Alumni Connect During GS Reunion Weekend

Over 200 alumni, students, and friends of the School gathered at the Morningside campus from May 31 to June 1 for Columbia's annual Reunion Weekend.

June 11, 2024

Over 200 guests, including alumni, students, and friends of the School, returned to the Morningside Campus on May 31 and June 1 to connect and enjoy being with the GS community.

Reunion Weekend kicked off with the popular GS Tea Party. This year, the informal welcome reception was hosted in the new Wang Pavilion at Lerner Hall. Guests from all class years enjoyed tea sandwiches and jazz music at this early evening reception that has become a Reunion favorite.

Later that evening, GS hosted the annual “Celebration of the Performing Arts at Columbia”, held at Miller Theatre. Started in 2019, this special event celebrates the world-class talent at Columbia, and features exclusive musical, dance, and theatrical performances by both students and alumni. The evening also featured a show-stopping solo by renowned dancer Alicia Graf Mack ‘03G, Dean and Director of Dance at The Juilliard School and current GS Board of Visitors member. Actress Rachel Ticotin ‘19GS, also a member of the GS Board of Visitors, hosted an on-stage conversation with Dean Rosen-Metsch that explored why the arts are essential during challenging times. After an exciting program at the theater, guests moved next door to Lerner Hall to enjoy a dessert reception and to meet the performers.

Saturday featured a full day of programming, beginning with a special breakfast held at Faculty House celebrating anniversary class years. Guests discussed their favorite professors and classes, and alumni in the room were recognized for their anniversary Reunion years.

Next was the annual Reunion Lunch where guests were treated to an engaging panel of recent alumni presenting their academic research and senior thesis findings. Hosted by GS Dean of Academic Affairs, Caroline Marvin ‘16GSAS, guest speakers included Jennifer Odum, Sasha Newman-Oktan, and Sinziana Stanciu, all graduates of the GS class of 2024.

This year’s Saturday afternoon Reunion programming celebrated the grand opening of the Center for Veteran Transition and Integration (CVTI), the national organization for veteran services, housed at Columbia University. For the first time ever, the center now has its own space, located inside Kent Hall on the Morningside Campus. 

Hosted at Kent Hall, CVTI presented an event titled, “Force Multiplication: The Next Generation of Support to Veteran and Military-Connected Communities,” and featured a panel of distinguished guests who explored how CVTI empowers other organizations to better serve and support veteran and military-connected communities. 

The rest of the afternoon was filled with refreshments, delicious hors d’oeuvres, and great conversation at various receptions celebrating the GS community. Attendees shared memories and had a champagne toast at the Dual and Joint Degree and Postbac Premed Program receptions, both held at Le Monde near Columbia’s campus. 

Reunion Weekend concluded with the beloved annual GS Reunion Dinner held in Lerner Hall’s Roone Arledge Auditorium. Over 100 alumni, friends of the School, and guests enjoyed an elegant cocktail reception before making their way to their tables for welcome remarks from Dean Lisa Rosen-Metsch '90GS.

Following dinner, 2023 Owl Award recipient Allison Fillmore ‘97GS, Founding Chair of the GS Board of Visitors, joined Dean Rosen-Metsch on stage for the announcement of the 2024 recipient. In recognition of her outstanding service to GS and the Columbia community at large, Dean Rosen-Metsch announced that this year’s winner of the Owl Award was Columbia University Trustee Kikka Hanazawa ‘00GS.

Originally created in 1959 by Barbara Levy ’48GS and Marshall Page ’35GS, the GS Owl Award is given annually to a GS graduate, faculty member, or benefactor for exemplary service to GS, reflected by a sustained commitment to creating and building community, supporting and enriching School programs, and enhancing student life.

The evening came to a close with a final gathering of alumni from all schools for the Starlight Reception on Low Plaza, where desserts and dancing under the stars concluded the weekend.

To view additional photos from the weekend’s festivities, visit the GS Alumni Facebook page, and follow us for updates about upcoming alumni events!