Columbia College pins 154 new students

Books on a table
The long line of students, parents and friends snaked up the steps of Launer Auditorium and around the venerable building. Some were in jeans or capris, but the majority were in shorts and T-shirts; it is August after all. Student advisors, otherwise known as community consultants, wore "I've got the power!" T-shirts. They kept the crowd moving and kept their spirits up with jokes.

The bright-eyed new students weren't going into the auditorium to see a main attraction. They were the main attraction in one of Columbia College's newer traditions, the pinning ceremony, where all new incoming students are given a pin and a white rose.

Student Government Association President Courtney Lauer-Myer presents Danielle Love with a white rose as President Gerald Brouder greets another new student during the annual pinning ceremony.
As Dr. Terry Smith, executive vice president and dean for Academic Affairs, called their name, 154 incoming new students mounted the steps onto the stage to receive the pin from a faculty chair; a white rose from Courtney Lauer-Myer, the 2010-11 student government president; and a firm handshake of welcome from Dr. Gerald Brouder, college president.

The pin bears three words: "Columbia College" and "commitment."

"We commit to you opportunity. We commit to you quality. We commit to you an increase in competence and confidence," said Brouder, "and we ask that you commit heart and soul to academic success." Columbia College, he said, can be a catalyst for life, adding, "We truly are at your service."

The white rose – "the flower of light" – symbolizes unity, sincerity and loyalty. At the end of the pinning ceremony, Columbia College staff retrieved the rose to safeguard it until graduation, when it will be returned in the Ivy Chain ceremony.

10,000 hours

Susan Wilson Solovic '80 speaks at a Women in Business luncheon.
The guest speaker was author, women's business expert and media personality Susan Wilson Solovic ’80, whose latest bestseller is The Girls’ Guide to Building a Million-Dollar Business.

Solovic, a history and political science major, said she wished she could trade places with the students and be an incoming freshman again. She told the freshmen to not be afraid to fail and never worry about what they were going to be when they grew up, stating that she had been so many things in her life and had failed so often it would take a very long time to list them all.

Solovic also emphasized that the students should finish what they started, quoting sociologist Malcolm Gladwell that achieving greatness in anything takes 10,000 hours, be you Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg (co-founder of Facebook) or Ray Kroc (founder of McDonald's).

Susan Wilson Solovic '80 greets Dr. Lisa Ford-Brown, Columbia College associate professor of speech communication.
The day before, Solovic spoke at a Columbia College faculty conference and was greeted with a standing ovation; and at a Women in Business luncheon. She also signed books at the luncheon and used her own story - from high school baton-twirling lessons to CEO - to illustrate women's journey to success.

Women often don't think big enough, she told the assembly of alumnae (and one man), and don't delegate enough. This "mothering" instinct to do it all themselves is more than tiring, she said, it can stifle initiative and creativity.


Anonymous said...

If you want evening students to be more involved and strong alumni, they should be involved pinning ceremony, not just the day students.

Anonymous said...

Also, there should be a pinning ceremony for day students that enter the day program during the spring semester.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a great tradition but has anyone thought of the other campus students and also what would happen if those students would want to participate in the Ivy ceremony?

I was an evening and online student away from the main campus and I ended up driving to MO for the great ceremonies that my campus does not offer.

Why not offer the same ceremonies at each campus once a year? It's kind of unfair to expect hard-working students to have to come to the main campus just for what they rightfully earned.

And in the end, more students would take their education and Columbia College more to heart as the staff does.

Just a thought considering other postings seem to feel left out too.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the evening students being involved in pinning ceremony. We are a huge part of Columbia College and do not even have a local bookstore or gift store to purchase Columbia College items, such as sweatshirts, bookbags, etc.

Anonymous said...

I love being an evening student at Columbia College, but I want the ability to have the same ceremonies the day students enjoy such as the Pinning Ceremony,and the Ivy Chain as well as the ability to be included in a sorority.

All of us, be it day student, evening campus, or offsite students would love the ability to partake in the same ceremonies the day students enjoy. We've worked hard toward our goals in education and earned those very same rights.

Columbia College has the best evening campus of any college I've seen. The classes are abundant, professors rock, staff are very helpful. Where it's lacking is all the ceremony the day students receive from beginning to the end of their education.

Anonymous said...

I can well understand what each of you are feeling. I have been going to Columbia College since 2005 but, I take my classes on-line.
I have never once been invited to do anything at the college and usually anything planned takes place during working hours. How can we as "the outsiders" feel any commitment to a school who doesn't commit to us?
Another thing is that we have no college ID to get discounts, we don't get to use any of the facilities, but are charged as if we are sitting in the classroom. When in fact, the teachers are just simple chat room moderators, teaching nothing, there are no lectures just reading and learning on our own, why are we charged so much for an education if we just receive a moderator?
The other problem is that the day and campuss students are offered far more scholarships that the on-line students are...and we are having to work harder for our degree's.
I am a single mom with 4 kids in college, it would be nice to get a break and have an offering of more scholarships!
Would I recommend CC to another? I have in the past, but with the issues in enrollment and communication for on-line students, the answer would be a fat NO!
They do not care for their on-line students, we are just a easy $ sign number for the college!