Volunteers

Volunteers play a critical role within Columbia College. Not only do they serve as advocates and champions for the College but their support also enhances the College’s mission to create the greatest undergraduate experience. Alumni volunteers interview students for admission, mentor students formally and informally, contribute to Class Notes for Columbia College Today, conduct peer-to-peer solicitations for the Columbia College Fund, host events, help to plan Alumni Reunion Weekend and much more. Parent volunteers serve as ambassadors for the Parents Fund and solicit gifts from fellow non-alumni parents to support the College’s priorities. We thank the following volunteers for their time and generosity.

Why I Give Back

... We are hopeful that by giving back we can influence the next generation of leaders who will continue the cycle of giving. The experiences [we’ve had] and people we’ve met because of Columbia have been invaluable to our careers and lives in general. We are both extremely grateful for the doors the College has opened for us and the friends we've made (and continue to make) through CU. Columbia holds a special place in our hearts, as we never would have met otherwise. We are engaged to be married in 2015.

Ralph DeBernardo ’09 (football) and Kaitlyn Busler ’10 (field hockey)

My Columbia College education made me more uncomfortable about the course of world events on the one hand, and more self-reflective on the other. When students and former students embrace their College education, they join a community of lifelong learners. Members of this community share a Core and a commitment — to better know ourselves as individuals and to enlighten the course of civilization. This voyage challenges us like no other, but as Aeneas says in 1:239, ‘A joy it will be one day… to remember even this.’

Chuck Callan ’78

Nearly a decade after graduation, as I follow my classmates’ extraordinary accomplishments in government, academia, medicine, law and the arts, and at their own start-ups, my respect and appreciation for the education we received at the College (and my desire to give back as an alum) continues to grow. My commitment to a career in public service was solidified by my undergraduate experience organizing Columbia Community Outreach, with support from the alumni community. 

Diana Benton Schecter ’05

We support the College because it is the best thing that has ever happened to our son Ricardo ’16. He feels that everyone in this world should have the opportunity to experience the Core. We are so impressed by his knowledge, maturity and changes! We are confident that because of Columbia and the Core, he will be prepared to handle any situation. We are also so grateful for the brilliant professors who give him time and attention outside the classroom, so we want to help the College continue this amazing work.

Lucila and Alejandro Vollbrechthausen P: ’16

Attending Columbia was single-handedly one of the best decisions I've made. Columbia fostered my academic interests in science in ways unimaginable and afforded me the opportunity to work in the labs of several esteemed scientists, including Nobel Laureate Dr. Eric Kandel [P: BUS88]. My first journal publication is from research I completed in a neuroscience lab as an undergraduate. ... As an alumna, I donate to the College and am a volunteer ... because it’s important for me to remain connected to this institution and ensure that students continue to have the same amazing experiences I had.

Brittany Dubose ’08

It’s easy to forget that the Columbia experience isn’t over when you graduate and go beyond College Walk. Having worked and studied on three continents, I’ve found Columbia alums, current students and faculty all over the world. From seeing the unveiling of Greg Wyatt ’71’s statue of Macbeth in Stratford-upon-Avon, to welcoming the next generation of students in Beijing, Columbians are doing amazing things and creating communities everywhere.

Stephanie Lung ’04

... I am constantly reminded that my time at Morningside Heights represented the starting place of my journey as an adult — a journey comprising infinite experiences — bound by nothing. ... Instilled by the Core and nurtured by interactions with classmates and friends, I departed from Columbia with one critical realization at the forefront of my mind: that the intellectual process is many times, if not most, more valuable than the answer. As I approach my ninth year as an alumnus, I strive earnestly each day to transform that realization into a reality — a challenge I find befitting of a Columbia College graduate.

Ganesh Betanabhatla ’05

Columbia’s commitment to the Core has provided my friends and me a breadth of knowledge just wide enough that it doesn’t sacrifice depth. Because the Core is built this way, each of us can take the bits and pieces that are meaningful to us to forge a unique relationship with Columbia that extends far beyond the gates of 116th and that somewhat fuzzy May of senior year.

Vesal Yazdi ’11

A person will face any number of challenges throughout his or her life — both personal and professional — but it is the thought process to solve those problems that is the key to success. Columbia gives students the tools to think critically and expand their worldview. It is a path we embarked on College Walk and continue on today.

Joanna Herman ’98 and Brooks Herman ’98

I spent four years at Columbia College as a student who learned so much from my professors, my classmates and the two deans of Columbia College. Dean Lawrence Chamberlain [GSAS’45] and Dean Nicholas McKnight [’21] were always concerned with having the best faculty in the country. They were brilliant and warm individuals. I found learning and warmth from faculty, and classmates provided me with good thoughts and good relations and I am very grateful. Graduating from Columbia inspired in me an urge to create and succeed.

Howard Falberg ’54

Having been born in Colombia, and having lived in the United States, Switzerland and now Brazil for the past 25 years, I can tell you that no matter where you live in the world, being a part of the Columbia community will always be rewarding. The education that I received at our alma mater and the Core both gave me a foundation for life. The Columbia community has been an important part of my life ever since, always central and key in my success.

Diana Moreinis Nasser ’87

A freshman commuter, I learned to read ‘Homer’ while holding the handrail on the subway to Sheepshead Bay. A year later, with a scholarship, I was able to live on campus until graduation. We pre-meds were obsessed with excelling in our science courses, especially organic chemistry. ... I became a professor of anesthesiology at P&S. Some time ago, I was asked to anesthetize [an] esteemed professor of organic chem. ‘Any questions for me, sir?’ ‘Yes, I have one. What were your grades?’ ‘B+, B+, both terms.’ ‘Not bad, not bad.’ We shook hands and smiled. We knew we just shared a unique Columbia moment.

Allen Hyman ’55, P: ’85, ’88, PS’90

My Columbia experience has been truly enriched by my involvement in the Columbia College Student Council. ... In my current role as the Class of 2015 president, I’m always astounded by how the definition of this community evolves because of the diversity that exists in thought, experience, ethnicity, academic pursuits, concerns and more within the student body. For me, it creates a renewed sense of curiosity and I believe this is what truly makes Columbia unique — it’s a university where the diversity within our gates reflects that of New York City and the world.

Kareem D. Carryl ’15