Cyrus Habib, Robert Kraft, and Other Alumni in the News

Cyrus Habib photographed by Alex K. Sebby
Cyrus Habib (Alex K. Sebby)

Cyrus Habib ’03CC was inaugurated as lieutenant governor of Washington State, becoming the highest-ranking Iranian-American elected official. Habib, who has been blind since age eight, was a Rhodes Scholar in English literature and also received a law degree from Yale. He has served in the Washington State House of Representatives and the Washington State Senate.

Rev. Thomas Worcester ’77CC was named president of Regis College, a Jesuit theological school affiliated with the University of Toronto. Worcester, who will take his new post in August, is currently a professor of history at the College of the Holy Cross, where he specializes in religion and politics during the Reformation.

Balcony, a short film by Toby Fell-Holden ’13SOA, won the highest honor at the Iris Prize Festival, the world’s largest LGBTQ short-film festival, in Cardiff, Wales. It debuted in 2015 at the BFI London Film Festival, where it also won the top prize. Balcony tells the story of a girl in a racially divided neighborhood who falls for an Afghan refugee.

Joanne Kwong ’97CC became president of Pearl River Mart, New York’s iconic Asian-imports store. After nearly forty-five years in business, Pearl River closed its SoHo location in early 2016. Kwong, who is the daughter-in-law of the original owners, set up a pop-up version in Tribeca in November and plans to officially reopen with a permanent store.

Three Columbians won creative-writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, which gives financial support to promising artists. Camille Rankine ’09SOA and Diana Marie Delgado ’08SOA, graduates of Columbia’s MFA program, and Morgan Parker ’10CC were all recognized for their poetry.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft ’63CC got a fifth Super Bowl ring after his team’s comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons. Kraft now has more Super Bowl wins than any other NFL team owner in history. Kraft also owns the New England Revolution, a Major League Soccer team, as well as Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Massachusetts, where both the Patriots and the Revolution play. Kraft played running back and safety on the Columbia football team, and the Columbia football field is named after him.