Nearly 100 alumni and guests from the School of General Studies participated in 2010 Reunion and Dean’s Day over the June 4-6 weekend. Alumni traveled from as far away as Turkey and as near as West 100th Street and Broadway to return to their Alma Mater. Two groups at this years reunion, for graduating classes ending in zeros or fives, boasted the highest attendance: the class of 1950 and alumni from recent graduating classes.
In this second, fully integrated, four-school Reunion event, the weekend offered an opportunity for the General Studies alumni community to come together, as well as meet and greet fellow alumni from Columbia College, the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Barnard College.
Aubrey Escoffery ’50, who was accompanied by his wife, shared his GS memorabilia including his yearbook, commencement program, and Class of 1950 Senior Prom keepsake book with Columbians from every class year.
The Dean’s Day Lunch, held on Saturday, June 5 in the newly renovated Faculty House, hosted alumni as well as University faculty and administrators, including Executive Vice President for University Development and Alumni Relations Susan K. Feagin ’74, Executive Vice President for Arts and Sciences Nicholas Dirks, Dean of Career Services Kavita Sharma, and Dean of the School of General Studies Peter J. Awn.
Reunion Committee Chair Adam Casdin ’95 welcomed guests and acknowledged the University officials who attended the lunch. Feagin, Dirks, and Awn all spoke about the importance of the School of General Studies as part of the greater Columbia community, reminding alumni that for over 20 years GS undergraduates have sat in the same classes with the same faculty as other Columbia University undergraduates and that in recent years the GS academic curriculum has been reorganized to be virtually identical to that of Columbia College, guaranteeing all GS students a true Columbia education. These curricular changes, Awn reported, mean great things for GS and Columbia: “Thus far, applications for Fall 2010 are 60 percent ahead of last year’s numbers, and applications to the Postbaccalaureate Premedical program are also ahead of this time last year.”
Awn said, “75 percent of college students around the country look more like GS students than traditionally aged undergraduates, and because no other school of Columbia’s caliber has been able to capture such a large pool of talented, intellectually mature students in the way that GS has, Columbia remains a distinct leader in higher education for adults and returning students.”
To see pictures from this event please visit the Facebook page.