Building Blocks for the New Millenium
By Alex Sachare

Alex Sachare

This is the final Columbia College Today of the millennium. You won't find a single "best" or "worst" or "most memorable" list in these pages, for which you can thank us when we make our annual voluntary subscription drive. But you may notice a thread running through this issue, one that I feel is entirely appropriate for this unique time of transition.

On our cover and in the pages that follow we feature Alfred Lerner Hall, the long-awaited student center that promises to be a hub of activity for Columbia students and is a positive symbol of growth and commitment as we enter a new millennium. Initial reaction to the building has been decidedly mixed; students appear happy to finally have a center, but have voiced complaints over everything from the allotment of meeting rooms to a paucity of vending machines. Then again, they wouldn't be Columbia students if they weren't voicing their complaints, and we wouldn't want it any other way, as Dean Quigley likes to say.

We went to Lerner Hall and spoke with a number of students at random to get some early reactions to the building, which we present here with the caveats that the building is still in a shakedown period and this was hardly a scientific sampling. The true test of Lerner Hall is not what people think of it now, but how well the building and its administrators respond to the issues and concerns raised by students and others. For no matter how architecturally striking the glass wall and ramps may be, the purpose of a student center is to enrich student life, the key word being student.

Lerner Hall is but one of many construction projects worth noting. The renovation of Butler Library continues, and a visit to the old third floor reading room, reborn as the Lawrence A. Wien Reference Room, is a must next time you're on campus. The timeless beauty of this building is truly spectacular. In addition, several classrooms were renovated over the summer, Carman Hall went through the first part of a two-stage makeover and both the Broadway Residence Hall and the Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life are nearing completion. Up at Baker Field, a new boathouse is in the works, and plans are continuing for a new tennis center. An exciting project just underway is the extensive renovation of Hamilton Hall, which will include modernized classrooms, an expanded admissions suite and a center for the Core Curriculum on the main floor, giving the Core the prominence it deserves in the College's signature classroom building. More on this in an upcoming issue.

It's appropriate, too, that as we head to a new millennium, we feature articles on three young alumni, written by three young alumni, all graduates from the 1990s. And in our endpiece, the Alumni Corner this issue is by Rita Pietropinto '93, president of Columbia College Young Alumni, which is comprised of graduates of the College within the past 10 years. "As young alumni we are the future of Columbia College. As members of CCYA will are the leaders of that future," she writes. Improving alumni participation, and especially young alumni participation, in terms of both the Columbia College Fund and alumni events and activities, is a key theme as we turn from 1999 to 2000. By getting more and more young alumni to be interested and involved, we secure the future not only of the Alumni Association but of the College itself.

Search Columbia College Today
Need Help?

Columbia College Today Home
CCT Home

This Issue
This Issue

CCT Credits
CCT Masthead