And Wake the Echoes of the Hudson
By Gerald Sherwin ’55
President, Columbia College Alumni Association
Gerald Sherwin '55
PHOTO: MICHAEL DAMES
May 1993, the Report of the Committee on the Future of Columbia
College stated that its mission was to propose “... a
course of action to achieve our basic goal that Columbia College
be, and be recognized as, the preeminent undergraduate college in
any major university in America by the year 2000.”
year 2000 is here. The fact is that we are on the threshold of
achieving this goal. These are exciting times at Columbia. The
College is as strong and vibrant now as it has ever been. The Core
Curriculum is thriving. It continues to be the cornerstone of a
Columbia College education. The College faculty is brilliant, and
in many ways, second to none. Our students are the smartest... and
in typical Columbia fashion, the most opinionated in the
addition, there has been the opening of Alfred Lerner Hall, and
within it the Roone Arledge Auditorium; the renovation of Butler
Library; the completion of the new dormitory on 113th Street and
Broadway; the beginning of the renovation of Hamilton Hall; the
refurbishing and expansion of the Center for Career Services; the
building of the new crew boathouse; and very shortly, the new
tennis facility. More improvements and initiatives are constantly
admissions selectivity rate moves lower and lower each year. The
College’s rate has surpassed many peer institutions.
Princeton and Harvard are now within our sights.
But... there is always more to be done. There are challenges
ahead of us.
order to solidify and grow the intergenerational community Dean
Austin Quigley (who is celebrating his fifth anniversary as dean)
has talked about so many times, we must involve each segment of the
Columbia community — students (our future), parents, faculty,
administrators, and most importantly, alumni. Only through this
collective involvement will each segment’s goals and dreams
for the College be realized.
Graduation is not the end to the Columbia College experience.
Rather, it is an opportunity to have a different and, in a sense,
expanded relationship with the school. As alumni, the College
education stays with us and guides us wherever we live and whatever
we do. Our contributions to College life remain at Morningside
Heights in spirit. We were nourished intellectually by Columbia as
students. As alumni, in turn, we have the ability to help nurture
the College. One cannot escape the hold Columbia has on us
throughout our daily endeavors.
There are so many ways to become an active member of the
College’s intergenerational community: working with
Admissions in recruiting and interviewing applicants; mentoring or
advising current students; attending College-sponsored events in
New York and around the country such as Dean’s Day, lectures
by visiting professors and deans, sporting events, special dinners,
get-togethers sponsored by Columbia College Young Alumni, Columbia
College Women, the Alumni Outreach participants or the National
Council headed by Roger Lehecka ’67 (and Jerry Grossman
’61); contributing financially, of course; but, most of all,
staying in touch with your classmates and attending reunions (note:
classes ending in 6 and 1, June 1-3, 2001 are your lucky days). The
classes of ’90 and ’95 did an outstanding job in
pulling large numbers to the recent reunion — are ’91
and ’96 ready for the young alumni challenge?
Columbia College Alumni Association has committees specifically
designated for all of these aforementioned areas. The committees,
chaired by vice presidents of the Board of Directors, work closely
with liaisons from the College and administrators from the
University and achieve noticeable results. You do not have to live
in the metropolitan New York area to belong to a committee. There
is something of interest for everyone, if you want to get
Columbians, we must constantly strive to be the best in everything
we do — whether it is in the classroom, in our facilities, in
communications, in technology, in the events we run in New York and
around the country, in student services, in athletics (and even in
an area where we are slowly making headway, College Fund
participation). To take advantage of Columbia’s positive
momentum we need everyone’s support in facing the future. By
working together, we will succeed in achieving all the things we
want to accomplish.
you want to help in some way or have any questions or thoughts,
please get in touch with me by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want to hear from you.