Stand Up and Cheer for Old
By Gerald Sherwin '55
President, Columbia College Alumni Association
PHOTO: MICHAEL DAMES
March 7, Columbia College will honor four very distinguished alums
at the annual John Jay Awards dinner, to be held this year for the
first time at the Plaza Hotel in New York. Honorees will be Tom
Glocer '81, CEO, Reuters Information; Michael Gould '66, chairman
and CEO, Bloomingdale's; Carlos Muñoz '57, former executive
VP, Dime Bancorp, and Cristina Teuscher '00, Olympic medal winner.
This promises to be a stellar affair and we hope for a full house
to celebrate these outstanding Columbians.
John Jay Dinner follows on the heels of November's Alexander
Hamilton event, when Bill Campbell '62 was honored with the coveted
Alexander Hamilton Medal. Bill's incredibly broad appeal drew a
truly diverse group of College alumni, students, faculty and
administrators, in addition to Bill's friends. Low Library was
filled to capacity and echoed with the sounds of bagpipers who
serenaded Bill, courtesy of former teammate Brian Dennehy
is not only in New York City but around the country and around the
world that Columbia's intergenerational community abounds with
activity. Working through the National Council, alumni are involved
in cities such as Atlanta, where social events, mentoring, book
awards and interviewing of applicants to the College are taking
place. Key players there are Janet Frankston '95, Stuart Berkman
'66, Isaiah Delemar '93, Leslie Harris '88, Ben Chance '85, Sally
Graham '90 and Tom Detscher '58.
development and coordination of alumni functions are beginning to
take hold in Philadelphia under the auspices of Dennis Langer '71,
Phil Cottone '61 and recent grad Andy Dalton '99. Boston is busy
getting its activities together, with William Woo '88 and Steve
Coleman '83 leading the proverbial "charge" up north. Despite the
wintry snow and difficult weather conditions, Mike Savini '97 and
Bill Roach '66 are doing a lot of planning in Chicago.
on the West Coast, there is a very strong and well-organized alumni
base in the San Francisco area, where Robert Kidd '70, Ilene
Weinstein '87, Amy Perkel '89 and Tom Ferguson '74 have taken the
lead in keeping Columbia top of mind. For those in Los Angeles, a
series of events are planned for the spring under the direction of
Gary Rachelefsky '63. Other key alums are Ed Hoffman '87, Jason
Hallock '93, Lou Rothman '57 and Russell Abbott '62.
Overseas, plans are being formulated for a late spring
reception in Singapore under the watchful eye of Conrad Lung '72.
The entire spectrum of Columbia people - current students, recently
admitted students, alumni and parents - will be invited to join in
in New York, there are more and more things going on with alumni
and undergrads in addition to the two major dinners. The annual
tree lighting and Yule Log ceremonies were held in December. Rita
Pietropinto '93 and Charles Saliba '00 were very much involved,
along with a vast number of the Senior Class ('01).
groups that have made a definite impact in getting alumni and
students closer together are the Young Alumni (CCYA) and Columbia
College Women (CCW).
Among the events sponsored by CCYA are networking nights at
various locations throughout the city, and the Columbia Connections
program designed to bridge the gap between life as a student and
life after graduation. The latter is a series of interactive
panels, dinners and activities in which alumni meet with current
students every couple of weeks. Besides CCYA President Rita
Pietropinto '93, other members of CCYA who play active roles in
this group's endeavors are Rebecca Boston '93, Rafay Farooqui '98,
Steve Weinstein '91, Andy Topkins '98, Alicia Guevara '94 and Laura
Pietropinto '00, while Abigail Black-Elbaum '92 fills a vital role
as chair of the Hamilton Associates.
conducts mentoring nights, among other events, culminating each
year with the Alumna Achievement Award, to be presented on March
22. Cathy Webster '87, Sarah Lorge '95 , Gabrielle Kleinman Haskell
'91, Becky Minervino '95, Bonnie Rosenberg '91, Lee Ilan '87,
Angela Ellis '98 and Jill Niemczyk '87 are among those who make
significant contributions to CCW's efforts.
Through the Columbia Outreach Committee led by Moselle Thompson
'76, there will be events during both Black Heritage Month and El
Regreso II, the latter hosted by the Latino Alumni Association.
There are mentoring nights planned as well for Black, Latino and
Asian students and alumni. The Outreach Committee consists of alums
Fernando Ortiz '79 (ex officio), Adlar García '95, Lorenzo
Wyatt '93, Judy Kim '87, Syreeta McFadden '97, Rhonda Moore '96,
Patrick Yu '88, Brigit Geeson-Alvarez '98, Adrienne Brown '00,
Prisca Bae '00 and Dawn Santana '87. Joining García on the
Latino Board are Rebecca Castillo '94, Alicia Guevara '94, Angelo
Falcon '73 and Grissel Seijo '93. The Asian Mentoring Program is
led by Conrad Lung '72 and William Chan '86.
College year culminates for a good many alumni on the weekend of
June 1-3, when the classes ending in 1s and 6s will have their
long-awaited reunions. New and different things are being planned
this year, as the reunion committees will tell you - in fact, most
classes are planning to get a jump start on the weekend with events
on Thursday, May 31. The most recent graduating classes (reunion
and non-reunion) will be invited to a special function on Friday,
June 1, courtesy of CCYA and the Office of Alumni
should want to be part of all that is going on with one of the
great institutions of higher learning in the world. As our dean,
Austin Quigley, has said: "A successful educational institution is
characterized by its history of achievements, but its fixture
achievements require the constant renewal and extension of its
traditions and resources." That's what Columbia College is all
in touch with your roots wherever you may be. Get involved. If you
have any questions, comments or need information, please contact me
Be a part of Columbia's success.