University Trustee Jonathan D. Schiller CC ’69, LW ’73 received the Alexander Hamilton Medal at a gala dinner in Low Rotunda on November 15. The medal, the highest honor paid to a member of the College community, is presented by the Columbia College Alumni Association for distinguished service to the College and accomplishment in any field of endeavor.
A co-founder and managing partner of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, Schiller has more than 35 years experience trying cases around the world and is recognized as a leading practitioner in international arbitration. During the medal presentation, University President Lee C. Bollinger joked, “If you ever have to be a client — and nobody should want to be a client in life — you want Jonathan Schiller as your lawyer and your friend.”
In accepting the medal, Schiller recalled “the heightened sense of academic and intellectual possibility” he felt when he arrived on campus. “Columbia — from the time I first walked through the gates, past the majestic architecture and into my first Lit Hum class — has excited me and challenged me.”
Schiller was a member of Columbia’s 1968 Ivy League championship basketball team and was inducted, as a member of that squad, into the Columbia Athletics Hall of Fame. A Columbia basketball jersey bearing Schiller’s number 25 hung from the podium during the ceremony, and a vintage photo of Schiller in his playing days was on each table.
Approximately 350 people attended the black-tie event, which raised approximately $850,000 for financial aid.