Alumni Relive Their Campus Days
By Lisa Palladino
Almost 4,000 College alumni and their guests returned to campus and to venues throughout New York City from May 30–June 2 for Alumni Reunion Weekend and Dean’s Day 2013. Gathering this year were classes that end in 3 and 8, and all alumni and parents were invited to Saturday’s Dean’s Day, which offers lectures and Mini-Core Courses that allow alumni to relive their classroom days while offering parents a taste of what their sons and daughters experience.
Among the weekend’s highlights were Thursday’s cultural events in Midtown; Friday’s Mini-Core Courses and the Young Alumni Party aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid; and Saturday’s address by Dean James J. Valentini, Public Intellectual Lectures and the presentation of the Society of Columbia Graduates 65th Annual Great Teacher Awards. Perennially popular events, such as Camp Columbia for Kids, the Wine Tasting and the Starlight Reception all were back and offered something for every age group. Some classes also held panel discussions, giving alumni a chance to revive their Columbia-honed debate skills as well as to discuss a current topic of interest. Sunday offered a new event, the Celebration of Service to Columbia, Community and Country, an interfaith service held in St. Paul’s Chapel.
Another new event was the presentation of the Dean’s Leadership Award, which recognizes those who demonstrate extraordinary class leadership and honors an alumnus/a “whose behavior raises the sights of all classmates and has a positive impact on the College’s fundraising priorities.” The inaugural recipients were CCT Class Correspondent Paul Neshamkin ’63; University Trustee Jonathan S. Lavine ’88; and Board of Visitors Member Andrew Borrok ’93, ’01 Business. Each was honored at his Saturday class dinner by Valentini.
Several reunion classes set records with their Class Gifts this year. The Class of 1963 presented the largest 50th reunion gift to date with $1.925 million, the Class of 1988 presented the largest reunion gift ever with $19.88 million and the Class of 1993 presented $242,612, a class record.