Wendy Federman of Alpine, an eight-time Tony Award winning Broadway theater and film producer, received an Ellis Island Medal of Honor this year. Other recipients included recording artist Paula Abdul, CNN correspondent Sanjay Gupta, IBM’s CEO Ginni Rometty, former Google chair Eric Schmidt, and the CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, Muhtar Kent.
The medal is awarded to one-hundred Americans, both native-born and naturalized, whose accomplishments in their fields and inspired service to the nation are worthy of commendation. The medals recognize people who have made it their mission to share with those less fortunate their wealth of knowledge, indomitable courage, boundless compassion, unique talents, and selfless generosity.
The group of accomplished Americans gathered in Ellis Island’s Great Hall, the original registry room that served as the gateway for 12 million immigrants to the U.S., for the annual Ellis Island Medals of Honor black-tie gala, where they received and celebrated their award in the light of the Statue of Liberty.
Ms. Federman also has received an Olivier award, seven Drama Desk awards, 10 Outer Critics Circle awards, and 11 Drama League awards for some of her nearly 80 co-productions. She was nominated for six Tony Awards this year and was recognized for her own extraordinary professional career and the inspiration she provides for others. In addition, she was honored for her commitment to the theater arts and the generosity of her time in her many philanthropic causes related to her profession. She has spent countless hours throughout her career mentoring aspiring producers, actors and writers. Ms. Federman is a member of the John F. Kennedy Center’s National Committee for the Performing Arts. She also has been a trustee on many boards, including Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, Gilda’s Club Northern New Jersey, Foundation for Gender Equality, and Penguin Repertory Theater in Rockland County.
Since the medal was founded in 1986, the Ellis Island Honor Society has honored distinguished and diverse Americans, including seven presidents of the United States, and Nobel Prize laureates Elie Wiesel and Malala Yousafzai. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have officially recognized the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, and each year the recipients are listed in the Congressional Record. To see the full list of 2019 recipients, go to EIHonors.org.