John Jay Medal for Service
The Jay Medal is awarded to individuals whose contributions to society elevate and strengthen the legacy of native New Yorker, John Jay whose own service helped form our nation. The event celebrates notable accomplishments in preservation, scholarship, social and environmental justice and civic advocacy.
Photos (Left to Right) Photo One: 2016 Dinner – Nick Robinson, Catherine “Kitty” Aresty, Joseph Ellis Photo Two: 2012 Dinner Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, Hon. Nita Lowey and Catherine “Kitty” Aresty
John Jay Medal For Service
In 2012, JHC created “The John Jay Medal For Service” to recognize individuals who demonstrate a selfless spirit of commitment and engagement with their community mirroring the multifaceted contributions of John Jay and his descendants.
Prof. Joseph J. Ellis is one of our nation’s leading historians and the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Founding Brothers: the Revolutionary Generation. The author of nine books, Ellis also won the National Book Award for American Sphinx, a biography of Thomas Jefferson. His in-depth chronicle of the life of our first President, His Excellency: George Washington, was a New York Times bestseller. 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.
Prof. Nicholas A. Robinson is 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. He was a pivotal advocate in negotiating the legal agreement that awarded stewardship of the park to the Jay Heritage Center in 2013.
Catherine “Kitty” Aresty As an early member of the Jay Coalition, Catherine “Kitty” Aresty helped harness the energy of thousands of volunteers and citizens to save the Jay Property when it was threatened by commercial development in the early 1980s. She was one of 5 dynamic women who formed the vanguard for preservation of the site, finally securing a victory in 1992 but her total commitment to seeing the property restored for public use extends almost 40 years including 27 consecutive years on the JHC Board.
Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel Barbaralee has been a pioneering champion of preservation and the arts, credited with bringing the first public art to Bryant Park and the first public performance to Central Park. The first Director of Cultural Affairs for New York City, she was the longest term Landmarks Commissioner in the city’s history, spanning four mayoral administrations from 1972 to 1987. Her expertise and advocacy of historic preservation has garnered her countless honors and prestigious appointments from nor fewer than 4 US Presidents.