The Weekend's Reunion Celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the '68 Riots... but more alums may have preferred to talk about the '68 basketball champs more attention
This past weekend was reunion weekend on campus, and by all accounts, the sports teams were big topics of discussion just about everywhere you might have listened.
Now I don't think anyone learned any "inside" information, but the point is the best alumni are the ones who show up to these events... and by "best," I mean the ones who give money and are willing to help in many other ways. And these are the people who are also very interested in and supportive of athletics and football in particular.
At 37 years of age, I'm not very old in the big scheme of things. But I am old enough to have seen a lot of beloved organizations and community groups die off. A common denominator in every failed group has been that the hierarchy decides to do something it knows its biggest supporters aren't that wild about.
I'm all for diversity, but I sometimes wonder if the drive for diversity is a real detriment to unifying traditions like athletics. My proudest moment at Columbia was on graduation day when I walked up and down the campus with my family and every few yards, a fellow student from a totally different background stopped to say hello and congratulate me. My support for athletics played a big role in the fact that I befriended such an eclectic group of students from glamour sorority members to future Rabbinical students. Again, I wonder if students today have that same opportunity.
But I am encouraged that the truly essential Columbia alumni almost all love athletics and want to see it enhanced in every way. Let's make sure they don't remain the "silent majority."