Today, September 11th, marks the 21st anniversary of that tragic day in 2001 when the Twin Towers fell. Out of their ruin, and in loving memory of one of that day’s victims, Jérôme Robert Lohez, the idea of creating a scholarship program was born.
We were very happy to resume our Annual Scholarship Awards Gala on May 9th this year, held at the National Arts Club, after a two-year pause due to COVID-19.
Scholarships were awarded to Aleksandra Gracheva, Saboura Salari Rad, Shardul Shinde, and Victor Trolet. The Jacques Barzun Award for Distinguished Contributions to Trans-Cultural Scholarly Exchange was bestowed upon Dr. Lisa Rosen-Metch, Dean of General Studies at Columbia University. Watch the video below.
We are very concerned about the health and well-being of our students and supporters such as you, your families and friends, in these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, here in New York and around the world.
Our previously scheduled 15th Annual Awards Ceremony on May 11th is hereby cancelled, keeping in line with “social distancing” guidelines. However, please take this opportunity to make a donation to support our scholars.
During the second half of the Lohez 9/11 Foundation Annual Awards Event, held May 12, 2016, at the French Consulate in NYC, Columbia University Alliance Director Alessia Lefubure Lo Porto introduced Ms. Juliette Faure, a 2015 Lohez Scholar. Juliette presented 2016 Lohez Foundation Scholar Rébecca Assouline-Béra, who has pursued a dual degree between Sciences Po and Columbia University’s School of General Studies.
Ms. Faure pursued a dual degree between Sciences Po and Columbia University SIPA. She is currently Assistant Director for Sovereign and Government Fund Relations at the Sovereign Investor Institute at Institutional Investor in New York.
Emcee Carla Virola next introduced Lohez Foundation Board Member Ms. Emily Wexler, who spoke briefly about 2016 Lohez Scholar Etienne Marié, who has pursued a dual degree between EPITA and Stevens Institute of Technology. Etienne was not able to attend the evening in NYC as he was attending a family wedding in France.
A professional engineer, Ms. Wexler is currently a Development Consultant in association with Tranquility49 LLC, with past associations at Baruch College, AllianceBernstein and – most important – Stevens Institute of Technology, where she earned a master’s degree in Technology Management and Project Management.
Ms. Virola then introduced Dr. James Parenti, Senior Associate Dean at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs, who presented 2016 Lohez Foundation Scholar Pierre Savary, who has pursued a dual degree between Sciences Po and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia.
Next Ms. Virola introduced Lohez Foundation Board Member Ms. Ellie de Abdi, who introduce the Foundation’s Guest of Honor, photographer, videographer and educator, Mr. Thomas E. Franklin, who received the Lohez 9/11 Foundation Distinguished American Spirit Award.
Ms. de Abdi is a doctoral researcher and a former gymnast and coach, currently a physical, health and dance education teacher and Professional Development Coordinator for the Department of Health and Physical Education, in addition to being a research and teacher leader, for an urban district in New Jersey. She is also a Clinical Faculty member in the College of Education and Human Services at Montclair State University.
Ms. Virola then announced “with that our Annual Celebration and Awards Ceremony draws to a close. Ms. Lohez has provided me a list of guests and supporters that she would like to thank, including…
“Ms. Léa Futschik, Higher Education Attaché, Executive Director, Partner University Fund of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy
Mr. Allan Chapin, Chairman of the French-American Foundation
Mr. John Bennett, President of the Paris America Club
Dr. Joel Courtois, Director of EPITA, Paris
Dean Gregory Prastacos, School of Business, Stevens Institute of Technology
Dean Merit Janow, Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)
Senior Associate Dean James Parenti, SIPA
Associate Dean Cory Way, SIPA
Assistant Vice President Dawn da Silva, and the Stevens Office of Development
Dr. Alessia Lefebure Lo Porto, Director of the Alliance, Columbia University
Ms. Helene Sostarich Barsamian, Director of Development, College of the Arts, School of Communication and Media, Montclair State University
Ms. Sharen Glennon, Senior Associate, Tranquility49 PR
Mr. Patrick A. Berzinski, CEO, Tranquility49 PR
The Tranquility49 PR Video Crew
Mr. Kevin Berry, a Chairman of the New Jersey Democratic Party Organization
Ms. Maria Martini Cordonnier, President of the Little Falls, N.J., Democratic Club
Ms. Amandine Tristani, Pace University Graduate and Digital Communications Volunteer at Control Arms, for her volunteer service at the registration table during tonight’s event.
“Ms. Lohez wishes to extend special thanks to Select Auto Services of New Jersey for their generous donation of fine wines for the enjoyment of our guests,” said Ms. Virola, in conclusion. “Also – many thanks to Ms. Yu-chen Juang and Mr. Brian T. Kelly, CPA for donating the selection of delicious desserts.”
At the Lohez 9/11 Foundation Annual Awards Event, held May 12, 2016, at the French Consulate in NYC, Consul General Deputy Mr. Bernard Faro made opening remarks citing the work of the Lohez Foundation.
Emcee Carla Virola then introduced the program, calling it “an exciting evening for the Lohez Foundation. Not only is the Foundation awarding scholarships to a new class of five international students. We have on hand a scholar who could not be with us in person last year, but who spoke to us then via video greeting,” Mr. Soliman Elcheikh.
Ms. Virola then introduced “the Founder of the Lohez 9/11 Scholarship Foundation, a global citizen who is an educator in her own right, Ms. Dening Wu Lohez.”
Ms. Alessia Lefebure Lo Porto, “a strong friend and ally of the Lohez 9/11 Foundation,” followed. Lefebure Lo Porto is the Director of The Alliance, which comprises Columbia University in the US, in partnership with programs at four major French universities. The Alliance is an endowed international joint-initiative, whose aim is to foster innovation and circulation of ideas in Higher Education and Research, with a strong interdisciplinary focus.
Ms. Lefebure Lo Porto then introduced Ms. Juliette Faure, a 2015 Lohez Scholar.
On May 12, 2016, photographer Thomas E. Franklin accepted the Lohez 9/11 Foundation’s Distinguished American Spirit Award during the annual Lohez Awards festivities at the French Consulate General in New York City. These are Mr. Franklin’s full remarks.
On the evening of May 14, 2015, the Jérome Lohez 9/11 Scholarship Foundation staged its 10th Anniversary Celebration and Scholarship Award Presentation in the Rose Salon at the French Consulate in New York City.
Arriving guests were greeted by the late afternoon sun streaming through the Rose Salon’s curtained windows, with the tall trees and greenery of Central Park illuminated opposite the Consulate. The popular sounds of Carla Virola and the Carla V. Band served as a musical bed throughout the early meet-and-greet, featuring cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres, which accommodated the growing complement of attendees during the first hour.
Ms. Virola, an actress, singer and musician, who served as Emcee for the evening, called the crowd to order shortly before the opening remarks from the Consul General Deputy Mr. Bernard Faro, who noted the 10-year history of the Lohez Foundation and its long association with the officials of the French Consulate, past and present.
Ms. Virola then offered a welcome to all who had come to celebrate Foundation’s 10th Anniversary and the 2015 Scholarship Award Presentation.
“This is an exciting one-decade anniversary year for the Lohez Foundation,” she said. “Not only is the Foundation awarding scholarships to a new class of five international students. It is also actively recruiting and welcoming new members to its executive board of directors. In a few weeks, it will debut a terrific new tri-lingual website” created by Ms. Kelsey Holland of Tranquility49 PR.
Ms. Virola noted also that portions of the event were being videotaped, to be featured on the new website, and that announcements would be made in advance of the Foundation website’s go-live date.
Ms. Virola then introduced the “Founder of the Lohez Scholarship Foundation, a global citizen who is an educator in her own right, Ms. Dening Wu Lohez.”
Ms. Lohez spoke briefly but movingly of the work of the Foundation.
“In this year of 2015,” she said, “the Lohez Foundation finds itself confronted by new and expanding horizons. From a small scholarship foundation with a special mission, we have begun a steady transformation into a global educational exchange and charitable organization.
“As many of you know,” she continued, “the US and French authorities announced this past January their willingness to double by 2025 the number of student exchanges between their countries. At the same time, the exchange of students between France and China will increase to 50,000 students per year from 35,000.
She concluded: “This clearly is the opening of a new opportunity for the Lohez Foundation to partner with new institutions, to work with new young global leaders and to make a lasting difference in the interconnected world that we live in.”
Appropriately, the next speaker to the podium was the Director General of the École Pour l’Informatique et les Techniques Avancées, better known as EPITA, Dr. Joël Courtois, who had traveled from Paris to New York to attend the celebration. Jérome Lohez was himself the recipient of a dual-degree from EPITA and Stevens Institute of Technology, and the latter institution was the scene of the first meeting between Mr. Lohez and his future wife, Ms. Dening Wu.
Next Dr. Anne B. Waters presented to the 2015 Lohez Foundation Scholar Ms.Juliette Faure, who has pursued a dual degree between Sciences Po and Columbia University SIPA. Dr. Waters acted as a Lohez Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee Member for 2015, and had served until earlier this year as a senior associate dean of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs
Next, Mr.Antoine Desir presented to 2015 Lohez Scholar Ms.Barbara Crépeau, who has pursued a dual degree between EPITA and Stevens Institute of Technology. Mr. Desir is 2012 Lohez Scholar and a dual-degree graduate of Columbia University / École Polytéchnique. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Operational Research in the Columbia University Department of Mathematics.
This evening also featured a virtual guest from France. One the 2015 Lohez Scholars, Mr. Soliman Elcheikh, could not attend the evening in person, as he was completing his final exams at Sciences Po in Paris. “However,” said Ms. Virola, “he has provided us with taped remarks from what appears to be a very scenic location on the Mediterranean.”
Introducing Mr. Elcheikh’s remarks was Ms. Sibylle Eschapasse, who works as an employee of the United Nations and is a frequent contributor to Paris-NewYork.tv. She is also president of the Association of French International Civil Servants in New York.
Next at the podium was Mr. Kai Yang, proprietor of the Dejavu couturier in New York, who spoke briefly and presented three gift certificates to Ms. Lohez, who accepted on behalf of the Lohez Foundation. The gift certificates will be auctioned off via the Lohez Foundation Facebook to benefit the Foundation.
Ms. Virola then read a list of thank-yous that Ms. Lohez had provided, citing a number of guests and supporters, including:
Mr. Richard Ortoli, French Elected Representative for the Eastern US; Ms. Léa Futschik, Higher Education Attaché, Executive Director, Partner University Fund of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy; Mr. Allan Chapin, Chairman of French-American Foundation; Dr. Joël Courtois, Director of EPITA, Paris; Dean Michael Bruno, Schaefer School of Engineering & Science, Stevens Institute of Technology; Dean Gregory Prastacos, School of Business, Stevens Institute of Technology; Ms. Dawn da Silva and the Stevens Office of Development; Ms. Sharen Glennon, Associate Director, School of Business, Stevens Institute of Technology; and Mr. Patrick A. Berzinski, CEO, Tranquility49 PR
Ms. Lohez also extended special thanks to Ms. Sibylle Eschapasse and Ms. Karen Wang, who brought many guests to the evening’s event.
“As always,” Ms. Virola said in closing, “please consider making your most generous donation to the Lohez Foundation. Your donations allow the Foundation to continue the important work it does for emerging young leaders around the world, some of whom we have had the privilege to meet this evening.”
Once again this year, fine wines were donated to the occasion by Pernod-Ricard USA. Fine catering was provided by Diane Gordon Catering Services. Baked gourmet desserts were donated by Ms. Yu-chen Juang. Multimedia services were provided by Jason Guzman and Anastasiya Tarlikova of Tranquility49 PR, as well as by independent photographers Ms. Miao Hong and Mr. Te Wu.
Invaluable assistance on the part of the Consulate Events Staff was provided by Ms. Aurélie Cole and Ms. Claire Voisin, as well as Mr. Yann Yochum of the Press and Political Office.
The Jérôme Lohez 9/11 Scholarship Foundation celebrated its 2013-2014 Scholars with dinner, drinks, awards and a round of speeches and recognition, during a festive evening on May 1, 2014.
The event was held this year in the Lounge and Conference Area of the Wesley J. Howe School of Technology Management, located in the Lawrence T. Babbio Center on the Hoboken, N.J., campus of Stevens Institute of Technology.
The Babbio Center fourth-floor setting offered spectacular views of Manhattan, stretching from Midtown to the Downtown Financial District. The early part of the evening featured a magnificent Italian buffet dinner, provided by Stevens’ in-house caterers, Sodexo, who staffed the event with members of their outstanding food service team. French red and white wines were selected and delivered this year by Tranquility49 LLC, public relations advisers to the Foundation.
For a second year, the Master of Ceremonies role was filled by Professor Daniel Duchamp, Head of the Computer Science Department at Stevens, who introduced each of the scholars and their presenters in the Howe School Conference Room, backdropped prominently by the glittering Empire State Building.
Ms. Annabelle Libeau, France, who is receiving her Dual Degree from Sciences Po and Columbia University, was introduced by Mr. Stephane Bouniol (left), founding board member of the Foundation and Vice President at Credit Suisse in New York.
Ms. Elodie Nguyen (lower right), France, is receiving a Dual Degree from EPITA and Stevens Institute of Technology, Ms. Amy Wang (lower left), USA, who is receiving a Dual Degree from Sciences Po and Columbia Law School, was introduced by Ms. Dalia Shendi, a two-time Stevens alumna in Biomedical Engineering and a volunteer liaison for the Lohez Foundation.
All of the students spoke of having grown through their international exchange experiences, and described how these experiences are a fulfillment of the Lohez Foundation mission of building cultural bridges through a new generation of young global leaders.
Professor Duchamp mentioned the two scholars not able to attend: Mr. Jean-Sébastien Marre, France, receiving his Dual Degree from Sciences Po and Shanghai Fudan University; and Ms. Keli Wang, China, who is receiving her Dual Degree from Shanghai Fudan University and Sciences Po.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were the following guests:
Dr. Michael S. Bruno, Dean of the Schaefer School of Engineering & Science at Stevens.
Ms. Priscilla Barbier (bottom center photo, left), French Embassy University Partner Fund Program Coordinator, representing Dr. Camille Peretz, Attaché for University Cooperation for the French Embassy in the United States.
Ms. Dawn da Silva (bottom left photo, left), Assistant VP for Development at Stevens, who was accompanied by Mr. Ed Eichhorn, VP for Development at Stevens.
Professor Michael zur Muehlen (left, seated), Associate Dean of the Howe School of Technology Management.
Dr. Elizabeth Fassman-Beck, Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering at Stevens.
Professor Anne Bynoe (bottom left photo, right), the Chair of the Economics Department at Pace University, and her assistant Mr. Peter Dachille (bottom center photo, right).
Ms. Sharen Glennon (bottom right photo), Associate Director at the Howe School.
Mr. Patrick A. Berzinski (bottom left photo, center), CEO, Tranquility49.
Professor Duchamp brought the formal part of ceremonies to a close with the following observations:
“The Lohez Foundation professes a vision focused on cultivating a class of young leaders with a truly global outlook,” he said. “The organization is looking to build its executive and advisory boards, its academic and corporate alliances, and to grow its modest endowment into a competitive resource for increased cultural exchange and mutual understanding.
“In coming days, the Foundation will debut its new online fund-raising home at CauseVox.com, as well as premiere one of several promotional videos that will be posted around the web, aimed at increasing awareness.“
Photos for the evening were captured by Mr. Te Wu, a former Visiting Professor at Stevens and a cousin of Foundation Chair Ms. Dening Wu Lohez.
The French Consul General in New York City, Mr. Bertrand Lortholary, presided during the May 1, 2013, Awards Ceremony at the French Consulate in New York, recognizing the 2013 student recipients of the Lohez Foundation Scholarships. It was the first such occasion in which two French students studying at universities in China were recognized for their achievements.
Guests arrived to the sounds of the New York University-based classical violin duo, Ms Lydia Brown (right) and Ms. Celine Reyes (left), who offered a selection of musical works by Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Mouret, Saint-Saens and Shostakovich. Guests were immediately treated to a selection of superb passed hors d’oeuvres, catered by Diane Gordon Catering, accompanied by fine red and white wines provided through a generous donation from Pernod Ricard USA.
The MC for the Awards Ceremony was Professor Daniel Duchamp, Head of the Department of Computer Science in the Schaefer School of Engineering and Science at Stevens Institute of Technology.
“Recently,” Dr. Duchamp said in his opening remarks, “I had the honor of chairing the Selection Committee that determined which candidates would be awarded this year’s Lohez Scholarships. In the process, I came to know and appreciate the mission and purpose of the foundation and its history.”
Duchamp noted that the Jérôme Lohez 9/11 Scholarship Foundation was created in 2005 by Dening Wu Lohez in memory of her late husband. “As Dening has explained in numerous media interviews,” said Duchamp, “her chief aim was to help bridge the cultural gap that she perceived to be widening between France, the land of Jerome’s birth, and the US, which had become their adopted home as a married couple.”
Duchamp (below, right) reminded the audience that both Jérôme and Dening had met as graduate students at Stevens, accounting for the “close and deepening bond between Stevens Institute and the Lohez Foundation,” adding that “the foundation also benefits from a significant collaboration with the Alliance Program at Columbia University, where Dening Lohez is also an alumna of the School of International and Public Affairs.”
Before the awards presentation, mention was also made of some of the evening’s other honored guests, beginning with Consul General Lortholary (left), and the French Elected Representative for the Eastern United States, Mr. Richard Ortoli, who earlier had presented Ms. Lohez with the Chevalier Medal of the French National Order of Merit for outstanding international service.
Also in attendance were Dr. Michael S. Bruno, Dean of the Schaefer School of Engineering & Science at Stevens; Dr. Gregory Prastacos, Dean of the Howe School of Technology Management at Stevens; Monsieur Patrice Beliard, CEO of Beauté Prestige International, whose company creates, develops and markets the fragrances of Issey Miyake, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Narciso Rodriguez; Mr. Allan Chapin, Chairman of the Board of the French-American Foundation; Mr. Martin Bischoff, Managing Director of the French-American Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Ann Bynoe, Chair of the Economics Department at Pace University; Ms. Nicole Panzica, Student Representative to the Ramapo College Board of Trustees, and Associate for Creative Marketing with Tranquility49 LLC, media consultants to the Lohez Foundation; and Ms. Dawn Da Silva, Assistant Vice President for Development, Stevens.
Thanks were also given to Mr. Yann Yochum, Deputy Consul, Head of Press and Politics, for the kind assistance of his office; and Mrs. Anne-Sophie Bris, for her assistance in coordinating the evening’s events.
Dr. Duchamp also extended Ms. Lohez’ thanks to the Event Committee that assembled to work on the Awards Ceremony, chaired by Ms. Sharen Glennon (below left, with husband Mr. Geraldo Nogueiro), Stevens Institute of Technology; assisted by Dr. Duchamp; Mr. Patrick Berzinski, Tranquility49 LLC; Mr. Stephane Bouniol, Credit Suisse;Ms. Yu-chen Juang, Fordham University; Ms. Grace Lieberman, New York University; and Ms. Amandine Tristani, Pace University.
Mr. Bouniol, Vice President at Credit Suisse, co-founding board member of the Lohez Foundation, and representative of EPITA, from which institution he holds a dual graduate degree in concert with Stevens Institute, presented the first award to a 2013 Lohez Scholar, Monsieur Alexandre Montfort (right), who is completing a dual graduate degree from EPITA and Stevens Institute of Technology.
The second award was presented by a 2012 Lohez Scholar, Mr. Andres Lizcano Rodriguez, dual degree recipient from Sciences Po and the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. Andres presented to his classmate and 2013 Lohez Scholar, Monsieur Côme Dechery (below right), Sciences Po and Columbia University-SIPA.
Presenting the third scholarship award of the evening was Ms. Barbara Wing, co-founding board member of the Jérôme Lohez 9/11 Foundation.
Dr. Duchamp then mentioned that the Lohez Foundation expanded its reach in 2012 to include alliances with universities in China. Two scholars from France studying in China were chosen to receive awards from the Lohez Foundation. One, Monsieur Silvio Ghiglione, has been completing studies between the Université Paul Valéry and the Beijing Normal University; the other, Madamoiselle Louise Battus, has been completing a joint degree between Sciences Po and Shanghai Fudan University.
A brief piece of video coverage from Shanghai Television’s English-language news was then screened for the assembled group, showing a ceremony that was held last November at the home of French Consul General Emmanuel Lenain in Shanghai, attended by Ms. Lohez and the two Lohez Scholars in China.
Before the evening drew to a close, Dr. Duchamp summed up the themes of the Awards Ceremony: “The Lohez Foundation professes an impressive humanitarian vision, focused on cultivating a class of global leaders with a truly global outlook. The organization is now looking to build its executive and advisory boards, its academic and corporate alliances, and to grow its modest endowment into a competitive resource for increased cultural exchange and mutual understanding. If anyone here wishes to become part of that effort,” he concluded, “or knows someone who might, now or in the near future, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Lohez to schedule a discussion of the possibilities and the opportunities that lie ahead.”
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