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Renewing Connections across GSAPP

February 21, 2022

Dear GSAPP Community,

The Graduation Walking March is a favorite tune for many. Just dial to the 3-minute mark of the GSAPP 2019 Commencement video, you can see how it plays up the pride and joy on the faces of our graduates. I am thrilled that we will be celebrating the Class of 2022 in the kind of commencement that we have missed so dearly. It is a special moment to cement the community spirit at GSAPP and Columbia, and it renews our commitment to collective progress. Saturday, May 14 is the date for the 2022 GSAPP Commencement – we all are looking forward to it! Each graduate can invite four guests to join the celebration. The University Commencement will be held on Wednesday, May 18, with room for two guests. Please keep an eye on this webpage as well as email notifications coming your way with information on the ticking process and all other details. As announced in President Bollinger’s recent message, the Classes of 2020 and 2021 will be recognized at a special University-wide celebration on May 19, and GSAPP also will host a special reception for alumni of those years during Alumni Weekend in early June.

With cautious optimism that the overall pandemic conditions are trending in the right direction, we can begin reimagining how we connect and reconnect among us. On the afternoon of Friday, March 25, an all-GSAPP Student Social will take place on the Avery Plaza. Come and join your classmates, meet new friends, play some games together, and relax with food and refreshments. We heard from many who participated in the GSAPP Common Circle last Fall of their deep appreciation for meeting students from different programs. This is another way to connect – also to muse about March madness (college basketball).

Many still remember Brownie’s Café on the 100-level of Avery, another sorely missed part of the GSAPP environment. With the business changing hands, a prolonged process has ensued for the opening of a café on the same spot. I am optimistic about sharing further news about that towards the later part of the spring semester. As food and beverage resume their appearance for certain events, let’s be mindful that the University indoor mask mandate remains effective through March 31. Take a bite and then put the mask back on – everyone will be thankful for the mutual care each of us exercises.

Again, our support through the GSAPP Emergency Fund is available to students experiencing financial need this semester. You can learn more online and reach out directly to the Financial Aid Office at financialaid@arch.columbia.edu to discuss your circumstances or make a request for funding. The University also has a range of resources to draw from to support student wellness. If you would like to talk with me directly, you can email (deansoffice@arch.columbia.edu) or stop by Avery 402 during my open office hour on Mondays at 12-1pm.

With best wishes for the midterm reviews starting this week,

Weiping Wu
Interim Dean