Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, discussed everything from online security to President Obama to milkshakes at Tom’s Restaurant at the Columbia Daily Spectator Annual Awards Dinner on Feb. 4, 2012. Former FCC Senior Advisor and Beliefnet.com co-founder Steve Waldman (CC ’84 and 107th editor in chief) interviewed Genachowski (CC ’85 and 108th Broadway editor) for 200 Spectator staffers, alumni, family, and friends.
The dinner—which marked Spectator’s 50th year of independence from Columbia University—raised $45,000 for Spectator’s long term fundraising initiatives, including the digitization of the archives, work-study fund, and technology fund.
The night included speeches from Sarah Darville (136th editor in chief), Wendy Brandes (chair of the Board of Trustees), Samuel E. Roth (135th editor in chief), Aditya Mukerjee (135th Publisher), and Alex Smyk (136th publisher).
Maggie Alden (136th managing editor) introduced Michael Kamber, an acclaimed photojournalist, to present the Quintana Roo Dunne Award for Visual Achievement. Kamber presented the award to student recipient Jasper Clyatt (135th photo editor), citing his “positive presence” and “amazing talent as a photojournalist.” Later in the evening, Michele Cleary (135th managing editor) presented the Brian K. Malmon Memorial Award to graduating senior, varsity soccer player, and Deputy Sports Editor Zach Glubiak, describing his “unfailingly positive attitude” and “unwavering commitment to Spectator.”
With the shifting landscape in media and communications, outgoing Editor in Chief Samuel E. Roth acknowledged that the state of Spectator “has been largely determined by forces outside our control,” yet, “the public’s hunger for information and thoughtful commentary hasn’t diminished—in fact, it’s only grown.” Roth continued, “Spectator is expanding the ways in which we connect with our readers. We’re more aggressively promoting our stories on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.” Incoming Publisher Alex Smyk later summarized, “We are redefining what it means to be a college newspaper—revamping the blueprint for high-quality journalism that we so gratefully inherited from all of you.”
All things considered, this year’s Annual Awards Dinner was a testament to 50 successful years of independent journalism at Spectator. Smyk offered the closing remarks: “Being here tonight reminds me that our legacy is, in fact, a wellspring of strength. We are empowered by the past, clear on our objectives, and eager for the future.”
We hope that for 50 more years and beyond, Spectator will engage in thoughtful reporting, illuminating analysis, and quality journalism on behalf of the Columbia community, Morningside Heights, and West Harlem.
Thank you to the alumni, family, and friends who made this year’s Annual Awards Dinner a success. We hope to see you next year!