Commencement

Columbia commencement
Columbia University will confer six honorary degrees and recognize the alumni recipient of its University Medal for Excellence at its annual Commencement exercises on Wednesday, May 20.
From left: Garrett Fitzgerald and Rob van Haaren in the Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy

Back in 2010, when graduation still seemed remote and intangible, Rob van Haaren and Garrett Fitzgerald agreed to celebrate their Ph.Ds—whenever they might finish—by piloting a pair of motorcycles from New York City to California.

Joseph Bacani stands in front of his portrait at the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial. Photo Courtesy AVDLM/C.J. Heatley

When Columbia held its first graduation in 1758, seven men received their bachelor’s degrees. Now, more than 14,000 graduates of Columbia’s 18 schools and affiliates will earn their degrees on May 21.

Columbia Engineering School graduating senior Ruby Robinson had an unexpected surprise at the school’s Class Day graduation ceremony during Commencement week. The computer science major assumed that her father, U.S.

Making a green graduation gown.

When students assemble this year for Commencement, their gowns will look blue but half of them will be green, thanks to material made from recycled plastic bottles.

Columbia University will confer eight honorary degrees and recognize the alumni recipient of its University Medal for Excellence at commencement exercises on Wednesday, May 21. In alphabetical order, the recipients are:

Khalil hopes to find a job in a hospital setting where she can solidify her knowledge and build on her clinical skills.

Nashwa Khalil knew the benefits of physical therapy long before she enrolled in the doctor of physical therapy program at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.

This summer Mateo will begin a residency in pediatrics with a concentration in urban health and advocacy.

When she started medical school four years ago Camila Mateo felt an immediate connection to the neighborhood surrounding the College of Physicians and Surgeons. The language, the culture and the food were familiar to the daughter of two Dominican-born pediatricians.

Mulhall in front of a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle during a stop at a Marine Corps base in Al Anbar Province, Iraq

Brian C. Mulhall, who is graduating from the Law School, learned a lesson in a middle school summer wrestling program that became central to the way he approaches life.

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