Sydney S. Gross
Director of Communications
Join James J. Valentini, the new dean of Columbia College and vice president for undergraduate education, and Jon Abbott ‘84CC, president and CEO of WGBH Boston, for a lively discussion focusing on Dean Valentini’s unusual journey to Columbia, how he sees Columbia College as “the greatest college in the greatest university in the greatest city in the world,” how to make Columbia even better, and what “better” actually means.
Bernice Tsai CC ’96 has been named senior executive director of Columbia College Alumni Affairs. Tsai comes to Columbia from Citigroup, where she headed a new team focused on driving engagement and loyalty. She will assume her responsibilities on January 7.
Delhi-based entrepreneur Sharik Currimbhoy CC ’02 has pledged $12.12 million to Columbia in a gift that will span multiple schools at the University and will support research and fellowships with a focus on India and emerging markets. The announcement of the gift was timed to coincide with 12:12 p.m. on December 12, 2012 — 12:12 on 12-12-12. This is the largest gift from an alumnus in India to Columbia.
Columbia College has announced the names of 22 seniors who will be initiated into Phi Beta Kappa, the national honor society. The students were chosen by a faculty selection committee of Phi Beta Kappa members based on the breadth, depth and rigor of their academic programs, as well as recommendations from faculty members who have worked closely them.
New York Times correspondent Jodi Kantor CC ’96 spoke to students at the Robert K. Kraft Family Center for Jewish Student Life on December 4 in a 90-minute conversation that ranged from politics and the Obamas to journalism, reflections on her own career path and practical advice for students.
Teodolinda Barolini, the Lorenzo Da Ponte Professor of Italian and chair of the Department of Italian, and Richard Lansing CC ’65, professor of Italian studies and comparative literature at Brandeis, are receiving the Modern Language Association of America’s 15th annual Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Publication Award for a Manuscript in Italian Literary Studies for their work, “Dante’s Lyrics: Poems of Youth and the Vita Nuova.”
Benjamin Jealous CC ’94, president of the NAACP since 2008, has been named to Fortune’s “40 Under 40” list for 2012. Jealous, 39, is a fifth-generation member of the civil rights organization and the youngest president in its history.
University Trustee Jonathan S. Lavine CC ’88 will be honored with the Anti-Defamation League’s 2012 Distinguished Community Service Award, the highest honor bestowed by the ADL in New England. Lavine is also a recipient of the John Jay Award for professional achievement.
The annual Columbia University Treelighting Ceremony will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29, on College Walk, followed by the annual Yule Log Ceremony from 7 to 8:30 p.m., in John Jay Lounge. All Columbia University community members are invited to participate in the Treelighting.
University Trustee Jonathan D. Schiller CC ’69, LW ’73 received the Alexander Hamilton Medal at a gala dinner in Low Rotunda on November 15. The medal, the highest honor paid to a member of the College community, is presented by the Columbia College Alumni Association for distinguished service to the College and accomplishment in any field of endeavor.