Joan Rivers alma mata, Barnard College, held its annual gala at New York’s Plaza Hotel last week The dinner, award ceremony and scholarship auction raised over 5.6 million towards financial aid for students. A special acknowledgement was given to Melissa Rivers in honor of her mother the late Joan Rivers who was a graduate in ’54. The Trailblazer award, as it’s named, is given to someone who exemplifies strength, determination, creativity and courage that were hallmarks of the legendary comedian. Kathie Lee Gifford gave remarks at the end of a video that highlighted Joan’s achievements and presented the award to daughter, Melissa who also spoke remarking, ” She loved Barnard dearly and was proud of the fact that she went there. This honor would have thrilled her beyond words. Barnard, thank-you for making my mom very much who she was.” Other attendees of note were, Martha Stewart, and Lida Orzeck who is founder and CEO of the well known lingerie brand, Hanky Panky.