Wm. Theodore de Bary ’41, GSAS’53, the John Mitchell Mason Professor Emeritus and Provost Emeritus, passed away on July 14, 2017. De Bary arrived at Columbia in September 1937 and, other than a stint as a naval intelligence officer in the Pacific during WWII, he remained an integral part of the College and University for almost 80 years. He led the expansion of the Core Curriculum to include East and South Asian works — the Global Core — putting together a team to create a groundbreaking series of translated Chinese, Japanese and South Asian classics. De Bary chaired the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures 1960–66 and, later, chaired the Executive Committee of the Columbia University Senate in its early years. He was appointed EVP for academic affairs and provost — the University’s highest academic office — in 1971; he served until 1978. In 1990, de Bary was named professor emeritus but remained an active member of Columbia’s academic community. In 2016 he was presented the prestigious Tang Prize in Sinology to commemorate his lifetime as a leading scholar of Asian thought. His obituary ran in The New York Times on July 17.
On July 10, President Trump nominated former Treasury Department official Randal K. Quarles ’81 for a new position overseeing Wall Street banks. The New York Times reports: “Mr. Quarles would be the first person to serve in the role of vice chairman for supervision, which Congress created after the financial crisis to sharpen the Fed’s focus on regulatory issues.”
Jenny Slate ’04 did a Q&A with The New York Times Magazine’s “Talk” section on July 12, discussing her need for schedules, her shared experiences with contemporary actresses and swearing. Slate stars in the film Landline, which follows a Manhattan family in 1995; the film opened on July 21.
Max Schnur ’15 made it to the first round of doubles play at Wimbledon’s 131st Championships. He is the first Columbia alumnus/a to make it into the tournament since 1982.