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Seems Like Old Times

Graduates face tough job market” read the cover of the first issue of Columbia magazine. The article featured members of the Class of 1975, who were graduating into the longest recession since the 1930s. “Prospects aren’t too good,” said a worried Robin Ludwig (upper left). Her prospects weren’t too bad, as it turned out: The SIPA alumna has spent the last 30 years as an official at the United Nations, most recently as a senior officer for its elections-monitoring agency.

Social Work student Philip Berry (lower left) sounded a note of confidence at the time, saying that success was just one “hookup,” or referral, away. He became a human resources executive with Colgate-Palmolive, reporting to the chief executive. “You have to be optimistic,” said Berry, who now coaches managers and gives motivational speeches on career building. “And you have to define what it is that you do well.”

Gordon Conable (upper right) inspired many in the library sciences as president of the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Foundation, an organization that promotes free speech and fights censorship in libraries. Conable managed the 30-branch library system in Riverside County, California, and in 1991 helped lead a fight against a federal law restricting sexually-themed content in libraries. He died in 2005. A scholarship in his name supports students in the library sciences.

Jose A. Martinez (lower right) found a job as a salesman for Procter & Gamble through the College placement office, and spent the next 15 years in a variety of sales and finance positions. In 1990 he enrolled in law school, and is now an assistant attorney general for the state of Ohio. Martinez keeps the April 1975 issue of Columbia Today, as Columbia magazine was then called, in his desk drawer. “I use that magazine to illustrate to law students who are worried about the bleak job market that eventually things do have a way of working out,” he says.

Daniel Sorid ’99CC, ’09JRN

Visit for more about the Class of 1975 and the first issue of Columbia.


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