Columbia Dedicates New Manhattanville Campus


The Jerome L. Greene Science Center is one of two new buildings that will open in Manhattanville this spring. / Photograph by Frank Oudeman
The Jerome L. Greene Science Center is one of two new buildings that will open in Manhattanville this spring. / Photograph by Frank Oudeman


On October 24, President Lee C. Bollinger led a ceremony attended by distinguished faculty, deans, and students, as well as local civic and community leaders and internationally renowned architect Renzo Piano of Renzo Piano Building Workshop, which designed the campus master plan with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Piano also designed the first buildings to rise on the campus: the Jerome L. Greene Science Center, which houses the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, and the Lenfest Center for the Arts.

Read more at the Columbia Magazine article and check out the new Columbia Manhattanville website.

Alumni Leader Reflects on Successful Leaders Weekend


Columbia Alumni Leaders Weekend is an annual conference where the University's top alumni leaders and volunteers gather to exchange best practices, advice, and ideas. Please read more about Leader's Weekend at the Low Down article.



"Hamilton" wins 2016 Edward M. Kennedy


Daveed Diggs (left), Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos, and Lin-Manuel Miranda in ''Hamilton.'' / Photograph by Joan Marcus
Daveed Diggs (left), Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos, and Lin-Manuel Miranda in ''Hamilton.'' / Photograph by Joan Marcus

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton recently won Columbia’s 2016 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History. The hip-hop musical based on Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton reimagines the American Revolution and the early years of the Republic with a cast of predominantly Black and Latino actors. Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith created the $100,000 prize, administered by Columbia Libraries, to honor her brother, the late senator from Massachusetts. This year’s jury, which included Columbia professors Farah Jasmine Griffin, Rashid Khalidi, and James Shapiro ’77CC, selected Hamilton because it “celebrates the evolving history of the United States, of hip-hop, and of the musical theater.” (For more on Hamilton, see Columbia Magazine’s Winter 2015 feature story “Hamilton is in the House.”) Read more of this article at Columbia Magazine.

Eggnog With A Twist Of Lemongrass (CAA Shanghai Holiday Party)




Gingerbread was out and Papaya Salad was in at this year’s Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) Shanghai annual holiday party.  Held at “Simply Thai”, a purveyor of traditional Southeast Asian cuisine, the holiday party attracted nearly 100 alumni who came from the local Shanghai metro area and as far away as Taiwan and the Philippines.  “We decided on a new direction for the party this year to, if you’ll forgive the pun, spice things up a bit,” explained CAA Shanghai board member, Josie Shen. And the culinary change, wasn’t the only departure from the program followed in previous years.


In addition to the usual fare of casual networking and holiday cheer, this year’s party featured presentations from a couple of high-profile Chinese entrepreneurs. 


Buttonwood Capital ( founder and Columbia Business School graduate, Zheng Gang, talked about the challenges he faced getting investors to buy into his first venture – a mobile social networking platform called “Momo” (  Momo eventually went on to become a successful start-up that repaid its investors handsomely and gave Mr. Zheng the means to broaden his investments in early-stage enterprises representing the mobile technology communications and media sector. During the course of his presentation, Mr. Zheng introduced a few companies he currently has his eye on such as Inke, a startup that is developing a mobile broadcast application. 


Kate Wang, General Manager of Uber’s operations in the greater Shanghai area, shared her experience as an executive directly engaged in the app-based transportation phenomenon’s China expansion. The scale of that expansion - the company’s extraordinary $1 Billion investment in China and 35% share of the domestic ride-hailing market – is well known and the eye-popping statistics have made headlines around world. From her unique vantage point, Ms. Wang was able to offer the audience a rare insider’s view of the company’s operations in China that went beyond the numbers, vignettes that ranged from the humorous - an unorthodox marketing promotion program with a Shanghai steamed bun vendor - to the intense - grueling hours of heated negotiations hammering out conditions with local drivers.      


Cristina Zhao, a recent Columbia Engineering School graduate captured the sentiments of many young alumni who listened to the presentations when she noted, “what these entrepreneurs shared with us was really inspiring because it gave us an idea of what can be done and encouraged us to think big.”  Young alumni (those who have graduated within the last five years) represented more than half the attendees.


Encouraged by the tremendous turnout, CAA Shanghai is already hard at work on developing programs and activities for local alumni that “will make 2016 and even more successful than 2015,” concluded CAA Shanghai Board President, Ron Cai.


[ed: special thanks to Grace Gu for special contribution to reporting on the presentations]




Job Openings: Starbucks

China is Starbucks' second largest market worldwide and growing rapidly. As a result of this rapid growth, our Marketing & Category team currently has two full-time opportunities: 1) Senior Marketing Manager - Loyalty and 2)  Senior Marketing Manager - CRM.

The ideal candidate should have 8+ years relevant experience or strategic consulting background. An MBA from a business school overseas or retail industry experience is a plus.

 We also have a Senior Insights Analyst (non-MBA) opportunity for a recent college graduate who has up to 3-years of experience in consumer insights/quantitative research. This is a contract position with 6-month duration starting in early October and the potential to join full-time pending satisfactory performance review and availability of relevant openings after completion of the program.

 All three openings are based in Shanghai (Xujiahui) and require fluent Chinese and English proficiency.

More details can be found in the attached job descriptions.  Please contact Sash Li at regarding the two full-time opportunities and Lin Longliang at regarding the Senior Insights Analyst opportunity.

Recent Event: Finding Gold In A Cherry Wood Cask


According to the Senior Alcoholic Drinks analyst at Euromonitor , probably someone all of us would like to meet (if not work for !), the value of Scotch whisky exports dropped 7 % last year, but you wouldn’t know it from the turnout at the cross-university alumni event held last Wednesday at whiskey emporium, “Toast the Macallan” in the Shanghai Kerry Center.

The more than 50 alumni from Columbia, Northwestern, and MIT who attended the event learned what distinguishes single malt from blended Scotch[1],  discovered the secret to making premium  whiskey (it’s all in the cask), and tried their hand at evaluating premium whiskey.

The highlight of the evening was an executive presentation on the history, culture, and business of whiskey accompanied by a sampling of three different whiskeys, each of which had its own distinctive flavor and aroma.  

The presenter, who admitted that he originally was turned on to whiskey by a friend who took a Mixology course while at MIT (now we know what people at MIT really study …), explained that whiskey has a history that goes back nearly five hundred years and that Macallan – located in Craigellachie, Moray, Scotland -  is one of the oldest single malt Scotch whisky distilleries in the world.

Judging by the enthusiastic reaction of the participants, it looks like the whiskey business is poised for a turnaround in 2016.

[1] Premium single malt is made of malts from one particular distillery. Blended Scotch is made of malts from different distilleries

The CAA's Traveling Classroom Explores the World

The CAA Alumni Travel Study Program goes around the world on thought-provoking sojourns.  Many trips include a faculty member or featured expert that makes these adventures a kind of traveling classroom for the curious mind.  

Featured Alumni Travel Study Trip: Join the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) on our remarkable journey to Sicily and the Amalfi Coast from May 31 to June 7, 2015. It is truly Italy at its very best. You will explore thousands of years of culture from the ancient Greeks, through Pompeii, right up to the modern pleasures of throwing your own pizza dough in a private cliff top home. Throughout, you will settle into lovely 4-star hotels, take leisurely walks on footpaths with breathtaking views, and meet the local people who get to take these dramatic settings for granted. Add in a limoncello tasting here and an afternoon at your villa-hotel’s pool there, and this will be an experience you’ll always remember.

Explore the itinerary and get more information here.

Other upcoming trips include:

  • Small-ship voyage exploring the sites and history of the Celtic Lands, May 12 - 21, 2015
  • A nine-day journey through the great National Parks of California, June 6 - 14, 2015
  • Exploring one of the most biologically unique places on earth, the Galapagos Islands, June 17 - 24, 2015
  • A singular safari visiting Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia, August 5 - 19, 2015
  • An air, land and cruise inclusive exploration of China & Tibet, September 29 - October 12, 2015
  • And more:

Check out the latest news on campus


 As new fields of knowledge emerge, the nation's universities are growing to pursue the expanding missions of teaching, research, public service, and patient care. With only a fraction of the space enjoyed by our leading peers across the country, Columbia has had to face an especially critical need for space in a dense urban environment.

While Columbia is a globally respected academic center, it is also a vital local New York institution, committed to the economic, intellectual, social, and cultural vitality of our neighborhoods and city. In that spirit, together with our West Harlem neighbors, elected representatives, and civic leaders, Columbia has developed a plan for a mixed-use academic center that provides a long-term future of shared opportunity in the old Manhattanville manufacturing zone of West Harlem. 

Read more here.

Illuminating Our Future

Celebrating The Columbia Campaign and Our Future

The Columbia Campaign came to a close on December 31, 2013, and the University’s future is brighter than ever. In every area of study within the University and every pursuit in the common interest beyond it, Columbia and Columbians are moving forward with renewed energy. In scientific research, policy study, the professions, teaching, medical treatment, and more — we’re creating new knowledge, transmitting it to the next generation, and driving the future forward.

Read here for Campaign Highlights


To join, click here