giving Society Award Dinner. The Haskins Giving Society, an exclusive network of business leaders who share a dedication to the School and its alumni network, is named after Stern’s founding dean, Charles Waldo Haskins, and represents its namesake’s commitment to business and public service.

This year’s dinner at The Plaza Hotel honored Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and CEO of American Express and the 2015 Haskins Award recipient, for his remarkable career and civic achievements. Additionally, Mr. Chenault’s definition of leadership aligns with Stern’s own mission to inspire and enable possibilities among its students, the future generation of business leaders.   

“I have always believed that all of us - as individuals and as leaders - need to take personal accountability for making a difference and giving back to our communities and to society,” Mr. Chenault expressed to attendees. “The work that Stern does in training the next generation of leaders benefits all of us. It makes companies like mine stronger and helps ensure a bright future for our city, our country, and the parts of the globe where Stern alumni are changing the world of business for the better.”

Mr. Chenault began his career as an attorney before eventually transitioning to a role at American Express in 1981. During his tenure at the company, he has reshaped the American Express business model while simultaneously making time to serve a wide variety of civic, social service, and community organizations.

Peter Henry, Dean of Stern, presented Mr. Chenault with the distinguished award of the evening.

Despite the many trials he has faced throughout his 34 years at American Express, “Ken has met each challenge with integrity, courage, executional excellence, and concern for people - four traits that Ken has identified as essential for all good leaders and those that he unfailingly puts into practice himself,” Dean Henry shared.

The annual dinner is an opportunity for Stern to recognize and honor its donors for their generosity, engagement and support. Each year the Haskins Giving Society raises millions of dollars, providing funding for faculty recruitment and research, Stern facilities on Washington Square and scholarships.

During the dinner, Dean Henry cited that nearly one-fifth of all high-school seniors in the US who score in the top 10th percentile on college standardized tests come from the bottom quartile of US income distribution and have only an eight percent chance of going to college, compared to an 85 percent chance for those born into the top quartile. “Access and excellence are our carrying call,” charged Dean Henry. “With the help of more generous donors, like those in our Haskins Society, we can work together to close this gap”.

The Haskins Giving Society is essential to Stern’s success. To learn more about Haskins, your gift’s impact, and membership benefits, please visit our Haskins page or call (212) 998-4161.​