Columbia Connections
Max on Boxing
Reunion 2002




Another Opening, Another Show

By Alex Sachare '71

Alex Sachare '71
Alex Sachare '71

Around the end of August each year, a dramatic transformation takes place on the Morningside Heights campus. The eerie quiet that marked the dog days of summer gives way to the hustle and bustle of students returning to school and first-years getting their initial taste of Columbia at Orientation. Move-in days are always a sight as cars line the streets and laundry carts are filled with everything from clothing to computers as parents help their children settle in, then have a hard time saying goodbye.

After a few hectic weeks, the campus settles into a steadier rhythm as the fall semester unfolds. But this year, that rhythm will be punctuated by a day unlike any Columbia has seen in quite a while.

On Thursday, October 3, Lee C. Bollinger will be formally — and informally — inaugurated as the University's 19th president. He takes his place in a continuum that begins with Samuel Johnson in 1754 and stretches through notables like Frederic A.P. Barnard, Seth Low, Nicholas Murray Butler and Dwight Eisenhower on its way to George Rupp, who retired at the end of the 2001–02 academic year.

The pomp and circumstance part of the program is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Low Plaza. A Commencement-style processional will take place from Butler Library to a stage on the Low Steps, from which an assortment of VIPs will speak of the University’s new leader, who will in turn offer a glimpse of his vision of Columbia’s future. Afterward, separate lunches will be held for alumni, faculty and staff.

The afternoon belongs to the academic part of the program. Guests may attend any of four faculty symposia along the lines of the College’s popular Dean’s Day, which is held for alumni every spring (and which, if you have not attended in the past, you should make plans to attend in 2003 — mark April 12 on your calendar).

But Bollinger was known at Michigan for his accessibility, so it’s appropriate that the inauguration will have less formal aspects as well.

An avid runner, Bollinger will start off the day’s activities by leading a 5K run/walk through the neighborhood. Participants will start from Grant’s Tomb at Riverside Park and 122nd Street and wind their way through Morningside Heights before finishing on College Walk — presumably, in plenty of time for the formal program.

To cap off the day, College Walk will take on a carnival atmosphere beginning at 6 p.m. with music, food and who knows what else.

Alumni are welcome to attend the inauguration. All events are free, but you must pre-register. To do so, or to get the latest details on what’s planned, log onto Columbia's inauguration site or call (212) 870-2527.

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