Your Weekly Low Down | May 6, 2016

This week, we had a listening party at the Columbia Alumni Association—we heard some of the best Columbia Commencement speeches ever and some incredible books written by alumni. 

Here is this week's Columbia Alumni Weekly Low Down:

  • Graduation is in just a couple of weeks, and soon we'll 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 handpicked selection of the best quotes from recent Columbia graduation addresses.


  • As president & COO of Business Insider, Julie Hansen '03BUS is shaping the future of online news. Read her story.

  • Hamilton, the smash-hit Broadway play about Columbia alumnus Alexander Hamilton, garnered 16 Tony Award nominations. Congratulations to producer Jill Furman '97BUS for her role in the production.



  • 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.