On December 8, 2022, President Lee C. Bollinger was presented with the Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award by The Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy.
The citation was conferred in a small, private ceremony at Bollinger’s on campus residence during a day-long visit to Columbia by the secretary. Below is the full text.
In appreciation of distinguished public service to the Department of the Navy, the Secretary of the Navy has awarded the Distinguished Public Service Award to Lee C. Bollinger for services set forth in the following citation:
For exceptional service to the Department of the Navy as the President of Columbia University, President Bollinger’s leadership was key in bridging the civilian-military divide on campus and bringing a diversity of views to the classroom. His guidance forged Columbia’s commitment to educating those who have served their country. President Bollinger established Columbia’s Center for Veteran Transition and Integration as a resource for all veterans at Columbia and beyond to prepare for the transition to academic life and from academia to careers. Under his leadership, Columbia University now welcomes more veteran students to Morningside Heights than the rest of the Ivy League combined. With grateful appreciation for his 21 years of public service to the nation leading one of America’s great universities and for his outstanding contributions to the Navy and Marine Corps, President Lee C. Bollinger is awarded the Department of the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award.
Carlos Del Toro
Secretary of the Navy
For video of Secretary Del Toro's keynote address and discussion during his day at Columbia, visit the following link, A Maritime Nation: American Naval Primacy to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century.