7 Photos From President Shafik's First Summer at the Helm of Columbia

President Minouche Shafik joined the Columbia community on July 1 and has hit the ground running in her new role. Here are just a few highlights from a busy summer. 

Kelly Moffitt-Hawasly
August 25, 2023

With great enthusiasm and excitement, President Minouche Shafik joined the Columbia community on July 1, 2023. Although the University seemingly slows down over the summer months, President Shafik hit the ground running, meeting with leaders at the University, students, staff, community leaders, and government officials.

Below, we've gathered a handful of photos and stories from an eventful summer as President Shafik prepares for an even busier fall semester, complete with her official presidential inauguration on October 4. 

Greeting the Columbia Community

“I could not be happier to join you as a part of this extraordinary community,” President Shafik said in a video address on her first day in the office. “My primary focus in the coming months will be getting to know you better and to listening to your Columbia stories. I’m looking forward to meeting all of you … I hope these conversations will represent the first steps on the journey to even greater heights for Columbia.”

Meeting Columbia Staffers

Four days into her tenure as Columbia University President, Shafik met with Columbia staffers at an informal lunch in the Office of the President at Low Library.

Kicking off an Important Columbia-Community Partnership

On July 15, amid the vibrant greenery surrounding Morningside Park Pond, a historic research partnership between Columbia University climate scientists and NYC Parks was announced. 

In the spirit of City of Water Day—a day advocating for a more climate-resilient New York—elected officials, the NYC Parks Department, Friends of Morningside Park, and Columbia University President Minouche Shafik and faculty, announced a new research partnership that will tackle the toxic algae blooms at Morningside Park Pond. You can learn more about the partnerships and see photos from the event here.

President Minouche Shafik looks out of Morningside Pond filled with algae.

Meeting With Uptown Leaders

In late July, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce hosted a welcome breakfast for President Shafik as well as community and education leaders from across the city at the iconic Uptown institution Sylvia's Restaurant. You can see more photos from the event here. 

President Minouche Shafik addresses a group sitting around a table.

Visiting Columbia's Double Discovery Center College Prep Program for Local Students

Also in late July, community, education, and elected leaders joined President Shafik to visit a Roger Lehecka Double Discovery Center (DDC) classroom, meet current students, and discuss the future growth of the program. You can learn more about DDC and see photos from the event here.

Columbia President Minouche Shafik and Columbia College Dean Josef Sorett speak with Double Discovery students after the lecture.

Meeting Elected Officials

In early August, President Shafik was delighted to meet with Rep. Adriano Espaillat and Columbia Trustee Justice Rolando Acosta (CC'79, LAW'82) in Harlem to discuss opportunities for New York City youth. Later in the month, she met with New York Governor Kathy Hochul to discuss how the University can support the governor's work and that of our other partners in state government.