Karen Winnick Receives Arents Award from Syracuse University

October 21, 2010

Karen Winnick, chairman of the Winnick Family Foundation, receives prestigious Arents Award for distinguished alumni from Syracuse University, honoring her work as a philanthropist, literacy advocate, children’s author and illustrator.

Los Angeles, CA, October 19, 2010 – Karen Winnick, chairman of the Winnick Family Foundation, was honored by her alma mater, Syracuse University, at a campus ceremony on October 15 for her work as a children’s book author, illustrator, philanthropist and literacy advocate. Winnick, who graduated from Syracuse University in 1968, received the George Arents Award during the University’s Orange Central homecoming celebration on Friday, October 15 on the Syracuse campus.

Three other distinguished graduates of Syracuse University were also honored on October 15: film and music producer Suzanne de Passe, social activist and advocate for the disabled Brian McLane, and video artist Bill Viola.

Winnick received a bachelor of fine arts degree from the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University. She has also studied in Florence, Italy, and at New York University, the School of Visual Arts and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Said Nancy Cantor, President and Chancellor of Syracuse University: “Karen Winnick is an author, artist, and philanthropist who has devoted her life to young people and to service in the public arena. Her award-winning words and illustrations have delighted children all over the world, inspiring them to enjoy reading.”

“I owe Syracuse University thanks and gratitude for setting into motion so many of the good things that have followed in my life,” said Mrs. Winnick. “My years at SU taught me independence, encouraged my curiosity and set me on a path of lifelong learning.”

Karen Winnick’s picture books include “Lucy’s Cave,” “Mr. Lincoln’s Whiskers,” “Sybil’s Night Ride,” “A Year Goes Round,” “Barn Sneeze,” “The Night of the Fireflies,” “Cassie’s Sweet Berry Pie,” “Sandro’s Dolphin” and “Patch & The Strings.” Winnick presents her work at local public schools, reading to young children to encourage literacy and cultivate the art of storytelling.

Winnick’s paintings have been exhibited in local galleries, and her poetry has been published in magazines and anthologies. She has also produced a play, “Kindertransport,” about Jewish children sent to England from Nazi Germany during World War II.

Winnick also serves as president of the Board of Commissioners of the Los Angeles Zoo; as a member of the Board of Governors of Hillel at Syracuse University; on the Board of Trustees Emeritus at Brown University; and on the boards of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, the Jewish Museum, Fauna & Flora International, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.

Arents Awards are the University’s highest alumni honor, named for George Arents, who served on the Syracuse University Board of Trustees from 1930 until his death in 1960. They are presented annually to alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their chosen fields.

About the Winnick Family Foundation

The Winnick Family Foundation encourages project-specific programs but also selectively supports capital campaigns and unrestricted gifts to grantee organizations. There is a preference for projects in Los Angeles and New York – or for those having an international component.

Foundation naming grants include:

  • Winnick Family Clinical Research Institute at Cedars Sinai Hospital
  • Winnick House and Arnold S. Winnick Student Center at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University
  • Winnick International Conference Center at the Simon Wiesenthal Center / Jerusalem
  • Winnick Children’s Zoo in Los Angeles
  • Winnick Faculty Scholar at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University
  • Winnick Hall at the Skirball Cultural Center
  • Arnold & Blanche Winnick Popular Library and Karen Winnick Children’s Gallery at the Los Angeles Central Library
  • Winnick Hillel House at Syracuse University
  • Winnick Board Room at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City
  • Winnick Winners Mentoring Program for the Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Winnick Fellows at UCLA School of Medicine
  • Winnick Gallery at Yeshiva University Museum, Center for Jewish History

Karen and Gary Winnick and the Foundation have endowed university and high school literacy and scholarship programs at Brown University, at Mrs. Winnick’s alma mater Syracuse University, and at Gary Winnick’s alma mater, Long Island University.

They have also funded the transformation of the on-campus C.W. Post mansion administrative center – renamed Winnick House – as well as the main cafeteria which is now named in honor of Mr. Winnick’s late father.

In California, the Foundation has supported educational programs at the California Science Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, KOREH L.A., the Los Angeles Zoo, L.A.’s Best Afterschool Program, the Wonder of Reading, the Fulfillment Fund and Noah’s Ark at the Skirball Center.

Among the many other Foundation grantees are the Special Olympics, The Center for Jewish History, Children’s Scholarship Fund, Partnership for Better Schools, Teach for America, The Gettysburg Foundation, The National Parks Foundation, Best Friends Animal Society, The Los Angeles Police Foundation, Shoah Foundation, and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University.

The Foundation also supports charities operating outside the United States, including the International Medical Corps, Flora and Fauna, World Wildlife Fund, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the Israel Museum, the Israel Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Zoo, Heifer International and the Bloomfield Science Museum at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. For more information on the Foundation and its work, visit http://www.winnickfamilyfoundation.com on the Web.

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