Ellis & Robinson Receive Jay Medal

Our shared narratives as Americans are preserved through the highest caliber of ongoing scholarship and advocacy. On Saturday, May 14, 2016, the Jay Heritage Center (JHC) held its second John Jay Medal Dinner and recognized two individuals whose exemplary efforts have helped elevate and strengthen the legacy of native New Yorker, John Jay. JHC’s first honoree was Prof. Joseph J. Ellis, one of our nation’s leading historians and the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Founding Brothers: the Revolutionary Generation. Ellis’ exhaustive and illuminating research for his newest book The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution 1783-1789 restores John Jay to the pantheon of nation-builders alongside Washington, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. JHC’s second honoree was Prof.

Nicholas A. Robinson, a founder of the Pace Environmental Law School newly renamed for the tireless environmentalist and philanthropist Elisabeth Haub. Robinson, together with JHC’s original founders, helped preserve and landmark the 23 acre Jay Estate on Long Island Sound in 1993. Today this touchstone in Jay’s life is protected parkland and a must see destination on New York State’s Path Through History. Warm weather rewarded 125 dinner attendees including many Jay descendants and the editors of The Selected Papers of John Jay at Columbia University. An appreciative crowd enjoyed cocktails on the veranda and toured the landscape. They viewed rare manuscripts and artwork including a 1786 drawing of Spain’s flag generously donated by Mrs. Paul Hughes and her family. Afterwards Prof. Ellis gave a mesmerizing talk about John Jay’s peacemaking skills and his pivotal role in shaping our new nation’s foreign policy with Britain, France and particularly Spain. According to Ellis “[Jay] is the greatest diplomat of the revolutionary generation.”

Both honorees received standing ovations. Samuel W. Croll III, Prof. Shelby D. Green, Charlene Laughlin and Thomas R. Mercein were Dinner Co-Chairs. Previous Jay Medal honorees were Catherine “Kitty” Aresty and Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel. More photos of the event can be found here.