Sydney S. Gross
Director of Communications
Posted in alumni
More than 2,400 alumni and guests enjoyed Alumni Reunion Weekend and Dean’s Day 2011, held June 2–5. Attendees renewed friendships at class-specific events, revisited their classroom days by attending mini-Core courses and thought-provoking panels, checked out campus changes via guided tours, and enjoyed good food and company on campus and at venues around New York City. Celebrating reunion this year were classes ending in 1 or 6, from 1946–2006.
Dean Michele Moody-Adams addressed the topic, “Whatever Happened to Civil Disagreement?” and led a lively (but civil) question and answer session before an audience of more than 150 alumni and guests on May 24 at the Columbia Alumni Association’s fifth annual Spring Faculty Lecture at NYC’s Morgan Library. The evening, which was emceed by CAA Chair and University Trustee James Harden ’78 Business, ’83 PH, began with a reception and included tours of the Morgan Library and Museum.
Mark Albert Momjian ’83, ’86L, a leader of the Columbia University Club of Philadelphia and chair of the Alumni Representative Committee of Philadelphia for the past two decades, and Neil L. Selinger ’75, a writer and retired attorney who was a leader of the Columbia College Alumni Association for nearly two decades, were among 11 recipients of the Alumni Medal for their distinguished service of 10 years or more to the University.
Celebrating what Dean Michele Moody-Adams called “an extraordinary rite of passage,” members of the Class of 2011 began the transition from students to alumni at Class Day on May 17, a day that was marked by morning rains and blustery winds but calmer weather by the time Sans Souci and Roar, Lion, Roar were sung by the Clefhangers to conclude the ceremony.
More than 900 seniors celebrated the last day of classes, and their upcoming graduation, at the annual Senior Dinner on May 2 under a tent on South Lawn. A highlight of the evening was the announcement by Senior Fund Chair Scott Maxfield ’11 that the fund had achieved 95 percent participation, a College record. In addition, because the class surpassed its participation goal, Charles Santoro ’82 will contribute $50,000 to the Columbia College Fund.
Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced that Columbia and the U.S. Navy have agreed to officially reinstate Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Program enrollment opportunities at the University.
Under the agreement, Columbia will resume full and formal recognition of Naval ROTC after the effective date of the repeal of the law that disqualified openly gay men and lesbians from military service, anticipated to come later this year.
Most weeknights, students working in the Student Calling Center — located on the lower level of the Columbia Alumni Center — make telephone solicitations on behalf of 16 annual funds at Columbia. CloEve Demmer, University director of annual fund programs, announced that two veteran student callers, Brandon Lewis ’13 and Diane Jean-Mary ’13, had each crossed the $100,000 threshold in terms of the pledges they secured single-handedly. Lewis and Jean-Mary are both in their second year as student callers.
The Columbia College Student Council’s Academic Awards Committee announced this year’s winners of the Mark Van Doren and Lionel Trilling awards. The 50th annual Mark Van Doren Award, which honors a Columbia professor for his/her commitment to undergraduate instruction as well as for “humanity, devotion to truth and inspiring leadership,” will be presented to Holger Klein, associate professor of art history and archaeology; the 36th annual Lionel Trilling Award will be presented to James Shapiro ’77, the Larry Miller Professor of English and Comparative Literature, for his book Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?
Manning Marable, the M. Moran Weston/Black Alumni Council Professor of African American Studies, founding director of Columbia’s Institute for Research in African-American Studies and director of the Center for the Study of Contemporary Black History, died on April 1. He was 60 and lived in New York City. Marable’s death came just days before the publishing of his long-awaited biography, and the culmination of his life’s work, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention.
Columbia College’s Office of Alumni Affairs and Development has launched the Alumni Reunion Weekend app, a free smartphone mobile application composed of interactive features that put Alumni Reunion Weekend 2011 at your fingertips. Customized apps are available for the Classes of 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006.