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The New School Honors Joan Ganz Cooney, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Sesame Workshop, at its 2010 LaGuardia Award Dinner
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January 13, 2010 - by NYC News Desk

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The New School will honor Joan Ganz Cooney, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Sesame Workshop, at its 2010 LaGuardia Award Dinner on February 25, 2010, at the Mandarin Oriental New York. Senator Al Franken will serve as the keynote speaker and syndicated columnist Liz Smith will serve as a special guest. Proceeds of the event will fund more than 130 academic scholarships at the university.

"Cooney is a visionary leader in children's education, and a pioneer in successfully and creatively merging technology with education - something that we highly value at The New School. Her contributions to both New York City and the global community are immeasurable," said New School President Bob Kerrey. "Cooney's legacy is a reminder to educators and educational supporters worldwide to continue pushing the boundaries, particularly during tough economic times when innovative projects and support are most needed."

The LaGuardia Award Dinner recognizes individuals who through their contributions exemplify the compassion, courage, and determination of New York City's legendary mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia. Award recipients over the years have included former President Bill Clinton, Senators George Mitchell and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and business leaders Felix Rohatyn and David Rockefeller. Located in the heart of New York City, The New School is a research university that offers more than 70 degree-granting programs from the undergraduate to doctoral levels in the fields of liberal arts and social sciences, art and design, the performing arts, and management.

Individual tickets range from $1,500-$5,000. Leadership tables range from $15,000 to $50,000. Individuals must RSVP before February 12, 2010. For more information, please visit

Joan Ganz Cooney co-founded the Children's Television Workshop - since renamed Sesame Workshop - in 1968, which has been creating the most successful children's educational programming in history for four decades. She has received numerous awards for her work, including a Daytime Emmy for Lifetime Achievement in 1989, induction into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1990, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995, and induction into the Women's Hall of Fame in 1998.

Al Franken is an award-winning satirist and author, and currently the junior United States Senator from Minnesota. Franken first gained notice as the first alumni of Saturday Night Live, where he served as a comedian and actor. Between 2004-2007, he was the host of Air America Radio flagship show, The Al Franken Show. He is also the author of five New York Times best-selling books, including Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations. He was born in New York City, and currently resides in Minnesota with his wife Franni Bryson.

Liz Smith is award-winning gossip columnist and co-founder of, an online community for women. Having over 57 years of experience covering pop culture, Smith is known as "The Grand Dame of Dish." Her work currently appears on Fox News and in 70 newspapers. She has raised many millions of dollars to fight illiteracy and AIDS and generously lends her prominent voice to advance New York City causes. She has written several books, beginning with The Mother Book. In 2000 she published her highly successful memoir, Natural Blonde, followed by a food memoir Dishing.

About The New School
Located in the heart of New York's Greenwich Village, The New School is a center of academic excellence where intellectual and artistic freedoms thrive. The more than 9,800 matriculated students and 4,100 continuing education students who attend the university's eight schools enjoy a disciplined education supported by small class sizes, superior resources, and renowned working faculty members who practice what they teach. The eight schools of the university are: The New School for General Studies, The New School for Social Research, Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy, Parsons The New School for Design, Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts, Mannes College The New School for Music, The New School for Drama, and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. For more information, please visit



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