The U Honors Two of Its Angels

UM alumni Maurice R. Greenberg and Corinne P. Greenberg, Class of 1949, were recognized at the 2017 Alumni Awards Ceremony, hosted by the UM Alumni Association in New York City.
UM Alumni, UM Alumni Association, Alumni Awards

With angels framed in gold gazing over the ballroom stage, New York City’s The Metropolitan Club set the scene April 26 for the University of Miami’s 45th Alumni Awards Ceremony, which recognized two of the U’s own angels, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, ’49, the former CEO of American International Group (AIG), and his wife, philanthropist Corinne Zuckerman Greenberg, B.B.A. ’49, president and director of the Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg Foundation and director of The Starr Foundation.

A voice major in high school, Corinne was among UM’s first female business school graduates and went on to a successful career in management information systems. But she never stopped using her powerful voice—to advocate for the arts, science, and social and cultural institutions. Corinne’s husband of 67 years is chairman and CEO of the global insurance and investment organization C.V. Starr & Co. Inc. and chair of The Starr Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States. A decorated war veteran, he grew AIG into a $180 billion insurance giant during nearly 40 years at its helm.

The Greenbergs, who met and fell in love at UM two decades after its founding, received the Edward T. Foote Alumni of Distinction Award for their “accomplishments and dedication to the University,” UM President Frenk told the more than 170 admirers in attendance. “By creating endowed scholarship funds they have ensured the dreams of generations.”

UM President Emerita Donna E. Shalala, Hon. ’02, who introduced the couple, said the Greenbergs’ contributions of more than $16 million to UM “have made an impact lasting decades.

“Beyond their impressive professional and civic careers, the Greenbergs have been steadfast champions and major supporters of the University of Miami,” she added. “Their financial support has impacted several areas at UM, including the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, President’s Initiatives, School of Law, Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, and student scholarships through the establishment of the Greenberg Endowed Scholars and C.V. Starr Endowed Scholarship Funds.”

Several current beneficiaries of those scholarships expressed their gratitude in video messages.

“The Greenberg Scholarship has made a huge difference for me,” said Gabrielle Tilton, ’20, business administration major. “I have been able to grow so much as a student and a person at UM. There is incredible support offered here, and I am learning to use that to my full advantage.”

Jayden Pace Gallagher, ’20, said, “The Greenberg Scholarship showed me that hard work can make a huge difference in my future. I plan to dedicate my career to ecosystem and population conservation. Thank you so much for providing for so many!”

Several Frost School of Music alumni, including two currently on Broadway—Trent Saunders, B.M. ’13, in Aladdin, and Ken Clark, B.M. ’10, in Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812—performed with Frost School Dean Shelton Berg in tribute to Corinne’s work as chair of the National Board of Young Audiences/Arts for Learning. She also serves on volunteer committees at Rockefeller University, New York-Weill Cornell Medical Center, and the Iris Cantor Women’s Health Center.

Hank is a veteran of World War II whose role on Omaha Beach earned him the French Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur. His commendation was later upgraded to Commandeur de I’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur for his leadership at AIG. He also served in the Korean War.

Donna Arbide, M.B.A. ’95, associate vice president for alumni relations and individual giving, invited the couple to the stage to accept their award and presented Hank a navy sport coat with UM orange-colored lining and Corinne black velvet slippers sporting the U logo.

Receiving their award, the Greenbergs said they enjoyed their time as students at the U, where Hank earned a pre-law certificate, and remain impressed with its progress.

“Thank you, Corinne and Hank, for being pioneers at UM,” said Frenk, “and for your ongoing generous support.”