By Stacy Morford, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Fifty years ago, a graduate student named Walter Pitman ’67GSAS made a discovery that would change the way we see our planet. It was late at night, and Pitman was reviewing charts of ship data that had just come off the computer at what was then Columbia University’s Lamont Geological Observatory. The ship, the Eltanin, had crossed a mid-ocean ridge—part of a 40,000-mile undersea volcanic mountain chain that encircles the Earth—while recording the magnetic alignment of the rocks in the seafloor below.
Pitman suddenly saw symmetry in those recorded lines, with the mid-ocean ridge as the center point. “It was like being struck by lightning,” he said.
That symmetry was the smoking gun that confirmed the theory of seafloor spreading and set the stage for our understanding today of plate tectonics.Read more
Every year, the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) recognizes alumni for distinguished service of 10 years or more to the University—including its schools, alumni associations, regional Columbia Clubs, and University-wide initiatives. The Medal was first awarded in 1933 and is the highest honor bestowed to alumni by the University.
The medals will be formally awarded at Columbia Commencement. Tune in to watch the live broadcast on May 18.
Posted on Behalf of Julia Harris Wexler '83TC, '14BUS, Columbia University Certified Executive Career Coach
Searching for a job is usually associated with as much joy as . . . dental work. The truth is that it doesn't have to be anxiety-provoking or painful if you are smart in your plan of attack. Here are some basic tips on how to use the tools available to you to cut down on time and wasted effort and actually target your ideal role with maximum effectiveness:Read more
Nicholas Lemann served as the Dean of the Columbia School of Journalism for two terms. After deciding not to serve a third, Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger challenged Lemann to start a project that was entirely new. What resulted was Columbia Global Reports.
Global Reports are in-depth studies of globalization. Each report covers a different aspect of our expanding global economy and is released in an incredibly readable, attractively bound form. In this episode, you'll get a special look at two of those reports: Outpatients: the Astonishing New World of Medical Tourism by Sasha Issenberg and The Cosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen by Atossa Araxia Abrahamian '08CC, '11JRN.Read more
When it comes to writing, Columbia boasts some pretty impressive alumni. Notable Columbia authors include Paul Auster '69CC, '70GSAS, Allen Ginsberg '48CC, Joseph Heller '50GSAS, Zora Neale Hurston '28BC, and Jhumpa Lahiri '89BC - just to name a few.
To celebrate this contribution to the written word and to introduce you to some Columbia writers, we’ve recorded readings of excerpts from three alumni-authored books with a little help from some Columbia staff members.Read more
Graduation is just around the corner, and soon we will be welcoming a new class of Columbians to the alumni community.
Columbia's Commencement program dates back 258 years, and the iconic Morningside campus outdoor ceremony began in 1926. By tradition, the commencement speaker is the university president, while many of the schools within Columbia have keynote speakers at their individual ceremonies -- and most give that distinction only to alumni.
From President Barack Obama to Caroline Kennedy, check out our hand-picked selection of the best quotes from recent Columbia graduation addresses below, and leave your words of wisdom for the next class of graduates by sharing a Grad Gram here.