Thanks for a Record-Breaking Violet Ball

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The Violet Ball

Monday, November 4, 2019
500 Supporters in attendance
$150M Raised

A Night That Could Only Happen at NYU Langone Health

Friends and admirers of Elaine and Ken Langone celebrated the couple and honored his 20 years of leadership as the chair of the Board of Trustees at a record-breaking Violet Ball on November 4th at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. With more than 500 guests in attendance, the event raised more than $150 million for full-tuition scholarships and put an exclamation point on Mr. Langone’s extraordinary two decades by marking the conclusion of a $3 billion philanthropic campaign, the largest in the institution’s history. The night concluded with one more milestone: Mr. and Mrs. Langone’s surprise announcement that NYU School of Medicine would be renamed the NYU Robert I. Grossman School of Medicine, in honor of Dean and CEO Robert I. Grossman, MD.  

Larry Fink, co-chair of the Board of Trustees, kicked off the program with an overview of the institution’s remarkable recent growth and success, including its Top 10 ranking on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals Honor Roll and the historic announcement of full-tuition scholarships for all medical students. “You are lucky to see this kind of rise in the for-profit sector, and it’s unheard of in the academic and nonprofit sector,” said Mr. Fink. “This is a very special institution.” 

NYU Langone Health pays tribute to Elaine and Ken Langone, in honor of Ken’s 20th anniversary as chair of the Board of Trustees, for their service to the health system and medical school.

“Everyone knows Ken is a force of nature,” said Dean Grossman. “He makes you believe that—together—you can do anything, and that you’re going to have one hell of a good time doing it.”

“None of the milestones NYU Langone has achieved would have been possible without the boldness, resiliency, and passion for patient care and quality that Bob Grossman brings to this institution,” Mr. Langone said at the event. “He always strives to elevate the quality of what we do, he brings out the best in people, and he’s brought out the best in this institution.”  Mr. and Mrs. Langone, who were the lead philanthropists in the full-tuition effort, had been offered the option to name the school in recognition of their lifetime of generosity, and had waited for several years for an appropriate occasion. Making the surprise announcement, which brought the audience to their feet for a standing ovation, Mrs. Langone hailed the “superb leadership [Dean Grossman] has given the institution and the high standard of quality patient care we teach and are known for.”  

Highlights from the 2019 Violet Ball, a historic night celebrating Elaine and Ken Langone and NYU Langone’s achievements.

“When Pigs Fly…”

The announcement of the renaming may have been the highlight of the Violet Ball, but the night was full of memorable moments, including Dean Grossman breaking the news that NYU Langone had finished its $3 billion fundraising campaign with the $150 million raised through the Violet Ball. 

“In the course of the past 12 years, Ken and I have heard the expression ‘You will do it when pigs fly’ countless times,” said Dean Grossman in declaring the close of the campaign. “Thank you all for making us world-class!”