More than 900 seniors celebrated the last day of classes at the annual Senior Dinner on April 30 under a tent on South Lawn. The soon-to-be alumni enjoyed a gourmet meal, upbeat music, a slideshow of memories and remarks from Dean James J. Valentini, Columbia College Student Council Class of 2012 President Sarah Chai ’12, Senior Dinner Co-chairs Eylul Kayin ’12 and Randy Subramany ’12, CCSC President Aki Terasaki ’12, Columbia College Alumni Association President Kyra Tirana Barry ’87 and Columbia College Young Alumni Board President Justin Ifill ’06.
A highlight of the evening was the announcement by Senior Fund Co-chairs Stephanie Foster ’12 and Jake Goren ’12 that the fund had achieved its goal of 750 donors and raised more than $16,250. By reaching its goal, the Senior Fund secured a $100,000 gift from Charles Santoro ’82 to be given to the Columbia College Fund by June 30, the end of Fiscal Year 2012.
The Senior Fund also exceeded its goal of 200 donors to Valentini’s “3-2-1 Challenge” of committing to give $20.12 for three years, convincing two friends to do the same and then having the gift matched 1:1 by an alumnus/a (for this year, Gene Davis ’75 will match all gifts). More than 230 seniors were committed to the 3-2-1 Challenge as of April 30.
When Valentini stepped up to the podium, he was met with cheers and applause. He spoke briefly, noting “At this point, I am supposed to turn you over to the Columbia College Alumni Association. I refuse. In my lexicon, there are only students — future students, current students and past students … I am going to give you some advice, and I am going to keep it simple, just four words: Pass the swim test!”