Reunion 2019: Highlights of the Weekend

Alumni from around the world returned to Morningside Heights to reminisce and reconnect.

Alumni from around the globe congregated in New York City on May 31 and June 1 for Reunion 2019. More than 1,300 Columbia Law School graduates and their guests came from 37 countries to attend panel discussions, tours, a picnic lunch, festive dinners, and a multigenerational dance party in the Celeste Bartos Forum of The New York Public Library.

“Reunion is such a wonderful time to rekindle connections with one another—and with the Law School,” said Gillian Lester, Dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law, who thanked alumni for their engagement and incredible generosity.

Indeed, the celebration hit plenty of milestones. The classes ending in 4 and 9 increased their attendance by more than 27 percent from five years ago and increased their donations to the Law School by 43 percent, raising $9.5 million for student scholarships, faculty support, the annual fund, and other vital areas that continue to enhance the learning environment. The Classes of 1974 and 1989 each donated more than $2 million, with the Class of 1974 contributing nearly $2.4 million.

One of the highlights of Reunion weekend is always Dean Lester’s annual conversation with a prominent graduate. This year’s guest was Mary Jo White ’74, the former chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. White is currently senior chair of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, a litigation partner in its New York office, and leader of the firm’s Strategic Crisis Response and Solutions Group.

“It really is terrific to be back,” said White. Columbia Law School “got us all started in such a tremendous way. . . . You really do remain very grateful.” The conversation covered a range of political and legal issues, as well as how to enjoy a multiphasal career and the positive differences in the Law School today.

See more photo galleries and videos of the weekend.

Dean Gillian Lester in Conversation With Mary Jo White ’74


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Published on June 17, 2019