Ellis Island Honors Society Presents the 2023 Ellis Island Medals of Honor
Leaders in government, business, military, media, and technology honored with the prestigious Ellis Island Medals of Honor During Gala on Ellis Island
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Former Republican National Chairman James Nicholson, Admiral Lisa Franchetti, Chef Personality and Host Rachael Ray, Actor Liev Schreiber, Financier David Rubenstein, Arizona Cardinals Owner Michael Bidwill, Academy Award-winning Director Robert Zemeckis and Award-Winning Documentarian Leslie Zemeckis Among Those Honored on Ellis Island for Their Personal Contributions to the Nation and Their Support of Diversity and Inclusion in all Facets of American life.
NEW YORK, May 13, 2023 -- The Ellis Island Honors Society (EIHS) presented the Annual Ellis Island Medals of Honor, to more than 90 honorees including: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Former Republican National Chairman James Nicholson, Admiral Lisa Franchetti, chef personality and TV host Rachael Ray, Actor and Ukraine Activist Liev Schreiber, Financier and Philanthropist David Rubenstein, Arizona Cardinals Owner Michael Bidwill Academy Award-winning Director Robert Zemeckis and Award-Winning Documentarian Leslie Zemeckis. To see the full list of 2023 recipients, please visit: https://www.eihonors.org/medalists2023
Why, when and where
The medal has been awarded annually since 1986 to Americans, both U.S. born and naturalized, who represent and contribute to the rich mosaic that is our great nation. This year, a total of 91 Americans were honored for their contributions in philanthropy, humanitarian advocacy, technological and medical innovation, and professional achievements. This year's medalists come from all walks of life and encompass approximately 54 ethnicities. From visionaries in the business and scientific fields, and members of the local, state, and federal government, to philanthropists and influencers in the entertainment and sports industry, each medalist has embraced their personal immigrant history and recognizes the role that uniquely American opportunities played in helping them reach their goals.
The medal ceremony took place during a black-tie gala held in Ellis Island's Great Hall, which served as the gateway for 12 million immigrants to the U.S.
"This evening is a celebration. A celebration of determination, achievement and service. We celebrate the contributions that 94 individuals have made to the United States and the world," said EIHS Chairman Nasser J. Kazeminy. "They come from many different disciplines and are all brilliant examples of what a nation founded on freedom and opportunity can create. I believe the reason that our nation has prospered so well, in such a short period of time, is that America has unleashed the energy and unique genius of its citizens. Freedom and individual dignity are more available and assured here in the United States than any nation on earth – at any time in history. When people mention the Land of the Free, the United States is the only nation that comes to mind."
For over 36 years, the Ellis Island Honors Society has been fostering acceptance, respect, and understanding among diverse ethnic and cultural groups by celebrating acclaimed Americans of immigrant descent and others of distinguished character for their contributions to the world. EIHS is a 501(c)3 non-profit, which, in addition to presenting the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, is a humanitarian organization supporting educational opportunities for students with immigrant heritage and preserving the Ellis Island National Monument. EIHS has provided significant COVID-19 support across the nation and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for humanitarian relief in the Ukraine, an effort still on-going.
Among those honored
Since the Medal was founded in 1986, EIHS has honored distinguished and diverse Americans including: eight Presidents of the United States, Nobel Laureates Elie Wiesel and Malala Yousufzai; Generals Norman Schwarzkopf and Colin Powell; Justice Sandra Day O'Connor; Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton; Bob Hope; Muhammad Ali; Frank Sinatra; Rosa Parks; Mike Wallace and Rita Moreno. All have distinguished themselves through their significant philanthropic, artistic, intellectual and humanitarian contributions to this country.
The Ellis Island Medals of Honor ranks among the nation's most renowned awards. 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.
The Ellis Island Honors Society heralds the importance of immigration to America's prosperity and celebrates the contributions immigrants and their progeny have made to our nation. In 1986, Ellis Island Honors Society founded the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, which commemorates the indefatigable spirit of those who immigrated to the United States during the Ellis Island era. The Medal is presented annually to those who have shown an outstanding commitment to serving our nation either professionally, culturally or civically, among other criteria.
The mission of the Ellis Island Honors Society is captured in a single phrase: "IMMIGRATION WORKS FOR AMERICA"
The Ellis Island Honors Society (EIHS) was founded on the conviction that the diversity of the American people is what makes this nation great. EIHS honors the contributions made by immigrants and their descendants throughout American history. We do this by creating scholarships with a focus on immigration, supporting cultural events and programs around the nation, and mobilizing our community of Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients to raise funds for disaster relief worldwide.
SOURCE The Ellis Island Honors Society