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2019 Honoree

Marilyn  
Simons Foundation President Marilyn Hawrys Simons, BA ’74, PhD ’84

Dr. Marilyn Hawrys Simons is being honored tonight for her life of service funding innovative basic research, improving access to education and advancing leadership opportunities for young women.

In 1994, with husband Jim Simons, Dr. Simons co-founded — and became president of — the Simons Foundation. In the years since its founding, the Simons Foundation rapidly became one of the nation’s leading private funders of basic research, its president a vocal advocate for increased philanthropic involvement in high-risk, high-reward scientific research. Stony Brook University awarded her an honorary doctorate of letters degree in 2008.

Recently, after 25-plus year’s experience actively supporting nonprofit organizations in New York City and State, Dr. Simons was appointed chair of the board of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a globally renowned U.S. research facility with research programs focusing on cancer, genomics, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology.  In New York City, she continues her involvement in improving K-12 education for underserved communities as a member of the boards of the LearningSpring School, a school for children on the autism spectrum and the East Harlem Scholars Academy.

In 2018, Simons was awarded a doctorate of humane letters by PACE University, recognizing her as a leading science philanthropist and for her work at the LearningSpring School. Together with husband Jim Simons, Marilyn has also been recognized with a Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Double Helix Medal (2008); the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy (“the Nobel Prize of philanthropy” in 2013); an honorary degree from The Rockefeller University (2013); and, most recently, a Chemical and Marketing Economics Leadership Award from the American Chemical Society, New York honoring her for outstanding STEM-related philanthropy (2018).

 At Stony Brook University, Dr. Simons serves as a board member of the Turkana Basin Institute, a research institution that supports scientific projects in the Turkana Basin of Northern Kenya. She is founder and chair of the Stony Brook Women’s Leadership Council, a mentoring program that pairs outstanding female undergraduates with accomplished female alumni and friends of the University.  Dr. Simons has also helped emphasize the importance of health and nutrition by supporting the Walter J. Hawrys Campus Recreation Center named in honor of her late father. She supports the scientists of tomorrow through the Simons Summer Research Fellows and the university’s Undergraduate Research Experience and Creative Activities program.

 

PREVIOUS GALA HONOREES

2019
Marilyn H. Simons '74, PhD '84, Hon. '08
President, Simons Foundation
 
2018
Dorothy Lichtenstein, Hon. '14
President, Roy Lichtenstein Foundation
 
2017
Joseph R. Biden
Former Vice President, United States of America 
 
2016
Glenn Dubin '78, Hon. '12
Founder, Dubin & Co. LP
Eva Andersson-Dubin, MD
Founder, Dubin Breast Center,
Mount Sinai Medical Center
 
Joe Nathan '97
Major League Baseball Pitcher
 
2015
Jane Fonda 
Actress
 
2014
Patricia C. Wright
Professor, Anthropology
Founder, Centre ValBio
 
2013
Alan Alda
Actor, Director, Writer
Visiting Professor, Stony Brook University
 
2012
Pollock-Krasner Foundation
Ed Harris
Actor
 
2011
Julie Andrews
Actress
Emma Walton Hamilton
Author and Professor, Stony Brook Southampton
  
2010
C.N. Yang, PhD, Hon. '99
Nobel Laureate, Physics, 1957
Professor Emeritus
 
2009
Shirley Strum Kenny, PhD
President, Stony Brook University
 
2008
Nancy Rauch Douzinas, PhD
President, Rauch Foundation
 
2007
Richard Leakey, Hon. '98
Paleoanthropologist and Conservationist
 
2006
Erwin P. Staller, Hon. '01
CEO, Staller Associates, Inc.
Cary Staller, Esq. 
President, Staller Associates, Inc.
 
2005
James H. Simons, PhD, Hon. '92
Founder,  Renaissance Technologies
 
2004
Henry B. Laufer, PhD
Chief Scientist
Renaissance Technologies
Marsha Laufer, PhD
Speech-Language Pathologist (Ret.)
 
2003
Debra A. Cody
Matthew J. Cody
General Partner (Ret.)
Spears, Leeds & Kellogg
 
2002
Charles B. Wang, Hon. '15
Co-Founder, CA Technologies, Inc. 
Owner, New York Islanders
 
2001
Jerome Swartz, PhD
Founder, Symbol Technologies Inc.
 
2000
Richard L. Gelfond '76, Hon. '04
CEO, IMAX Corporation