Oliver Scholars Gala

On May 1, 2019, Oliver Scholars held its sixth Annual Gala at the Mandarin Oriental New York. Over 350 guests gathered to honor Donna Speciale, President of Advertising Sales at WarnerMedia, George Van Amson, a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, and Wendy Van Amson, Co-Founder and Director of the Independent School Diversity Network. We also celebrated Scholars in the Class of 2019 for their many accomplishments as they prepare to graduate high school and attend college. Senior Melvin Mercado Balucia '19, who will attend Princeton in the fall, received the Scholar Excellence Award.

The event raised more than $764,000 to support Oliver's programming, which offers a unique blend of academic preparation, leadership development, and community service. The evening was made possible because of the steadfast guidance of our Board of Trustees and the Gala Host Committee, led by Chair and Oliver Trustee, Timothy Pope. The generosity of our sponsors, including Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, Columbia University, Loro Piana, Morgan Stanley, MSCI, TLP Consulting, and WarnerMedia, was critical to the evening’s success, and we are appreciative for the support. Likewise, the many donors, Alumni, and other members of the Oliver family made the event among our most successful. Together, we are unlocking the opportunity of a lifetime for generations of Black and Latinx students.

Thank you to everyone who attended the event, or offered support in other ways. We look forward to seeing you next year!

Past and Present Gala Sponsors


Donna Speciale

President of Advertising Sales

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George Van Amson

Managing Director
Morgan Stanley

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Wendy Van Amson

Co-Founder and Director
The Independent School Diversity Network

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Shirley Rumierk

Actor, NBC's Manifest
Oliver Alumna

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The 2019 Oliver Scholars Gala will also honor

The Graduating Class of 2019

Gala Host Committee Chair

Timothy Pope, Chair

Host Committee

Norman Ambrose and Stephan Krucker

Bradford and Tamara Bernstein

Terry-Ann Burrell ‘95

Judith-Ann Corrente and Willem Kooyker

James de Givenchy

Stephen and Bonnie Feuerman

Rob Guimento and Adrian Gilbey

Alston Lambert ‘01

Timothy Macdonald and Karen Bjornson Macdonald

Drs. Liza and Fred Murrell

Jacqueline and Kevin Nickelberry

Timothy Pope and Robin Berg

Jonelle Procope and Frederick O. Terrell

Orlando Reece and Cedric Moreau

Jonathan Schiller and Marla Prather

Carol Schuster

Louisa and John Troubh

Valerie and David Williams

Russell and Nancy Zelenetz

Al and Pat Zollar