They didn’t know each other when they were both Bowdoin students in the mid 1970s. But when they met years later, Geoffrey Canada ’74, H’07 and Stan Druckenmiller ’75, H’07 immediately hit it off. “That one meeting I think in many ways changed both of our lives,” Canada recalled.
On Tuesday evening, the two friends received the Bowdoin Prize, the highest honor the College bestows upon its members. Canada and Druckenmiller were celebrated at a ceremony at New York City’s Lincoln Center. Speakers included Bowdoin Board of Trustees Chair Deborah Jensen Barker ’80, Trustee John McQuillan ’87, and President Barry Mills ’72. Those in attendance also watched a brief video (above), with Canada and Druckenmiller talking about each other and their work together, before hearing from the prize winners themselves.
Canada is a visionary educator and advocate for children, community redevelopment and education reform. Druckenmiller is a legendary investor and philanthropist. While they have each achieved great measures in different fields, they have also, as close collaborators, changed the hopes and prospects for thousands of disadvantaged children.
With Canada as president and CEO, and Druckenmiller as board chairman, they have been instrumental in the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone, an organization dedicated to disrupting the cycle of generational poverty in Central Harlem.
The Harlem Children’s Zone offers a comprehensive range of services to children and families in a 100-block area in Central Harlem. Its aim is to help children graduate from college, and to support residents in transforming their lives and improving their communities.Druckenmiller is the former chairman, CEO, and founder of Duquesne Capital Management in New York City. In 2009, he was recognized by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the most charitable man in America. That year he gave $705 million to foundations that support medical research, education and anti-poverty efforts.
Read more about Canada and Druckenmiller.
The Bowdoin Prize was established in 1928 as a memorial to William John Curtis, LL.D., of the Class of 1875, by his widow and children.
It is awarded every five years “to the graduate or former member of the College, or member of its Faculty at the time of the award, who shall have made during the period the most distinctive contribution in any field of human endeavor.”
The Bowdoin Prize is presented to those who are “recognized as having won national and not merely local distinction, or who, in the judgment of the committee, is fairly entitled to be so recognized.”
Canada and Druckenmiller are the 18th and 19th recipients of the Bowdoin Prize. Also in attendance at the Lincoln Center event were previous Bowdoin Prize recipients Joan Benoit Samuelson ’79, who was awarded the Bowdoin Prize in 1985, and Senator George J. Mitchell ’54, the recipient in 1995.
Photos by Jen DelCastillo