New York Area Spartans Honored at Homecoming

Posted by Pat Donohue | October 20, 2013


Michigan State Homecoming is always a special weekend for Spartans. Every year the MSU Alumni Association plans numerous events for those returning to campus. Among those events is the Grand Awards Gala at which Spartans from around the world and all walks of life are honored for their accomplishments. This year’s Gala was very special, as the MSU Alumni Association honored four Greater NY Spartans, and one former NY Spartan!

Congratulations to Edward J. Minskoff, recipient of the Philanthropist Award; Greg Hauser, recipient of the Alumni Service Award; and Tania Chopra, Ryan Sullivan, and Ben Williams, recipients of the Distinguished Young Alumni Award.

Several Greater NY Spartans attended the Gala to join in celebrating the accomplishments of fellow NY Spartans: Chris Baker, Pat Donohue (NY Club Board Member) and his wife Gail, Merritt Lutz, Roni O’Connor (NY Club Treasurer and MSU International Advisory Board President) and her husband Michael, and Ryan Sullivan’s wife Callie.


Edward J. Minskoff, who graduated from MSU with a BA in Economics, received the Philanthropist Award. He has dedicated his life and his work to giving back and helping others. Minskoff’s philanthropy at MSU has had an enormous impact on the campus. He and his wife, Julie, have given $400,000 to fund a lab in the Biomedical & Physical Sciences Building on campus. They have also provided significant financial support to help build the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.


Greg Hauser, who graduated from MSU with a BS and MS in Zoology, received the Alumni Service Award. He earned his JD degree from New York University School of Law and practices law in New York City. He has published more than a dozen articles on legal issues, is a lecturer on litigation issues, and has been named a “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyer Magazine. As a Delta Chi while at MSU, Hauser has remained involved with the Delta Chi International Fraternity and the North American Interfraternity Conference, serving as President of both organizations. He currently serves as President of the Greater NY Alumni Club and has served as President of the MSU International Alumni Board of Directors after serving several years as a Board member.


Tania Chopra, who is the vice president of Efficiency Management Group at Credit Suisse Securities in NYC, received the Distinguished Young Alumni Award. While at MSU, her passion for giving back to the community was apparent as she served as president of the Multicultural Business Students organization at the Eli Broad School of Business, choreographed cultural activities for the Coalition of Indian Undergraduate Students and founded the Bhangra team on campus. Chopra continues to dedicate her time to many educational organizations and volunteers for NY Cares and the NY Food Bank.


Ryan Sullivan, who graduated from MSU in 2006 as a member of the Honors College and the Broad College of Business, also received the Distinguished Young Alumni Award. After graduation, Sullivan was an analyst in the Financial Sponsors Group at Bank of America in NYC and then moved to Vestar Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity group. Sullivan returned to Michigan in 2010 with the express purpose to renew the city of Detroit. He is currently the business development director for Rock Ventures and serves on the advisory board of D:Hive. He is credited with developing the concept for the “Opportunity Made in Detroit” campaign.


Ben Benjamin James Williams, who received his BA in Music Education from the College of Music in 2007, also received the Distinguished Young Alumni Award. He moved to New York City after graduation and received his MA in Jazz Studies from the Julliard School. Williams is a highly acclaimed international bassist, bandleader, performer, music educator and writer. He has earned many awards of distinction, including a Grammy with the Pat Metheny Unity Band for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, DownBeat Magazine Critics Poll Rising Star Award for Bass, and the iTunes Breakthrough Artist of the Year in the jazz category.

See additional photos from the 2013 MSUAA Grand Awards Gala