WITHIN THE FAMILY
Another Opening, Another
By Alex Sachare '71
Around the end of August each year, a dramatic transformation
takes place on the Morningside Heights campus. The eerie quiet that
marked the dog days of summer gives way to the hustle and bustle of
students returning to school and first-years getting their initial
taste of Columbia at Orientation. Move-in days are always a sight
as cars line the streets and laundry carts are filled with
everything from clothing to computers as parents help their
children settle in, then have a hard time saying goodbye.
After a few hectic weeks, the campus settles into a steadier
rhythm as the fall semester unfolds. But this year, that rhythm
will be punctuated by a day unlike any Columbia has seen in quite a
On Thursday, October 3, Lee C. Bollinger will be formally
— and informally —
inaugurated as the University's 19th president. He takes his
place in a continuum that begins with Samuel Johnson in 1754 and
stretches through notables like Frederic A.P. Barnard, Seth Low,
Nicholas Murray Butler and Dwight Eisenhower on its way to George
Rupp, who retired at the end of the 2001–02 academic
The pomp and circumstance part of the program is scheduled for
10 a.m. on Low Plaza. A Commencement-style processional will take
place from Butler Library to a stage on the Low Steps, from which
an assortment of VIPs will speak of the University’s new
leader, who will in turn offer a glimpse of his vision of
Columbia’s future. Afterward, separate lunches will be held
for alumni, faculty and staff.
The afternoon belongs to the academic part of the program.
Guests may attend any of four faculty symposia along the lines of
the College’s popular Dean’s
Day, which is held for alumni every spring (and which, if you
have not attended in the past, you should make plans to attend in
2003 — mark April 12 on your calendar).
But Bollinger was known at Michigan for his accessibility, so
it’s appropriate that the inauguration will have less formal
aspects as well.
An avid runner, Bollinger will start off the day’s
activities by leading a 5K run/walk through the neighborhood.
Participants will start from Grant’s Tomb at Riverside Park
and 122nd Street and wind their way through Morningside Heights
before finishing on College Walk — presumably, in plenty of
time for the formal program.
To cap off the day, College Walk will take on a carnival
atmosphere beginning at 6 p.m. with music, food and who knows what
Alumni are welcome to attend the inauguration. All events are
free, but you must pre-register. To do so, or to get the latest
details on what’s planned, log onto Columbia's
inauguration site or call (212) 870-2527.