U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ’73CC, ’76LAW was the guest of honor at the opening reception for the Columbia-Barnard Jam Weekend in Washington, D.C., from July 24 to 26, which attracted more than 250 black and Latino alumni. Most of the attendees graduated from Columbia and Barnard in the 1970s and were on hand partly to celebrate the election of Barack Obama ’83CC.
Among the alumni who attended the reception, held at the City Club of Washington, was New York State governor David A. Paterson ’77CC; Ron F. Mason Jr. ’74CC, the president of Jackson State University; and Helene Gayle ’76BC, ’09HON, the president and CEO of CARE, the international humanitarian organization.
Holder described how Columbia helped shape him at a time when many universities, including Columbia, were making their first efforts to recruit people of color. Holder said that he and other minority graduates of that era formed a close bond and hold reunion “jams” every few years.