Distinguished Alumni Award Honorees: Celebrating 3 of D-E’s Finest

A special part of Reunion Weekend is always the Alumni Awards Ceremony, at which we honor a few of our outstanding alumni with the Distinguished Alumni Award. Click here for more on Reunion Weekend 2015 and the Alumni Awards Ceremony.

James Lord ESB ’40 (Posthumous Award)

James Lord ESB '40The late James Lord ESB ’40 is best known for his biographies of Paris-based artists Alberto Giacometti and Pablo Picasso, whom he met thanks to being posted in Europe during World War II.

An obituary that appeared in the New York Times upon his death stated: “Mr. Lord, while serving with Army intelligence during the war, traveled to Paris on a three-day pass in December 1944 and made a beeline to Picasso’s studio on the Rue des Grands-Augustins. There he gained entry into the artistic set in Montparnasse. Returning to Paris after the war, he became a kind of Boswell to the artistic and social elite in France and, to a lesser extent, Britain.”

Born and raised in Englewood, Lord graduated from Williston Northampton in 1941 and then enrolled at Wesleyan University. However, he never graduated, choosing instead to enlist in the U.S. Army in 1942, later portraying his wartime experiences in his ninth book and fourth memoir, My Queer War, which was released posthumously in 2010.

His first three memoirs, all written while he was in his 70s, included accounts of such notables as Balthus, Jean Cocteau, Peggy Guggenheim, and Gertrude Stein. As mentioned in the Times obituary, Lord once wrote, “An autobiographer is in the business of doing for himself what he wishes not to be done to him by anyone else.” He spent most of his life in Paris, where he passed away at age 86 on August 23, 2009, and is survived by his companion and adopted son, Gilles Roy-Lord.

Lawrence “Larry” Kudlow ESB ’65

Item8aLarryKudlowEconomist and senior contributor to CNBC Lawrence “Larry” Kudlow ESB ’65 is the former host of CNBC’s primetime program The Kudlow Report, a columnist, an author and the radio host of The Larry Kudlow Show on WABC-AM.

It might seem that he was born to be a media presence, but in fact he believes some of his best work was as a practicing economist, particularly in serving as associate budget director at the White House during the Reagan administration. Kudlow, who describes himself as a free market supply-side economist, found that the experience made “a major imprint on my life” not only because of the learning experience, but also because it was there that he met his wife of 27 years.

His second career as a TV/radio broadcaster “came out of the blue,” but has been rewarding in different ways. He says, “I’ve worked primetime for a dozen years, and I’m very proud of that.”

Kudlow believes that both of his careers have roots in his experiences at Englewood School for Boys. He credits ESB for introducing him to his two loves: economics and American history. He says, “I took my first economics course senior year, taught by a wonderful guy named Dick Overton, who also taught American history.” At the time, it was unusual for schools to have economics courses, but he fell in love with the discipline. He notes, “History has also played a major role in my approach to economics.”

Additionally, Kudlow cites ESB as having taught him how to talk and communicate through his participation in school plays, as “having stage experience… really prepared me for broadcasting later in life.” He also remembers taking a speech class in middle school with Francis Roach, “where we had to memorize poems and passages, and stand in front of the class and recite them. A lot of people have said to me, down through the years, that I made things easy to understand, with my explanations of the economy or stock market or even politics… but I think I learned that both in the drama — the plays we produced — and in speech class.”

Kudlow also recalls the important impression left by his English teachers, people who “were not bashful in correcting your English or syntax or grammar, or lack thereof.”

Being at ESB also helped establish a certain decorum with Kudlow that still resonates with him: “In those days, we had to wear a shirt, a tie and a jacket,” he explains. “I will say that that uniform idea created a discipline for me that I carried for the rest of my life.”

Lisa Landau Carnoy ’85

Item8aLisaLandauCarnoyIn 2008, Forbes characterized her as “one of Wall Street’s speediest ascents.” Just last year, Bloomberg called her “one of Wall Street’s highest-ranking women.” That Lisa Landau Carnoy ’85, the managing director/division executive for the Northeast and Metro New York markets of U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, is flourishing in the male-dominated world of Wall Street should be no surprise. She has been a pioneer from
the start.

She first took a chance on D-E’s very first American Studies seminar, taught by beloved D-E teachers Frimi Sagan and Doris Gelman her junior year. “We knew we were part
of something special,” she says. When she arrived at Columbia University, there was no American Studies major, so she had to invent one. Even though she didn’t major in finance or economics — or even take classes in either as an undergraduate — she landed a job in investment banking after graduation, deciding three years later to obtain her M.B.A. in finance. After graduating from Harvard Business School in 1994, she began a 14-year tenure at Merrill Lynch, and has stayed on through the merger with Bank of America in 2010.

Carnoy says that some of her tools for success were developed at D-E. “Through sports, I learned to compete and win, to love being part of a team, to endure pain and develop tenacity,” she says. “And as a teenager, it was an opportunity to gain confidence in my body and myself. Playing six years of tennis and several of spring and winter track were a major part of my D-E experience.”

Academic work was also important.
 She says, “The English and history classes were my favorites, and the caliber of teachers was exceptional. Being a strong writer and passionate reader enabled me to succeed in college and grad school — and is a big part of my success in business.”

One of the greatest lessons learned 
at D-E, though, was how not to be successful. “D-E taught me to fail,” says Carnoy. “Yes, there were a lot of tears during those years. Not only because of bad hair or a lost tennis match, but when I failed (not a B-, an F) a semester of Pre Calc. It’s true. Mrs. Paes, who taught my math class senior year, was very surprised when I was admitted to Columbia!”

Aside from being a mom of four “amazing” kids, Carnoy is “enormously proud of being a trustee of Columbia University. It is an enormous responsibility — and endlessly interesting and fun.” She’s been on the board at her alma mater since 2010 and is currently the vice chair.

And as for her career, she is “proud 
of being a survivor (25+ years, many periods of intense volatility, one financial crisis and the mother of all mergers), 
a partner to amazing colleagues,
 a leader of outstanding teams and 
an advocate for the remarkable
 women on Wall Street.”

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