Order Of The Golden Sphinx Gala


David Geffen

CAMBRIDGE, MA (February 19th, 2020) – The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 announces that entertainment industry mogul DAVID GEFFEN will be the 2020 recipient of the Order of the Golden Sphinx award. Mr. Geffen will be honored and presented with the prestigious award at the 8th Annual Order of the Golden Sphinx Gala to be held at the Pierre in New York City on April 6th, 2020.

The Order of the Golden Sphinx, named for a traditional symbol of the Hasty Pudding Institute, is the highest honor bestowed by the Institute and recognizes individuals in the entertainment industry for their extraordinary contributions to the performing arts. The recipient represents the Institute’s mission to support and foster the performing arts within its membership, at Harvard, and the community at large. Previous recipients of the Order of the Golden Sphinx award include Michael Lynton, Chairman of Snap Inc. and former CEO of Sony Entertainment; David Heyman, producer of Gravity and the Harry Potter film universe; Clive Davis, Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music; Daryl Roth, ten-time Tony Award-winning producer; Paris Barclay, two-term President of the Director’s Guild of America; Derek McLane, mutli-award winning production designer; and most recently Marc Anthony, eight-time Grammy & Latin Grammy Award-winner and philanthropist.

Announcing this year’s honoree, Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 Chairman Andrew L. Farkas said: “David Geffen is an icon. He is among the most accomplished people in the history of the world of the performing arts. His support of the performing arts is, perhaps, embodied most through his gift to Lincoln Center resulting in the naming of Geffen Hall. David brings great privilege and gravitas to The Order of The Golden Sphinx and The Hasty Pudding Institute as we bestow our highest honor for a lifetime of extraordinary achievement.”

DAVID GEFFEN, born in Brooklyn, New York, started out in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency, later becoming an agent and a manager of top talents such as Laura Nyro, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Joni Mitchell. He launched Asylum Records in 1971 by signing Jackson Browne, The Eagles, and Linda Ronstadt.

In 1980, he formed Geffen Records, quickly building an artist roster that included John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Elton John, Donna Summer, Guns N’ Roses, Aerosmith, Don Henley, Cher, and Peter Gabriel. In 1990, he added another label, DGC Records, which earned success with Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Counting Crows, Hole, and Beck.

His motion picture company, Geffen Pictures, produced Personal Best, Beetlejuice, Interview with a Vampire, Risky Business, Little Shop of Horrors, and Lost in America. In October 1994, Geffen, Steven Spielberg, and Jeffrey Katzenberg founded DreamWorks SKG. In October 2004, DreamWorks Animation spun off to form a publicly traded company. 

David Geffen helped bring several multi-award-winning Broadway musicals to the stage, including Tony Award-winners Cats, M. Butterfly, and Dreamgirls, which he brought to the big screen in 2006. Most recently, he added the Broadway revival of West Side Story to his long list of accomplishments.

Geffen’s professional successes enable him to generously support charitable organizations important to him. His record setting 2002 donation to the UCLA School of Medicine was the single largest donation of its kind to a U.S. medical school. A decade later, he created The David Geffen Medical Scholarship, which provides outstanding students entering the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA full financial support.  This innovative and unprecedented fund covers all aspects of attending the school and allows scholarship recipients to graduate from medical school without the burden of student loans.   In early 2016, UCLA announced plans for the creation of The Geffen Academy at UCLA, a college preparatory school for LA area youth grades 6 through 12, funded by a $100 million gift from Geffen. He has been a major benefactor to AIDS Project Los Angeles, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, amfAR, God’s Love We Deliver, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and Project Angel Food. He contributed to The Academy of Motion Pictures for the creation of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and its new state-of-the-art screening facility. In 2018, Geffen made the single largest private cash donation in history of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s to support the creation of its new galleries. He has also underwritten the addition of a new wing and a gallery to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. David Geffen has also made substantial gifts to the Geffen Playhouse, the Spelman and Morehouse College arts education programs, the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, and the USC’s School of Cinema-Television. He was the lead contributor to updating the newly renamed David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center. 

In 2010, Geffen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, receiving the Ahmet Ertegun Award. In 2011, the GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons® honored Geffen with the President’s Merit Award in recognition of his significant contributions to the music industry and the impact his efforts have had on music and the business of music. Finally, in 2012, he was subject of the feature-length documentary, Inventing David Geffen, which was part of the award-winning PBS television series “American Masters”.


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The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770’s philanthropic mission is to provide educational and developmental support in all aspects of the performing arts for the underprivileged, to encourage satire and comedy, and to cultivate young talent around the world. The Institute is comprises the Hasty Pudding Club (the oldest social club in the United States), the Hasty Pudding Theatricals (the third oldest theater group in the world, after the Comédie-Française and the Oberammergau Passion Players) and the Harvard Krokodiloes (the foremost collegiate a cappella group in the United States). Over the last two centuries, it has grown into a premiere performing arts organization, a patron of the arts and comedy, and an advocate for satire and discourse as tools for change worldwide.






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