Photograph: George Stephanopoulos, CC'82.
By Virgil Renzulli
George Stephanopoulos, Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy and a summa cum laude graduate of Columbia, will leave the White House to teach at Columbia, beginning in January, 1997.
As a visiting professor for the next two years, Stephanopoulos will teach political science seminars in the fall of 1997 and 1998, and a political science lecture class in the spring of 1998. In addition, he will meet occasionally with Columbia faculty, administrators and alumni, and hold two "Town Meetings" with students. The focus will be on politics, policy and the press as they relate to the modern American presidency.
In announcing the appointment, President George Rupp said, "While we at Columbia pride ourselves on the quality of our classroom education, libraries and laboratories, we encourage our students to learn from life outside the walls of the university. This is exactly what George Stephanopoulos will bring to us as a teacher here.
"He has had a remarkable opportunity to view and help shape the policies that will affect all of us for decades. But he has also created a distinctive bond with his own generation by communicating to them both the excitement and the seriousness of what he has done.
"I think our students will enjoy his teaching enormously. We are proud to welcome him home."
Stephanopoulos said he was pleased to be returning to Columbia. "I am very excited to be back, to be part of the great tradition, the intellectual life and campus life that meant so much to me 15 years ago," he said. "As I've said before, the professors and the classroom discussions at Columbia provided one of the sparks for my career. Now, I have the chance to give something back, to teach and be challenged by today's students, many of whom want to learn about politics and public service so they can make their own contributions. I hope sharing my experience with them will help do that and I think it is going to be a lot of fun."
Stephanopoulos came to national prominence during the 1992 presidential election, when he served with the Clinton/Gore Campaign as deputy campaign manager and director of communications. In that capacity, he oversaw policy, polling, scheduling, press relations and media operations, and also ran, with political strategist James Carville, the now famous "War Room."
Before joining the Clinton campaign, he was executive floor manager for House Majority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, and in 1988 he was deputy communications director for the Dukakis/Bentsen presidential campaign. He served earlier as administrative assistant for Rep. Edward Feighan of Ohio.
Stephanopoulos, who received a B.A. in political science from Columbia College in 1982, was a Truman Scholar, class salutatorian and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his masters in theology at Balliol College, Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. In 1993 he was the recipient of the prestigious John Jay Award from Columbia College and the University Medal of Excellence.
Columbia University Record -- December 6, 1996 -- Vol. 22, No. 11