Columbia Alumni Salute Their Own with Highest Honor and Gratitude
Ten Columbians receive the Alumni Federation Medal for service to Columbia today.
The awards, the highest honor given by the University's alumni, will be presented by President Rupp and Alumni Federation President Peter A. Basilevsky (Columbia College '67, Law '72) at the Federation's 97th commencement luncheon in Low Rotunda.
Ambassador Madeleine K. Albright ('68 M.A., '76 Ph.D., GSAS), the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations and recipient of an honorary doctor of laws degree from Columbia at the commencement exercises, is the featured speaker.
John A. Grammer Jr. ('63 SIPA), chair of the Alumni Medal Committee, will read citations for the medalists. Their names and a description of their service to Columbia follows.
- Ellen D. Baer of New York City is professor emerita of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania and visiting professor of nursing at NYU. A 1962 graduate of Columbia's School of Nursing, Baer has been an active member of the Nursing Alumni Association for more than 30 years. She is currently president of the association, which during her stewardship has reorganized its legal, financial and accounting arrangements, developed a network of regional alumni receptions and pledged $250,000 toward a chair in nursing pharmaceutical management at the school. She co-chaired the school's 100th Anniversary Alumni Committee and is chair of the Alumni Federation's Alumni Trustee Nominating Committee. Baer was cited by the Federation as "a passionate advocate for your profession and alma mater."
- David T.W. Chiuof Bronxville, N.Y., is professor and chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and professor of clinical surgery, anatomy and cell biology at Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he received the M.D. degree in 1973. Chiu has encouraged collaboration between the Health Sciences and Morningside campuses since his student days and received the Bronze Medal from the P&S Alumni Association, the highest honor given to a graduating student. He has continued his work with the association by serving on various committees to promote the involvement of minority alumni in programs and activities, organize annual alumni reunions and organize and execute programs with alumni and students across the country and abroad. He has been assistant treasurer of the association since 1993. The Federation cited him for "unceasing contributions" to his fellow alumni.
- Carol Herman Cohenof New York City is an antiquarian book dealer. She is a 1959 graduate of Barnard and received the M.A. in English literature from Columbia in 1961. She has been an alumnae trustee of Barnard and has served as the National Special Gifts Chair for the Campaign for Barnard since 1990, traveling the United States to bring the campaign to countless homes and communities. She is also a member of the Alumnae Committee for Annual Giving. As class fund chair, she led her class to a highly successful 25th reunion fund campaign and has herself endowed a scholarship honoring one of her revered professors. "Your warmth, sincerity and abundant generosity have earned you the admiration and affection of your fellow alumnae and Barnard's faculty and administration," the Federation said in its citation.
- Frances Perlman Freedman of the Bronx is director of community affairs at the Lighthouse Inc., in New York, an organization assisting people who are blind or partially sighted. Freedman received the M.S.W. with distinction from Columbia's School of Social Work in 1982. She has been active in the school's alumni association since her student days and was its president elect and president in 1990-93. During her presidency she ensured the association's responsiveness to the needs of recent graduates in career development, networking and counseling and was instrumental in merging the fundraising activities of the association and the Advisory Council to create a more effective development effort for the school. As council member she advises on the curriculum committee, the endowment campaign and the school's commitment to a diverse student body. The Federation cited Cohen for her "highly effective, unstinting alumni leadership."
- Richard J. Greenwald of Tarrytown, N.Y., is retired senior vice president of Empire Insurance Group and president of the Consolidated Mutual Insurance Co. and is currently an independant consultant to the insurance industry. A 1941 graduate of Columbia College, he was a prime mover is his class's endowment of the Wm. Theodore and Fanny Brett de Bary and Class of 1941 Collegiate Professorship in Asian Humanities and the construction of Wien Stadium at Baker Field. He has represented his class in the College's annual fund operation and has chaired or co-chaired nearly every major fundraising class activity since the early 1950s, including the 45th and 50th reunion campaigns and the drive that made their class gift toward Wien Stadium the largest of any alumni group. He was class president from 1971 to 1976. The Federation cited him for "inspiring and encouraging ever greater generosity to alma mater for over 55 years."
- Mark N. Kaplan is a partner with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York City, where he lives. A 1951 graduate of Columbia College and a 1953 graduate of Columbia Law School, Kaplan became in 1979 one of the first recipients of the College's John Jay Award for outstanding professional achievement. His alumni service includes membership of the College's and Law School's Boards of Visitors and leadership of his undergraduate class as chair of its reunion or annual fund committees since 1956. He has served on the alumni advisory groups for Columbia's baseball and basketball teams and has been supportive of Barnard College, where his wife, Helene Kaplan, who earlier received the Alumni Federation Medal, is a long-time member of the Board of Trustees. The Federation cited Kaplan for rendering "invaluable advice to deans and the University's president while promoting the quality of campus life and ensuring the highest intellectual standards."
- Laurans A. Mendelson of Miami, Fla., is chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of HEICO Corp. He graduated from Columbia College in 1960 and received the M.B.A. in 1961 from Columbia Business School and has been a business and civic leader in South Florida for more than two decades. A member of the University's Alumni Advisory Board and the College's Board of Visitors, he was recently elected a Trustee of Columbia. His efforts in Florida on behalf of Columbia have revitalized the College's recruiting efforts in the region, achieving a visibility that has benefited all University divisions. He has given generously of his time and resources to two Columbia capital campaigns and in 1984 endowed a scholarship fund in memory of his father, also a Columbia College graduate, and mother. The Federation cited him as "a passionate, productive champion for Columbia in the Miami area."
- Catherine Sarah Michaelson of New York City is a principal in Michaelson Associates, an executive search firm she founded. She is a 1971 graduate of Barnard and received a master's degree from the School of International and Public Affairs in 1973 and the M.B.A. from Columbia Business School in 1978. Her accomplishments as an alumni leader include service beginning in 1982 as president of the Business School's Alumni Club of New York, whose membership in just three years increased from 149 to 1,526 while its activities expanded to include more than 30 programs a year. With first profits from her executive search firm, she endowed in honor of her late father the Benjamin Michaelson Scholarship Prize for first-year students at the Business School. The Federation cited her as "an articulate spokesperson on behalf of students."
- Florence Van Veen Peavy of West New York, N.J., is a travel consultant for Travel Gems Inc. An alumna of the School of General Studies, Peavy is a founding member of its alumni association. She has over 40 years assisted the administration of seven deans of the school and remembers as an early duty chairing a dinner for President Eisenhower given by the alumni association. She has served on the program, nominating, membership, homecoming and fund-raising committees. For the past 20 years she has been a member of the Friends, a support group for General Studies and its Alumni Association. The Federation cited Peavy as "a steadfast bulwark" of the General Studies Alumni Association.
- Henry Schneider of New York City is former senior partner and currently of counsel to Moses & Singer and president of the Henry and Lucy Moses Fund, Inc. A 1934 graduate of Columbia Law School, Schneider is a former trustee of the Law School Alumni Association and has served as class chair of the annual fund committee. He has helped to direct funds to the school which endowed a scholarship program and a professorship as well as provided a student study area. As an executive committee member of the Jewish Campus Life Fund he has helped realize the dream of the creation of a center for Jewish student life at Columbia. The Federation cited Schneider for "immeasurably enhancing this University and numerous other major cultural and educational institutions in New York City."
Columbia University Record -- May 17, 1995 -- Vol. 20, No. 29