Doctor of Fine Arts
May 25, 2005
Extraordinary people can turn a tragic event into a nurturing opportunity, which influences the lives of others through action. Forward thinker, visionary, realist, producer, business executive, go-getter, mother, you, Jane Rosenthal, have touched the lives of thousands who were paralyzed by the events of September 11, 2001, and you have helped bring normalcy of simple, everyday acts back into the lives of many.
Raised in Providence, Rhode Island, but considered “an institution in Gotham,” you witnessed the chaos, destruction, and heartbreak of a city under siege. You mourned the loss of life and looked for a way to restore dignity to this great city. Motivated by your love of lower Manhattan, you worked selflessly to provide meals from your restaurant in Tribeca to firefighters and rescue workers. In the weeks following the catastrophe, you organized a program, Dinner Downtown, to bring people back to a starkly empty lower Manhattan and to begin a quest of economic revitalization.
Envisioning the long-term recovery of lower Manhattan, you and your company, Tribeca Productions, embarked on a plan, which would celebrate New York City as “a major filmmaking capital.” Your plan to produce the Tribeca Film Festival in four short months with partner Robert DeNiro succeeded and produced a result greater than
Three years young, the Tribeca Film Festival has enticed more than one million visitors to lower Manhattan and infused the economy of the region with a reported $125 million. More than films, you offer people a range of experiences that are unique. From drive-in movies, to panel discussions hosted by film personalities, to family oriented venues, your mission to “enable the international film community and the general public to experience the power of film by redefining the film fest experience” has been met at no cost or little cost to the public. Pace University has been proud to be a part of the festival.
For the humanity you have shown to your fellow New Yorkers, for recognizing that the simple act of going to a movie could help move a city out of shock and into normalcy, for your business acumen and tireless leadership, which help to further the revitalization effort of a mending city, Pace University proudly confers upon you the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereunto.
Aniello A. Bianco '61
Chair, Board of Trustees
David A. Caputo
President, Pace University