On September 27, more than 100 students, faculty, staff and alumni gathered in Schapiro Hall to celebrate the opening of a new lounge for LGBTQ students and to commemorate the anniversary of the dedication of the original Stephen Donaldson Lounge in Furnald Hall. Both the original and the new spaces are named in honor of “Stephen Donaldson,” the alias of Robert Martin ’69, who founded Columbia’s then-named Student Homophile League in 1966. In 1971, students began unofficially meeting in the Furnald basement and, in 1972, the group lobbied for and was granted a permanent meeting space, making it the first LGBTQ student lounge on a college campus. In 1996, the Furnald space was renamed the Stephen Donaldson Lounge. School of General Studies Dean Peter Awn, who was present at the 1996 naming of the original lounge, joined students in cutting the ribbon at the new space.
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