Tag Archives: Global

Stewarding an Extraordinary Global Donor

LemannHow do you make a stewardship piece truly count? Answer: Don’t be afraid to try something new, and make it personal.

Lemann Day at Columbia recently presented a terrific opportunity to honor Jorge Paulo Lemann for his far-reaching impact. Jorge Paulo is a global business leader (partner of 3G Capital, owner of Anheuser-Bush, Burger King, and Kraft Heinz). He is also an engaged benefactor to programs across a number of IvyPlus schools. At Columbia, his remarkable support spans the Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies, the Lemann Fellows, Lemann Professorships, Men’s Tennis, Entrepreneurship, and the Global Center in Rio de Janeiro.

His Columbia connection is deepened through his daughter, Lara Lemann ’15CC, and his son, Marc Lemann ’14CC, co-captain of 2014 Columbia Men’s Tennis.

Shalini Mimani and Jerry Kisslinger led a team including members of Stewardship (Amy Metcalf) and Marketing and Communications (Colleen Deng, Carolina Castro) to fully encapsulate the “Lemann at Columbia” story and present it in rich and evocative ways.

Alumnus filmmaker Joe Turner Lin ’96CC ’04SOA directed a sleek and energetic video that demonstrates Lemann’s impact at Columbia in a personalized way. Himself a five-time Brazilian national tennis champion and father to a former Columbia tennis player, Lemann enjoyed the video, which ties success on the tennis court to his strong belief in building networks that nurture talented individuals, and vice versa.

The team also developed infographics that tied to Jorge Paulo’s preference for seeing impact and results based on data. The Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies is also linking to them on their website.

The materials were shared at a dinner and presented in a stylish gift box, along with a personal note from President Bollinger. The Lemann Foundation is seeking to subtitle the video in Portuguese for talent recruitment purposes on their website, and footage will be used on various Columbia websites.

Perhaps the most poignant measure of success was when Jorge Paulo’s wife, Susanna, asked for copies of the video to be sent to their children­.

Four tips to takeaway…

  1. Know your audience
  2. Build a great team
  3. Be creative, make it special
  4. Plan ahead for maximum ROI

Watch the video to see what all the racquet is about.

Staff Story Corner

DSC06738 (2)Go global with Adeline Ortiz, program coordinator, Gift Strategy, and a tale of her time in Cuba.

In this new feature, we’ll highlight a story or photo from a colleague that brings a Big Idea to life. Submit your Big Idea adventures to [email protected].

Last year, I had the privilege of spending two weeks in Havana, Cuba. I joined a distinguished team of faculty members from Hostos Community College, City University of New York, including its newly appointed President, Dr. David Gomez, in a first of its kind academic initiative. It was a unique experience to discuss issues in higher education pedagogy with Cuban scholars and educators, and an unprecedented opportunity for professional development and personal growth.

In an effort to totally immerse myself in the experience, I “interviewed” dozens of Cubans about their feelings towards America, Americans, and the possibility of a new relationship. Unanimously, Cubans responded with great enthusiasm! “I’d love to see a McDonald’s on the corner,” said one young cab driver, en Español, of course! Well, let’s just forget the American flag and giant eagles; apparently, it’s the “golden arches” that represent the arrival of America!

It amazed me, though, how so many Cubans referenced the date of President Obama’s announcement regarding the new direction of the relationship with Cuba. The Castro regime made a simultaneous announcement on December 17, 2014. The interesting thing is how every Cuban I spoke with knew it, like it was a major holiday – New Year’s Eve or July 4th! They were so excited about it.

As the days passed, my excitement also increased. I could see all of the benefits and none of the disadvantages of moving forward with this relationship. When I mentioned that some U.S. Cubans were very upset about the announcement, the overwhelming response was, “Well, let them come back and live here!” That was as aggressive as anyone dared to speak about the oppressive culture of the country. It was clear, Cubans were afraid to openly express their concerns. Instead, they focused on all of the positives about their country, like the free health care and educational system. Cubans can go on to earn an advanced degree 100% at the expense of the Cuban government! Not attending college is not an option for Cubans! They look forward to attending the prestigious Universidad de La Habana.

As I stood in front of the building where Fidel Castro studied law, I thought of how amazing it would be for me to teach a course in American Business Law, which I’ve taught for many years in New York. However, I’m still navigating my technical Spanish!

The day before I left Cuba, the government announced the possibility of having a U.S. Embassy in Havana. I couldn’t resist a long walk in the blistering heat to capture a picture of the proposed site for our Embassy. Now that I’ve returned home to the many luxuries that I’ve taken for granted, I am increasingly aware of having been part of a historic moment in time.

Viva Cuba!


Event: Global Money—Past, Present, and Future 

Moments of financial crisis force rediscovery of a disconcerting fact: the world’s most important currencies are generated globally, beyond their state boundaries.

Learn more in a Global Think-In sponsored by The Committee on Global Thought (CGT). April 25 3:30 p.m. East Gallery, Buell Hall (Maison Française). For more events, see Jerry’s Picks.



The Wu Family China Center Launched

Throughout his career as a distinguished cardiologist and medical educator, the late Dr. Clyde Wu ’56PS was aware of the great potential of international cooperation. It is no surprise, he played a pivotal role in building Columbia’s relationship with China—and the world.

On March 31, President Lee Bollinger and Lee Goldman, MD, chief executive of Columbia University Medical Center, co-hosted the official launch of the Wu Family China Center. Dr. Wu and his wife Helen (also deceased) established the Center, and committed to providing it with an endowment of at least $10 million through their own philanthropy and that of their large extended family. The Center will feature joint pilot research projects and exchanges of faculty and fellows between Columbia and Zhejiang University School of Medicine. 

wu family 1000Much of Clyde and Helen Wu’s large extended family was on hand at Low Library to celebrate the Wu Family China Center’s launch. Wu family members in attendance included granddaughter Maddie Wu and son Dr. David Wu (shown second and third from left).

“They were a source of joy, a source of constant support, and some of the loveliest people I ever met,” President Bollinger said of Clyde and Helen in his opening remarks.

“The Wu Global Center is the crowning glory of Clyde and Helen’s largesse,” said P. Roy Vagelos ’54PS, chair of the Columbia University Medical Center’s Board of Advisors.

Dr. Wu was born in Hong Kong in 1931. His family moved to China’s heartland during World War II, escaping Japanese occupation. He travelled to America to study medicine. In 1956, Wu was one of two Asian students to graduate from the College of Physicians and Surgeons. 

Wu 1000Lady Ivy Wu, Dr. Wu’s sister-in-law and a member of the Center’s Board of Overseers (shown left), presented Henry Kissinger with the inaugural Dr. Clyde and Mrs. Helen Wu Distinguished Award for International Understanding at the event. As national security advisor under Richard Nixon, Kissinger travelled to China in 1971 and helped open diplomatic relations between the countries for the first time in 23 years.

Anke Nolting, associate dean and executive director of alumni relations at the CUMC, will serve as inaugural director of the Wu Center. “America and China have much to learn from each other,” she said, “and I cannot imagine any better partners to engage in this dialogue than P&S and Zhejiang University School of Medicine.”

For Clyde and Helen Wu, the Center is the legacy of a long and close relationship with Columbia. Dr. Wu served as a member of the University’s Board of Trustees and as vice chair of the Medical Center Board of Advisors. He and Helen established the Clyde and Helen Wu Center for Molecular Cardiology, five Clyde and Helen Wu Professorships, and supported the construction of the new Medical and Graduate Education Building. 

wu music 1000Now, the Wu Family Center they envisioned will further strengthen Columbia’s relationship with China.

“We spread the good word and planted the seeds,” Dr. Wu said of his vision for the Center. “Now the time has come for others to plough the field and reap the fruits.”

Photos by Ricky Owens

Columbia Trustees Go (Even More) Global

trusteeUniversity Trustees gathered at Columbia Global Centers | Paris in early March for a retreat focused on Columbia’s current and future global engagement. This was the first board meeting President Lee Bollinger and the Trustees ever held outside the US. (At left: Chair Jonathan Schiller ’69CC, ’73LAW).

Trustees and faculty discussed existing and proposed global initiatives. Global Center sessions focused on how the student and faculty experience is being enhanced, including access to transformative research opportunities.

In one session, Jordanian teachers spoke eloquently about a Columbia Global Centers | Amman program which provides opportunities for Teachers College faculty members and teachers from an independent Jordanian institute to connect through ongoing workshops designed to improve skills across the region in science, English, math, leadership, and environmental studies.

On March 4, President Lee C. Bollinger, Trustees Chair Jonathan Schiller, and Trustee Claire Shipman ’86CC, ’94IA shared news about Global Columbia with more than 135 alumni, donors, and friends at the Musée d’Orsay.

“This was a chance for our Trustees to get a deeper understanding of the great progress we are making in the global arena; it also provided a rare opportunity for our donors, alumni leaders, and friends in Europe to hear firsthand from our President and Trustees about these exciting developments,” said Amelia J. Alverson, executive vice president for University development and alumni relations. 

Global Columbia: Five Things to Know

1“We’re at a unique moment for the world and for the University to make a difference regarding the biggest challenges of our time,” said Ryan Carmichael, deputy vice president for development at recent Town Halls about Global Columbia with Jill Barkan, Mailman School for Public Health, and Peggy Maher, School of Engineering and Applied Science. 

Here are five takeaways.

  1. What is Global Columbia?
    Global Columbia is the vision for how the University can engage with and in the world to help solve some of the world’s biggest global challenges. It involves initiatives at all the schools, institutes, programs, and Global Centers.
  2. How is Global Columbia a Big Idea?
    How the University engages with the world and prepares our students and faculty for an increasingly globalized world is one of the most fundamental big ideas transforming higher education today. 
  3. What is the Columbia Global Centers Network? 
    Our eight “embassies” around the world, designed to create opportunities in research, scholarship, teaching, and service.
  4. What are the critical Global University Initiatives right now?
    Columbia Global Reports
    Committee on Global Thought
    Global Freedom of Expression & Information Project
  5. What’s in the future?
    A new global building, located in the new Manhattanville campus, which will house SIPA, the Global Centers, and new Institute for Solving World Problems.