Columbia University

Advising for Success
"Our mission is to help students become the best possible versions of themselves."
— Monique Rinere, Center for Student Advising
Photo credit: Michael Moran
Undergraduates take advantage of an improved program of integrated advising, developed with support from an endowment fund that honors a longtime and beloved Dean.

Thousands of undergraduates have already begun to enjoy a more integrated academic advising experience since the new Center for Student Advising opened in August 2010, bringing together under one roof general academic advising, Academic Success Programs, the Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program, and the Office of Preprofessional Advising. The center’s guiding principle is to build what Dean of Advising Monique Rinere calls “a true partnership — a relationship between students and advisors based on mutual engagement, responsiveness, and dedication.” It’s been a successful formula to date, with more than 12,000 visits to the center by undergraduates last year, including 97 percent of first-year students during their very first week on campus.

The Student Advising Center is funded in part by the Austin E. Quigley Endowment for Student Success, which also provides funding for career education, summer internship programs, and more. The initiative to comprehensively support College and Engineering students across these multiple platforms was conceived by several key Campaign leaders and named in honor of the longtime College leader who stepped down in 2009, after 14 years as dean. “A substantial endowment will enable us to enhance our advising programs and career services substantially,” Quigley says, “while sustaining their quality for the long term.”

Meet The Donor: Armen Avanessians, Bob Berne, and Richard Witten

Leadership support for the Austin E. Quigley Endowment for Student Success has been provided by a number of College and Engineering alumni, led by Richard Witten ’75CC, former vice chair of the University Trustees and Columbia Campaign co-chair; Trustee and Campaign co-chair Armen Avanessians ’83SEAS; and Bob Berne ’60CC, ’62BUS.


“We want to help undergraduates accomplish two things — to make the most of Columbia while they’re here and to prepare for a satisfying future after they leave campus,” says Witten.



Published: June 2011