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Jonathan Schiller (center) will serve as co-chair of Columbia’s board of trustees with William Campbell, the board announced Thursday.

Updated, Dec. 19, 7:50 p.m.

Jonathan Schiller, CC '69, Law '73, has been elected co-chair of Columbia's board of trustees, the board announced today.

Schiller will serve alongside William Campbell, CC '62, M.S. '64, and the board's chair since 2005. When Campbell chooses to retire, Schiller will become sole chairman of the board.

“I'm honored to take on this responsibility at an institution that has meant so much to me and my family,” Schiller, a managing partner and co-founder of the law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, said in a statement.

Schiller, who was named to the board in 2009, also serves on the Dean's Council for Columbia Law School and has been awarded the University's two highest honors—the John Jay Award in 2006 and the Hamilton Medal in 2012.

Campbell said in a statement that the University is “extremely fortunate to have a person of Jonathan's talent and character take on this role on our Board.”

“Our Board and the University will benefit from Jonathan's expanded role, and I am looking forward to collaborating with him to build on the substantial progress of recent years,” Campbell said.

In a statement, University President Lee Bollinger said that Schiller was “familiar with the initiatives that are essential to Columbia's future.”

“We look forward to benefitting from his leadership together with Bill Campbell who, in his distinguished service on this Board over the past decade, has been an extraordinary resource to this University and a close friend to me personally,” Bollinger said.

Schiller told Spectator back in 2001 that he had an “unremitting love” for his alma mater.

While at Columbia, Schiller was a member of Columbia's Ivy League championship-winning basketball team in 1968.

His co-chair, Campbell, also has a history with Columbia athletics—Campbell captained the football team when the University won its first and only Ivy championship in 1961 and coached the team from 1974 to 1979.

Once he left his basketball career and Columbia behind, Schiller became notable for his success in the courtroom. His firm represented former Vice President Al Gore during the Bush v. Gore proceedings in 2000, and Napster during the music sharing site's lawsuit in 2001.

Still, Schiller has stayed connected to his alma mater through his roles on the board of trustees and at the Law School—and his three children all graduated from Columbia in recent years.

At the Hamilton Dinner in his honor in 2012, Schiller said, “Columbia—from the time I first walked through the gates, past the majestic architecture, and into my first Lit Hum class—has excited me and challenged me.”

samantha.cooney@columbiaspectator.com  |  @sammcooney

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