CityU, Columbia Celebrates the Class of 2015 at GS Class Day

Joint Bachelor's Degree graduate Sicong Mo pictured with Dean Awn of GS and Dr. David Cheng, Associate Vice President (Global Services), CityU.

CityU, Columbia Celebrates the Class of 2015 at GS Class Day

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The School of General Studies celebrated the Class of 2015 at the GS Class Day ceremony on Monday, May 18. More than 1,500 guests joined faculty and administrators in recognizing the accomplishments of the 447 members of the graduating class, including three Joint Bachelor's Degree Program students.

Qianmiao Gao, Sicong Mo, and Chenyu Zhou graduated from the Joint Bachelor’s Degree Program between Columbia University and the City University of Hong Kong. All three of the Joint Bachelor's Degree Program graduates were named to the GS Honor Society, while Sicong Mo was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Dean Peter J. Awn opened the ceremony by recognizing the School of General Studies' remarkable role at Columbia, providing students from all walks of life, such as dancers, military vets, visual artists and working parents, with one-of-a-kind stories, the unique opportunity to pursue an Ivy League education, making Columbia's undergraduate experience different from that at any other Ivy League institution.

President Lee C. Bollinger was unable to attend this year’s GS Class Day, as he was being conferred with an honorary degree "another Ivy League university". He did, however, address the faculty, students and guests in a video message, thanking Awn for his continued, exceptional commitment to GS and reinforcing Awn's words about the importance of the School of General Studies within the University.

Class Day Keynote Speaker distinguished alumnus Christopher Hood ‘91, President of Kellogg Europe, flew into New York from his home in Geneva to attend the event. He encouraged graduates to expand the vision of who and what they can be, committing themselves to a lifetime of intellectual growth and curiosity, and no matter what, being a leader that stays true to him or herself. “Focus outside of yourself to inspire others and make a difference in the world,” Hood remarked.

Following Dean of Students Tom Harford’s presentation of the 2015 degree candidates, the Valedictorian of the Class of 2015, Lindsay Hadad took center stage. “It felt impossible for me to write this speech,” Hadad admitted to the cheering crowd. “I couldn’t imagine myself getting on this stage and owning this honor. From day one here [at Columbia,] I felt like a small fish in a big sea.”

GS Class of 2015 graduates will work in a variety of sectors, including the diverse worlds of the arts, finance, law, health care and the non-profit sector. They will be joining world-class organizations, such as Google, Citigroup, Amazon, The Huffington Post, McKinsey, IBM, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, J.P. Morgan and ABC News, to name but a few. A number of graduates will also seek higher degrees such as M.D., Ph.D., J.D., and master’s degrees at institutions including Harvard University, University of Hong Kong, Stanford University, HEC – Paris, Columbia University, Georgetown University and Sciences Po.