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Electrical Alum and NU Chairman of the Board Emeritus Awarded Presidential Medallion
Sy Sternberg, ME’68, H’12, was awarded the prestigious Presidential Medallion, the university's top honor. It symbolizes excellence, commitment, and contribution, and is a permanent representation of the holder’s dedication to advancing Northeastern. When selecting a recipient for this honor, the university looks to people who are shining exemplars of Northeastern’s academic and research excellence.
A visionary leader, generous philanthropist, and passionate advocate for education, Sy Sternberg has made enduring contributions to Northeastern and the world. After earning engineering degrees from City College of New York and Northeastern, he initially worked as an engineer and demonstrated innate leadership skills. He advanced rapidly to high-level posts at Mass Mutual and New York Life, two of the world’s largest insurance companies. During his 11 years as board chairman and CEO at New York Life, the company became one of only three life insurers to earn top ratings from the four major rating agencies. Sy has applied his creative, insightful leadership at Northeastern. As chair of Northeastern University’s Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2012, he partnered with President Aoun on every major initiative related to the university’s transformation: expanding experiential learning globally, focusing the research enterprise on areas of strength, and recruiting outstanding interdisciplinary scholars. Sy and his wife, Laurie, continue to give back to the university by establishing the Sternberg Family Distinguished University Endowed Chair and the Sy and Laurie Sternberg Interdisciplinary Endowed Professorship. Sy’s exemplary leadership has forever changed the path of Northeastern and its graduates.