GS Celebrates the Class of 2011 at Class Day

GS Celebrates the Class of 2011 at Class Day

May 17, 2011

Graduates process in at Class Day. All photos by Michael DiVito.
Alumni process in at Class Day
Kira Boesch, Dean Peter Awn, Roger Leeds, Elliot Shackelford, Pres. Bollinger
GS Class Day
Kevin Stendal, Jason Lemieux, Brendan Rooney
GS Class Day
GS Class Day
GS Class Day

The School of General Studies celebrated the Class of 2011 at the GS Class Day ceremony on Monday, May 16. Over 1,500 guests braved the rain to join faculty and administrators in recognizing the accomplishments of the 343 members of the graduating class, who range in age from 22 to 75 and represent 25 states and more than 30 countries.

President Lee Bollinger addressed the School of General Studies’ unique role at Columbia, noting that GS represents “what is best about the University.”
Class Day Speaker Roger Leeds, professor at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, detailed his “zigzag” career through the worlds of academia, investment banking, venture capital, and public sector work in the Peace Corps and at the World Bank, and spoke of the special sense of camaraderie that GS graduates share.
Valedictorian Kira Boesch, a former ballet dancer, and salutatorian Elliot Shackelford, a former concert pianist, spoke of coming to GS from a performing arts background and of the inspiration they took from their fellow GS students. Shackelford and Senior Class President Henry Wells were presented with the Alumni Key award for academic achievement and outstanding service to the School.
Additionally, Fox News broadcast live from the ceremony, in a story that focused on Jason Lemieux, Brendan Rooney, and Kevin Stendal, three Marines in the Class of 2011 who encouraged each other to apply to, and then succeed at, GS.
Degrees will be officially conferred at the University-wide Commencement ceremony on Wednesday, May 18.

2011 Graduation

  • Class Day Photos - professional photos taken before, during, and after the Class Day Ceremony
  • Class Day Video - full-length video of the Class Day Ceremony
  • Class Day Slideshow - photos and messages to family and friends from graduates
  • Commencement Photos - photos taken before the Commencement Ceremony and at the Post-Commencement Reception

Media Coverage


Columbia News

Columbia Spectator

Cumming Home

Forsyth News

Fox News

Fox News Affiliates

Marilyn Blog


Spectrum, Spectator Blog


Weasel Zippers

Class Day Slideshow

Messages and photos from the Class of 2011. Created by Lakshmi Gopal, GS '11.