Article17 HBAW2014b

Loida Lewis (left), widow of Reginald F. Lewis, presents the first Reginald F. Lewis Award for Leadership in Business and Philanthropy at Harvard University to Mr. Valentino D. Carlotti (center), Partner and Head of the Securities Division, Institutional Client Group for Goldman, Sachs & Co. Also included in the picture is Cheryl C. Joyner (right), Lead Co-Chair for the 2014 Harvard University Black Alumni Weekend (PHOTO by Margot Jordan)

Goldman Sachs and Co. Senior Partner Valentino D. Carlotti was honored with the Reginald F. Lewis Award for Leadership in Business and Philanthropy at a ceremony held by the Harvard Black Alumni Society and the Harvard Alumni Association during its 2014 Harvard Black Alumni Weekend.

The award was named in honor of the late Reginald F. Lewis, lawyer and financier, who has been dubbed an “iconic Harvard University Alumnus.” Carlotti, the award’s first recipient was recognized for his career achievements in the finance sector and his philanthropic “efforts that have made a positive impact in shaping the minds and dreams of youth while work in supporting and promoting culture and the arts.”

During his time as a prominent businessman, Lewis was very well known for his global philanthropic efforts, including donating millions of dollars each year to various institutions and giving to homeless shelters and neighborhood churches. Lewis was also one of Harvard Law School’s top donors; he graduated from the institution in 1968.

The prestigious award was presented to Carlotti by Lewis’s wife, Loida Nicola Lewis amid an audience of about one thousand Harvard University alumni.

“Mr. Carlotti is first recipient of this iconic award for he epitomizes the exemplary legacy of my dear husband Mr. Reginald F. Lewis,” Loida Lewis said in a statement. “Much like him, Mr. Carlotti is an extraordinary example of global professional excellence, broad philanthropic engagement and overall sterling achievement.”

Lewis was born in Baltimore to a middle-class family. His father worked as a postal worker while his mother was a teacher. According to a New York Times article, Lewis began selling newspapers at the age of nine. He received his undergraduate degree from Virginia State University before heading into Harvard Law School. Lewis opened his own law firm, Lewis & Clarkson in early 1970s after working for a prestigious New York law firm, Paul Weiss Rifkin Wharton & Garrison.

The Harvard Black Alumni Association Weekend, which occurs every four years, is coined as the largest gathering “of all generations of African American Alumni from all 14 schools in the Harvard University systems.” This year’s theme, “14 Schools, Generations of Alumni, Reuniting as One,” brought together alumni, faculty and students throughout the nation to celebrate their accomplishments.