About the Fund
As a tireless advocate for undergraduate education at Columbia, Dean James J. Valentini has brought attention and record support to Columbia College through the Core to Commencement campaign. Now, we seek to honor him and ensure the vibrancy of his legacy through the Valentini Endowment Fund for the Columbia College Journey.
Central to Dean Valentini’s leadership has been his emphasis on the student experience as a multifaceted journey that extends far beyond time in the classroom. By prioritizing opportunities for internships, research and global engagement, elevating the importance of the whole person using the framework of My Columbia College Journey and encouraging students’ openness through “Beginner’s Mind,” Dean Valentini has profoundly reframed the College experience to place greater value on meaning, purpose, fulfillment and personal growth. In doing so, he has elevated the College from simply being a provider of education to also being a cultivator, preparing young people to lead rewarding lives that benefit themselves and others.
The Valentini Endowment will provide the funding necessary to ensure that Dean Valentini’s holistic approach to student development will exist in perpetuity at the College. Support for student experiences could include unpaid or low-paid internships, research opportunities with Columbia faculty, community engagement opportunities, summer study abroad and more.