A Win-Win Situation

Each year, the Jefferson Awards for Public Service looks for the “unsung heroes,” the selfless people who make the world a better place through volunteering and community service efforts. This year, one of those people is Pace Academy Senior Fellow John Cronin, a man with a heart of gold…and now a medal to go with it.

A few months ago, the Center for Community Action and Research announced that renowned environmentalist John Cronin, the Pace Academy’s Senior Fellow in Environmental Affairs, was selected to represent Pace at the Jefferson Awards National Ceremonies in Washington, DC, to compete for a Gold Medal Award. And he came home with it!

Founded by former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as a “Nobel Prize for public service,” the Jefferson Awards recognizes and honors ordinary people who do extraordinary things in their communities.

Time magazine “Hero for the Planet” and former Hudson Riverkeeper, Cronin gave a nod to singer Pete Seeger and Pace in his speech to the audience that included fellow awardees Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and award-winning actress Marlo Thomas. 

“When Pete took me under his wing in 1973, he said, ‘If we all work together we can change the Hudson River; we can even change the world.’ At the time I thought it impossible but his words proved to be the truest I have ever heard. Pace University lives by that credo and has given me the opportunity to reach thousands.  We all stand on the shoulders of giants. I have been privileged to stand on theirs.”

Watch the video of Cronin’s acceptance speech or read more in the press release.

In addition to Cronin’s Gold Medal, the CCAR announced six Pace individuals were selected to received Jefferson Awards Bronze Medals for 2010-2011:  Michael Boyle (student), John Cronin (staff), Donald Doernberg (faculty), Naphtalie Librun (student), Yvonne Rafferty (faculty), and Hannah Tall (student).