The Annual Report 2015–2016

The Columbia College Annual Report 2015–2016 celebrates Columbia College today — our outstanding education, including our renowned Core Curriculum; our remarkable academic community; the countless opportunities we offer for students to explore the world and prepare for their futures; and our commitment to challenge, encourage and inspire thousands of students every year so they can make a difference in their communities and in the world. These pages highlight the College’s priorities, including Core to Commencement — the campaign we launched in November 2015 to build what we believe to be the world’s greatest undergraduate experience and to provide excellence in all that we do — and they celebrate you: our exceptional students, alumni and faculty, and the generous donors and volunteers who make the Columbia College experience possible.

Roar, Lion(s), Roar,

Dean's signature
James J. Valentini
Dean of Columbia College and
Vice President for Undergraduate Education

Our Year

Campus photo by Michael Edmonson CC'20


We celebrate the accomplishments of our outstanding students, faculty, and alumni.

Eric H. Holder Jr. ’73, LAW’76 received the 2015 Alexander Hamilton Medal, the highest honor awarded to a member of the College community, presented each year for distinguished service to the College and accomplishment in any field of endeavor.

Jonathan C. Abbott ’84; Julius Genachowski ’85; Jeffrey Kessler ’75, LAW’77; John Vaske ’88; and Sheena Wright ’90, LAW’94 were the recipients of John Jay Awards for professional achievement.

Christian Collier Domenico Vivadelli ’16 was the first Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) Midshipman to commission from Columbia College since the program was reestablished after a nearly 40 year absence.

The New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet, who attended the College from 1974 to 1978, was the speaker for Columbia College Class Day 2016.

Bianca Guerrero ’17 won a prestigious Truman Scholarship, which gives funding for and priority admission to some premier graduate institutions, as well as leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities.

Shreyas Vissapragada ’17 won a Goldwater Scholarship, the premier undergraduate award in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.

Katherine Jin ’16 and Kevin Tyan ’16 were part of a team that won the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for Breakthrough Decontamination Product. Their team was also named to Forbes “30 Under 30”.

Jonah Belser ’16 won a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Junior Fellowship and received a one-year fellowship and work as a research assistant in the endowment’s Carnegie Democracy and Rule of Law program.

Elana Shanti Sulakshana ’17 won a prestigious Udall Undergraduate Scholarship, awarded in recognition of leadership, public service and commitment to issues related to American Indian nations or to the environment.

Felix Qiaochu Jin ’16, a biochemistry and physics major from Rochester, N.Y., and Zoey Poll ’16, an urban studies major from Los Angeles, were named valedictorian and salutatorian, the top academic honors for the Columbia College Class of 2016.

See all Accolades

Giving Back

Hamilton Hall photo by Eileen Barroso

Columbia Giving Day

$3.7 million

nearly 1,600 donors

Columbia College Fund

$19.19 million

more than 10,650 donors

Core to Commencement

$72 million

more than 11,810 donors

Gifts from Parents

$4 million

more than 1,700 donors

Thank you to all who gave


A Campaign for Columbia College

In November 2015, Columbia College launched Core to Commencement, the first-ever fundraising and engagement campaign dedicated exclusively to Columbia College. The campaign seeks to raise $400 million to enhance the experience of students and faculty and sustain the College’s distinctive Core Curriculum.

WKCR, 1941

WKCR Marks 75 Years

On February 24, 1941, the Columbia University Radio Club — later renamed WKCR (King’s Crown Radio) — made its first official broadcast from the Hamilton Hall Annex with a recording of “Roar, Lion, Roar.” The station was granted its FCC license on October 10, 1941.

Naming of the Roger Lehecka Double Discovery Center

Thanks to a $2 million anonymous gift, the Columbia College program that works to foster college matriculation for low-income and first-generation middle and high school students was renamed in May 2016 in honor of cofounder and former Columbia College Dean of Students Roger Lehecka ’67, GSAS’74.