During the Columbia Alumni Leaders Weekend luncheon on Saturday, October 12, 2013, Larry J. Lawrence ’69GS, ’71BUS was presented with The Richard E. Witten Award for Transformational Volunteer Leadership. Lawrence is a dedicated alumni leader who over many years has shown a profound determination and commitment not only to the School of General Studies and Columbia School of Business,but also to the University as a whole. His fundraising efforts and their results have benefited students, alumni, and faculty in countless ways.
Lawrence has served as co-chair of the Columbia Undergraduate Campaign Council and worked closely with faculty and University leadership to support the strategic needs of the School of General Studies. His initiative and leadership were instrumental in establishing a $3 million matching program for GS financial aid and in raising over $6 million in The Columbia Campaign. He currently serves on the GS Board of Visitors. In addition, he has been a member of the Columbia Business School Lang Center Advisory Board, served on his reunion committee, and was the recipient of the 2009 Entrepreneurship Partner of the Year Award.
A retired venture capitalist known for his strategic thinking and candor, Lawrence serves on the board of the Columbia Investment Management Company. In 2010, his dedication to increasing alumni engagement and his legacy of distinguished service was recognized with the Alumni Medal.
He and his wife Sally Lawrence are benefactors of the University, focusing their gifts on student support and scholarships. The Witten Award was created in 2012 in honor of former Trustees Vice Chair Richard E. Witten ’75CC. It is presented annually in recognition of fundraising efforts on behalf of schools or programs in two categories: Volunteer Leadership, for extraordinary and innovative efforts over two to four years, and Transformational Volunteer Leadership, for exceptional service over five or more years. Honorees are selected by representatives of the University Trustees Committee on Alumni Relations and Development and the Office of the Executive Vice President for University Development and Alumni Relations.
In addition to Lawrence, Michelle S. Kolb ’05, ’09NRS was also honored.