Archive for July, 2012

Spectrum | Jul. 31 3:12 pm EST

Capital campaign reaches $5 billion

No surprises here, but Columbia’s capital campaign hit the $5 billion mark this morning, exactly 17 months ahead of the campaign’s end date. As the News Desk’s Margaret Mattes reported last week, the University has no plans to raise the campaign’s target figure, as it did before reaching the original $4 billion goal two years ago.

Fred Van Sickle, the executive vice president for university development and alumni relations, announced the milestone in an email to staff earlier today. Van Sickle noted in his email that “Never before has Columbia, or any Ivy, seen such an outpouring” of gifts and commitments, although Harvard plans to launch a capital campaign with a goal of at least $6 billion next year.

For at least a while, though, the Columbia Campaign is on top. You can take a moment to celebrate with this colorful Alma Mater graphic that the alumni office put together for the occasion.

Sports | Jul. 31 11:17 am EST
Five Questions

Farrag staying focused on target

Courtesy of Columbia Athletics

Spectator and Spectrum are here throughout the next two weeks to bring you updates and interviews from Columbia Olympians in our #LondonLions series. Today, we profile one of our #LondonLions, Sherif Farrag. Follow @CU_Spectator and @CUSpecSports to make sure you’re up to date.

Sherif Farrag (CC ’09) has been training hard over the past year, earning himself a spot at the Olympics. But before he was fencing on the world’s stage, he started off his college career in Morningside Heights living in Carman Hall and studying in Butler.

The two-time Columbia co-captain will represent Egypt in men’s team foil on Sunday, August 5, when Egypt duels Great Britain, with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals. He was kind enough to take some time off from preparing for competition to answer a few questions for us via email.

1. What Olympic athlete are you gonna ask to call you maybe? More »


Sports | Jul. 30 9:55 am EST
Five Questions

What happens in the Olympic Village, stays in the Olympic Village

Courtesy of Columbia Athletics

Spectator and Spectrum are here throughout the next two weeks to bring you updates and interviews from Columbia Olympians in our #LondonLions series. Today, we profile one of our #LondonLions, Jeff Spear. Follow @CU_Spectator and @CUSpecSports to make sure you’re up to date.

Jeff Spear, CC ’10, made his mark on the Columbia with both his brain and his sabre. Now, the alternate athlete for the United States Olympic sabre team hopes to make his mark on an international stage.

The Columbia College salutatorian in 2010, Spear finished his Columbia career with an NCAA individual title and 4.07 GPA, with his only A-minuses coming in Contemporary Civilization.

Now, this part-fencer, part-genius, is enjoying his time in London.

He has also been spending time with fellow Columbia grad James Williams, CC ’07, who won the silver medal in the sabre at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Spear took time out of his busy schedule to answer five questions from Spectrum. See his answers after the jump.

More »


Sports | Jul. 29 3:43 pm EST

#LondonLions viewer guide

barnski / flickr

Spectator and Spectrum are here throughout the next two weeks to bring you updates and interviews from Columbia Olympians in our #LondonLions series. Today, we have a viewer’s guide. Follow @CU_Spectator and @CUSpecSports to make sure you’re up to date.

If you weren’t able to join @CU_Spectator during our twitter party during the Opening Ceremony, don’t fret! There’s still plenty of Light Blue Olympics action on its way.

If you want live updates on how our #LondonLions fare, make sure to follow @CUSpecSports, since we’ll be tweeting results and interviews throughout the next two weeks.

Want to be able to check in on the action yourself? We’re here to help! Check out a viewer’s guide after the jump. More »


Spectrum | Jul. 27 9:33 am EST

Lions in London: a Spectrum Olympics roundup

Several of Columbia’s very own athletes and coaches have left for the Olympics in London, and we’ll be keeping in touch with them throughout their trips.

But before the Opening Ceremony begins, we thought we’d give you a sneak peek into what it’s like in the Olympic village and let you know when you can see our #LondonLions take the stage!

Jeff Spear, CC ’10, and James Williams, CC ’07, would never violate Olympic rules about paid promotions, but he just wants you to know that he never goes anywhere without his Apple ® iPad ™! (We’re just kidding, of course: This picture was taken last year, during the 2011 World Championships).

Courtesy of Jeff Spear

Nzingha Prescod, CC ’15, is representing the USA in the London Olympics, and is regularly making us jealous of all of the Olympic perks. More »


Spectrum | Jul. 26 4:15 pm EST

Apply to live in a brownstone on 114th Street

Step right up, three brownstones for sale!

Well, not quite, but you can apply to live with a special interest group in one of the 114th Street brownstones starting next fall.

The Office of Community Development opened the application process for the three buildings yesterday, inviting CC and SEAS students with guaranteed housing to form themed groups to occupy the brownstones. The buildings, which were vacated by the three fraternities whose members were involved in the NYPD’s Operation Ivy League in December 2010, were included as part of the regular housing lottery for the upcoming academic year.

See after the jump for important dates and details. More »


Spectrum | Jul. 22 9:22 pm EST

PrezBo is the Father of the Bride

President Bollinger’s daughter, Carey Bollinger, got married yesterday at the Church of Notre Dame near Columbia. Bollinger was a doctoral student in research psychology at Columbia (she is currently on a leave of absence) and is also a graduate of Columbia’s law school. The groom was Benjamin Franklin Danielson, a high school teacher from Minnesota.

Bollinger’s new name is Carey Bollinger Danielson. The groom took her name as well, so he is now Benjamin Franklin Bollinger Danielson.

No word on whether, leading up to the wedding, PrezBo had any issues with superfluous buns.

Congrats to the bride and groom!


Spectrum | Jul. 21 9:13 am EST
Summers abroad

Why is there a chicken in this man’s laundry room?

So, apparently some people are spending their summer in ways that *don’t* involve sitting in front of their computers, scouring the internet for whatever site is streaming the latest episode of The Newsroom. Some people have even gone to OTHER COUNTRIES.

We’ve been checking in with them to find out what they’re up to. This week: Spectator online editor Jake Davidson, CC ’14, who is in Morocco.

Courtesy of Jake Davidson

1. Where are you right now and what are you doing there?

I am currently in Fez, Morocco studying Arabic at the American Language Institute in Fez. I live in the “Old Medina,” which is beautiful and oozes history, but does not have such amenities as clean water. I study in the “New Medina” where the water is clean, but the buildings are boring and everything looks post-soviet in a dilapidated sort of way.

2. What is the craziest thing that’s happened during your time there?

It’s hard to pick just one thing because the mundane becomes fascinating in Morocco since everything is done completely differently. I think the craziest thing that’s happened is that one day I came back to my host family and there was a chicken in the laundry room. More »


Spectrum | Jul. 20 10:31 am EST

Links of the Week: Better than Lit Hum

What’s happening Columbia? All right, that’s enough with the pleasantries. If you’re bored, here are some links for you to click on.

There’s no need to do any of the readings in literature classes this year — just let this 6-year-old explain the books to you.

Are you in need of nerdy-but-suggestive illustrations? If so, artist Nicole Martinez has you covered.

© Nicole Martinez 2011. All rights reserved.

More »


Spectrum | Jul. 15 1:19 pm EST

A masterpiece not taught in Art Hum

Want to invest in some awesome, contemporary art at a price a college student can afford? Well, look no further than the impromptu stand set up yesterday afternoon in front of Pinkberry, on Broadway between 111th and 112th streets. A work of art costs a mere 10¢ as drawn with markers by the brother-and-sister pair—aged 5 and 8, respectively—who live in the neighborhood.

The artists pause to pose for the camera. (Finn Vigeland / Spec)

Spectator took a few cents out of its budget to commission a portrait. The artists are to be commended for their strikingly accurate depiction of this editor’s unshaven face: More »