Milstein Receives
  Hamilton Medal



Robin Yerkes Horton
John Metaxas '80


Heidi Pomfret '92
Howard Selinger '71


Della Pietra Memorial

Cover of the November 2001 issue of CCT
Recovery efforts continue

I have read the November issue of CCT, and my family appreciates CCT remembering the eight lost CC alumni in this issue. We would, however, like to point out a few minor corrections regarding my brother, Joseph Della Pietra '99. Joe traded corporate bonds at Cantor Fitzgerald (not a big deal that he was listed as a broker) and played baseball at Columbia. He was living back home with my mother in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, and also is survived by my sister, Lisa, who also lives in Brooklyn.

More importantly, our high school, Poly Prep in Brooklyn, has established a memorial fund in honor of Joe and the other 10 missing from our school. Checks should be made payable to Poly Prep, should reference the name of my brother, and be sent to:

Poly Prep C.D.S.
September 11 Memorial Fund
c/o Development Office
9216 Seventh Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11228-3698

For further information, you may call (718) 836-9800. Thank you.

Christopher V. Della Pietra '89

Not Just "Over There"

I know that you were well-intentioned in your observations, but somehow your words struck me as a bit upsetting. You wrote, in reference to 9/11: "It was something that took place in Beirut and Belfast, Tel Aviv and Indonesia. We watched it on television...We knew it happened, but not here." All this is definitely true. Without a doubt, the act of terror on American soil was shocking not only in its intensity, but in its unexpectedness. Perhaps we have come to expect this in other places around the world, but, nevertheless, an act of terror should never be something that "we know to happen. Just not here." I was struck with the feeling that perhaps these acts are less upsetting, less evil or less real if they happen somewhere else, just because we have come to expect them (which is obviously a sign that they happen far too often).

We as Americans were drawn into the world community that day by finally realizing what it feels like to live in one of these other countries. We must all come together to realize the nearly universal injustice of terrorism, rather than distancing ourselves from other parts of the world. We cannot somehow overlook this destruction, loss and fear as long as it is on our television screens and not confronting us every day in our streets.

I realize that you were making a point about America and its loss of innocence, I just wanted to give you my gut reaction. Now more than ever, we must all realize that there is no such thing as terrorism that happens "over there." We must fight terror and realize the evil of it, regardless of where we call home.

Dina Epstein '01

November 22, Not 23

With all due respect for the seriousness of the Editor's message about September 11 (CCT, November 2001), I must say "who cares?" about his recollection of where he was on November 23, 1963. November 22 is the date burned into my memory.

By the way, I mentioned to a colleague that a charitable view would be that the error is the fault of an editor, not the author — alas, can't be so in this case!

Seriously, your editorial and indeed the entire issue reflects great credit on you and your staff and I'm certain is much appreciated by all alumni of the College.

Roy R. Russo '56

Editor's note: Yes, President Kennedy was shot on November 22. For some reason I had 23 on the brain. Maybe if Michael Jordan would stop these comebacks…

Restoring the Sundial

Black and white photo of the original Sundial
Columbia's original Sundial

The monument of concern itself was a unique sundial with a seven-foot in diameter, solid, green, 16-ton granite gnomon that stood at the heart of the Columbia campus off West 116th Street. Countless members of the Columbia College community remember the dial as the central meeting place on campus.

The monument, a gift from the class of 1885 on its 25th Reunion, was removed in the winter of 1946 because a widening crack along a fissure line of the granite sphere led University officials to believe that it was permanently damaged. Since that time, in absence of the sphere, the nine-foot diameter base designed by the architectural firm McKim, Mead and White has remained in its original location, sullen as a shorn trunk of a great cedar.

Despite the archived press releases that stated the ball was destroyed, this summer, through my interest and pure serendipity, the ball was located on a field outside Ann Arbor, Mich. The owners of the ball are willing to sell it back to the University at a minimal cost. Columbia has pledged an initial interest in the restoration effort by funding the research into verifying the provenance and determining the structural stability of the ball on site in Michigan, but has not been able to produce the funds (estimated at $250,000) to relocate, reinstall and refurbish the monument, all of which are necessary to bring the project to fruition.

The damaged Latin motto at the base of the monument reads, Horam Expecta Veniet — Await the Hour Will Come.

Anyone interested in learning more about the ongoing restoration effort may contact me at

Steve Pulimood '03


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