Television personality Julie Chen, host of CBS’ The Talk and Big Brother, was honored with the 2013 De La Salle medal at Manhattan College’s annual fundraising dinner on Jan. 23 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
The De La Salle Medal Dinner honors people and corporations that embody the principles of excellence, leadership and service to society. As the College’s top fundraising event, the dinner will apply the more than $800,000 raised in proceeds this year to a variety of needs on campus including student scholarships and financial aid.
“Tonight we honor a woman, Julie Chen, whose accomplishments are many and varied: her work as beat reporter, foreign correspondent, producer and news anchor has shaped and continues to inform her current roles as the celebrated host of two extraordinarily successful television shows,” said Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., president of Manhattan College, when presenting Chen with the award.
“I would not be up here tonight without the help of my extraordinary parents,” Chen said during her speech. “They moved here 50 years ago from China and Burma, giving this first generation Chinese American an opportunity to grow up in the greatest city in the world.”
As co-host and moderator of The Talk, network television’s fastest growing daytime talk show, Chen works alongside Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood and Aisha Tyler. Before working on her most recent assignments, she served as special contributing anchor (2010-2011) and co-anchor (2002-2010) of The Early Show, CBS News’ weekday morning broadcast. She also was news anchor of The Early Show and anchor of the CBS Morning News.
“It was here in New York that I learned three really important things: anything is possible, hard work pays off and never ever forget where you’re from,” Chen concluded. “Thank you again for this kind award.”
This year’s event was made possible in large part by 2013 dinner chair and master of ceremonies Alfred E. Smith IV, CEO of AE Smith Associates, along with vice chairs Thomas E. Constance, Thom Gencarelli, Ph.D., James A Kosch ’77, Rosanne Thomas Matzat ’82, Kenneth Rathgeber ’70, Jim Ryan ’60, Frederic V. Salerno ’65, Stephen J. Squeri ’81, Curt C. Zegler ’93, and journal chair Thomas J. Ryan ’69.
“By being here tonight to lend your name and support to Manhattan College, you have helped us to continue our goal of making a value-based education available to our students,” said Salerno, chairman of GGCP and retired vice chairman and CFO of Verizon, thanking Chen. “You are a wonderful role model for our students — study hard, work hard, hold fast to your values and success is always within your grasp.”