In Brief: Winter 2010

Bollinger’s contract extended

University President Lee C. Bollinger recently signed a contract extension to keep his post through 2015.

Since being recruited from the University of Michigan in 2002, Bollinger has focused on strengthening Columbia’s finances, heightening its global presence, and creating a 17-acre campus expansion in Manhattanville. “He has done a magnificent job,” Trustee Chairman William Campbell told Bloomberg News in October.

A First Amendment scholar, Bollinger holds a law degree from Columbia Law School, where he teaches today.


Good returns

Columbia’s endowment posted a 17.3 percent return on its investments for fiscal 2010, University officials announced in September. This outpaced the performance of the major market indexes, was the best among the Ivies, and brought the value of Columbia’s total endowment to around $6.5 billion.

“The successful investment performance over time has become a cornerstone of Columbia’s financial strength,” Senior Executive Vice President Robert Kasdin told Bloomberg News. “It provides a growing source of operating revenue, and our donors know we take their trust most seriously.”


Carnoy joins trustees

Lisa Carnoy ’89CC, the cohead of global capital markets for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, has joined the University Board of Trustees. Carnoy previously served on Columbia College’s Board of Visitors. In 2007, she cofounded the Women’s Leadership Council for Athletics, which is dedicated to raising money for women’s sports at Columbia.

The Wall Street Journal, when reporting Carnoy’s most recent promotion last February, described her as one of the three most powerful women on Wall Street.


Louis Henkin, 1917-2010

Louis Henkin, a Columbia Law School professor who is widely regarded as the father of human rights law, died October 14 at the age of 92. Through his writings and decades of teaching, Henkin argued for the centrality of human rights concerns in legal matters, influencing generations of lawyers, judges, and diplomats.

“Lou’s writings sometimes clarified what the law really is, but other times lucidly developed what the law ought to be,” wrote U.S. Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’59LAW in 2006. “Countless times, when struggling with a trying case involving a question of constitutional law or international law, I looked to his writings for counsel.”


Marilyn Laurie dies at 71

Marilyn Laurie ’59BC, a University Trustee since 1996, died on July 14. She was 71. A former executive vice president of public relations and brand management at AT&T, Laurie was the first woman to join the company’s 10-member executive committee.

AT&T hired Laurie in 1971 to develop environmental-education programs for its employees. That position stemmed from Laurie’s instrumental role in organizing the first Earth Day celebration in 1970, as its head of communications.

The University Trustees have created a new student internship program named for Laurie at the Graduate School of Journalism.


Here in spirit

Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese literary critic, writer, and human rights activist currently incarcerated in China, was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize in absentia on December 10.

Liu was a visiting scholar at Columbia when in the spring of 1989 he returned to his homeland to support student protestors in Tiananmen Square. He has spent the last two decades in and out of prison on political charges.