May 22, 2013


With 444 students donning blue caps and gowns, the General Studies Class Day ceremony Monday morning celebrated the largest graduating class in GS history.

Robert Bakish, the chief executive officer of Viacom International Media, started his keynote address at the School of Engineering and Applied Science Class Day ceremony by asking graduates to complete a vocal exercise.

With the sun beating down on South Lawn, Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, CC ’60, told Columbia College graduates on Tuesday to use their educations to make a difference in the world.

Jordan Alam said that her first four novels were, in many ways, written in preparation for her latest effort.

Kwasi Adi-Dako, who hails from Ghana, dove into a diverse range of activities upon coming to Columbia, participating in everything from the ballroom dance team to Youth for Debate.

Brandon Lewis served as president for Youth for Debate and was a leader in LGBTQ activism on campus, efforts that allowed him to put his public speaking skills to good use.

In his final editor’s note at the Blue and White, Brian Wagner, SEAS ’13, wrote, “I appreciate you putting up with having an engineer run the literary magazine for the past few months.”

Rebecca Gray, BC ’13, led the hiking club, played in the orchestra, sang in an a cappella group, and spent three years as an RA.

Gavin McGown, CC ’13, recites ancient Greek for fun. “I have this hard-on for classical Greek antiquity," they said.

Daniel Lagana characterized his six years in the Army as a transformative experience, during which he matured emotionally and learned personal responsibility.

After taking an anthropology class with professor Audra Simpson, Lakota Pochedley turned her sights on her own heritage and decided to major in Native American studies.

Matthew Renick served as president of Alpha Epsilon Pi the year after it lost its brownstone, and he later resigned in protest as chair of the Greek Judicial Board.

Tina Kit realized that she wanted to study operations research when she was in charge of organizing a 1,200-person conference for the Asian American Alliance.

Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian peace activist and 2011 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, told Barnard graduates to stand up for themselves and be proud of what they can do to help the world.

Arts and Entertainment

A new exhibition at the Shabazz Center uptown features photographs and mixed media of protests throughout history.

Aguilar, a dance and English double major, has been dancing since she was three years old. Name a dance group on campus, and chances are that she has danced or choreographed for it.

Steven Soderbergh's new HBO film takes viewers “Behind the Candelabra,” giving them a close look at Liberace's eight-year relationship with Scott Thorson.

A new thriller starring Brit Marling, Ellen Page, and Alexander Skarsgard is given an authentic feel by writer-director Zal Batmanglij.

Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright discusses his new film "“Sing Me the Songs that Say I Love You: A Concert for Kate McGarrigle.”

A multi-talented musician with an EP coming out this June, Dominique Star has been singing her entire life.

The rising CC junior will debut new songs at his June 26 performance at Caffe Vivaldi.

Duan founded Hoot Magazine, Columbia’s first student-produced fashion publication. During her first attempted photo shoot, Duan and her founding board draped Hermès scarves and Chanel bags over Alma Mater.

The new USA show “Graceland” is off to an unconvincing start.

With “Orange is the New Black,” creator Jenji Kohan uses an ensemble cast to explore the different paths characters take to end up incarcerated in upstate New York.

For his thesis role in “The Winter’s Tale” in December, Landini worked for six months on his technique. He also performed in "Dog Sees God" and "The Light in the Piazza" this year.

A play originally put on in Fall 2012 as a CUPAL production is headed to the New York International Fringe Festival.


Barbour recently signed with a Greek sports agency, and he hopes for offers to continue his basketball career in Europe in August.

Despite her collegiate success at the national level, Meili’s still a dark horse as she moves toward professional swimming, which virtually never sees Ivy Leaguers enter its ranks.

Gaughn stood out on the women's volleyball team because of her play and her leadership.

Santos overcame his share of difficulties in his time as a Lion, ranging from a mid-season case of appendicitis to a challenge that all wrestlers have to struggle with: weight.