AROUND THE QUADS
University’s 19th President
By Lisa Palladino, Alex Sachare '71
Pledging to preserve and enhance “the academic,
intellectual, artistic strengths of the University” and to
assure that “the youngest people in the institution, the
people coming in as first-year undergraduates, have a
life-changing, rich educational experience,” Lee C. Bollinger
’71L became Columbia’s 19th president on June 1. He
succeeded George Rupp, who had headed the University since
Bollinger’s remarks came in an interview with Columbia
College Today conducted during his first week as president. The
full interview will appear in an upcoming issue of CCT.
Rupp, who will be awarded the 2002 Alexander Hamilton Medal for
distinguished service and accomplishment this fall, said of his
successor, “Lee is a tremendously impressive academic leader.
I have enjoyed collaborating with him as a colleague on national
issues in education and research.”
Bollinger, whose formal presidential inauguration is scheduled
for October, had been president of the University of Michigan since
1997. He was confirmed by Columbia’s Board of the Trustees
last fall and spent several months on campus, meeting with various
members of the Columbia community, including alumni leaders, prior
to taking office.
He received an honorary degree at the May 22 Commencement
ceremony, where his daughter, Carey Bollinger ’02L, was among
the graduates. Bollinger’s wife, Jean Magnano Bollinger, is a
1971 graduate of Teachers College, where she earned a
master’s in education and psychology. The Bollingers also
have a son, Lee, who holds degrees from UC Berkeley and the
University of Michigan Law School.
A legal scholar whose primary interests are free speech and the
First Amendment, Bollinger has served as dean of Michigan Law
School and provost of Dartmouth College. He is a 1968 graduate of
the University of Oregon. While at the Law School, Bollinger was an
articles editor of the Law Review. After serving as law
clerk for Judge Wilfred Feinberg ’40 ’46L on the United
States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Chief
Justice Warren Burger on the United States Supreme Court, Bollinger
joined the faculty of the University of Michigan Law School in
1973. In 1987, he was named dean, a position he held for seven
years until leaving for Dartmouth. He returned to Michigan in 1997
to serve as its president.
As announced in the March 2002 issue of CCT,
Rupp will succeed Reynold Levy as president of the International
Rescue Committee. Founded in 1933 at Albert Einstein’s
request, the IRC is among the world’s largest nonsectarian,
nonprofit agencies providing global emergency relief,
rehabilitation, protection and resettlement services for refugees,
displaced persons and victims of oppression and violent
Prior to becoming Columbia’s president in 1993, Rupp
served as president of Rice University in Houston and dean of the
Harvard Divinity School. More than a year ago, he advised the Board
of Trustees that he would step down in June.
At Columbia, Rupp focused on enhancing undergraduate education,
recruiting leading senior and junior scholars to enhance the
faculty, revitalizing the Morningside Heights campus, strengthening
the University’s relationship to the surrounding community
and New York City as a whole, launching new education and research
programs and increasing the international orientation of the
University. He also completed a financial restructuring, with the
result that each of the annual budgets he has submitted has been
balanced. Under his leadership, the University achieved record fund
raising each year and completed a $2.84 billion campaign.
Rupp will receive the Alexander Hamilton Medal at a black tie
dinner in Low Rotunda on Thursday, November 14, and will join a
distinguished list of past presidents to be so honored.
Nicholas Murray Butler (Class of 1882), who served as president
of the University from 1902–45, was honored with the first
Hamilton Medal in 1947. Acting president Frank D. Fackenthal
’06, who served from 1945–48, was honored the following
year, followed by Grayson Kirk (1953–68) in 1957, Dwight D.
Eisenhower (1948–53) in 1963, Andrew W. Cordier
(1968–70) in 1970, William J. McGill (1970–80) in 1979
and Michael I. Sovern ’53 (1980–93) in 1993.
For further information about the Alexander Hamilton Medal
Dinner, please call the Alumni Office at (212) 870-2288 or (866)