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The evening’s theme was the “Celebration of Sight” and celebrate we did.
More than 350 clinical and research faculty, board members and friends gathered at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Club on East 60th Street on September 18, 2008 to mark the 75th anniversary of the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute. The black-tie event raised more than $1.2 million to support new research initiatives and acquire new equipment for the ITT Eye Clinic, which serves patients in neighboring Washington Heights and the surrounding area. Liz Cho,WABC-TV anchor, was mistress of ceremonies for the evening and Steve Ross, dubbed the “Crown Prince of New York Cabaret” by The New York Times, provided entertainment. Event co-chairs were Shirlee and Bernard Brown; Mary and Michael Jaharis; and Miranda Wong Tang.
The highlight of the gala was the presentation of the 75th Anniversary Visionary Leadership Awards to Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Chairman of the Department’s Board of Advisors, and to Stanley Chang, M.D. In presenting the award to Mr. Gerstner, who joined the Board of Advisors in 1998, Dr. Chang praised him for restoring IBM’s premier position as a leader in the fight against eye disease,” he said. “Our residents are outstanding and eager to learn. Our physicians are among the best in the country, not only because of their technical expertise but also because of their outstanding humanism. Our devoted scientists are committed to finding new treatments for eye disorders that continue to frustrate the clinicians.”
Though the evening celebrated 75 years of outstanding accomplishments, it also set the stage for the Institute’s future. In their welcome letter to guests, printed in the gala’s program, the event co-chairs said it best: “We look ahead with excitement and enthusiasm toward the wonderful opportunities ahead to preserve vision and to understand, prevent and treat vision disorders.” The celebration continued the next day with a scientific symposium that focused on critical issues in eye diseases and eye disorders.
Speakers from across the country highlighted recent progress in research and clinical care and provided a glimpse of future innovations in vision science. Symposium chairmen were John T. Flynn, M.D. and Max Forbes, M.D., with Hilel Lewis, M.D., who will lead the new Division of International Ophthalmology at the Institute, serving as moderator. Among the speakers were Ron Krueger, M.D., Professor of Ophthalmology, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine; Manus Kraff, M.D., Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at Northwestern University; Harry Flynn, Jr., M.D., Professor of Ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute; Mark Blumenkranz, M.D., Professor and Chairman of Ophthalmology at Stanford University; and Scott Smith, M.D., M.P.H., the new head of the Glaucoma Division at Columbia.
Guests mingle at the Institute’s 75th Anniversary Gala.
Stanley Chang, M.D. introduces Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., recipient of a Visionary Leadership Award.
Honoree Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.being congratulated by Dr. Chang.
Liz Cho, emcee, with Proclamation from the Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City.