November 16, 2017

CUCL Holiday Party and Other Events

A year ago, I took on the biggest challenge in my 30 years as a Columbia alum volunteer and leader: revive the CUCL, by building a new leadership team capable of taking it to the next level. In one year. And… we did it! Indeed, I’ve been blessed with an amazing, diverse and talented team who have turned our CUCL around by any possible measure: number of events and participants, communications and social media channel effectiveness, leading to an outstanding level of alumni engagement. A huge thank you to the team that made this (and my “retirement”) possible.

Thus, it is with great pride that I leave the CUCL in the capable hands of our new President, Courtney Cesari, outgoing VP. Our co-VP, Han Xiao, has moved to Berlin and will be truly missed by all. Taking on the VP role, I could not imagine anyone else but Stephen Elms, who has been relentless in bringing our branding, communications and digital channels into the 21st century.

I will stay on as Chair to ensure a smooth transition of our back-office, and will be moving on to a CAA European regional role, also working on University and CAA strategic initiatives. But the CUCL will still be my home club and I hope to keep meeting and catching up with you at our events, starting with our Holiday Party on December 6th!

—Maria Shiao


CUCL Annual Holiday Party


Come celebrate the season in style with CUCL in London's biggest casino—the Hippodrome. Ticket purchase includes two drinks, food, and access to the Learn to Play Roulette table in our private room. Guests, partners, colleagues welcome. Purchase before November 23rd to get early bird pricing!

  • Date: Wednesday December 6th
  • Time: 6:30 - 10:00pm
  • Where: The Hippodrome Casino London, Cranbourn St, London WC2H 7JH
  • Dress: Festive
  • Tickets (£35 before Nov. 23rd): HERE


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Events Roundup

Holy Lands


Appropriately held on the one hundredth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the opening slide of this excellent presentation was of an English country church and yard compared with a picture of a Mosque. In Britain today we have a multicultural society which is screaming equal rights for both religions. In his book Holy Lands, the Economist’s Middle East correspondent, Nicolas Pelham, describes a rather different situation. What started with settled millets, or geographical regions, descended into factional war and religious segregation and lack of inclusion. Is the way forward, he asks, to reiterate Lord Balfour’s declaration for the setting up of Israel in Palestine? And to eventually have people of different religions living side by side.

After a riveting interview by Al Jazeera English reporter, and Journalism School alum (and CUCL Board member) Jessica Baldwin, the author kindly signed books and joined in the reception afterwards.

Columbia Connects


Columbia Connects is an annual tradition that brings alumni together to celebrate their alumni connection while welcoming any new graduates to the area. Throughout a 2-week period this month every club hosted an event. London’s Columbia Connects took place this year in the heart of St. James at upmarket European brasserie, Quaglino’s.

November Events:

Open Board Meeting | Monday November 20th

Are you interested to get involved with CUCL Leadership and planning? Please join us at this year’s Open Board Meeting where we will review current plans, provide a refresher course on management tools and map out 2018. Our newly formed Arts Access Committee, CVC (Entrepreneurship) Committee and Young Alumni Committee will be present so we encourage anyone interested in planning events in those areas (or others) to attend. This club is made possible only with the hard work and energy of fellow alumni volunteers so we welcome your efforts.

  • Date: Monday November 20th
  • Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm
  • Where: WeWork Moorgate, 1 Fore Street EC2Y 9DT, Room GA (on the ground floor)
  • RSVP: If you haven’t already please register your interest via email to: [email protected]

Note: if you are unable to attend please email for call-in details to participate remotely.

Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly? | Thursday November 23rd

Drawing on his new book, Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly, Columbia University's Executive Vice President, Global Centers and Global Development, Professor Safwan Masri, will examine the factors that contributed to Tunisia’s experience after the Arab Spring, focusing on the country’s history of reformism in the domains of education, religion and women’s rights. Is Tunisia’s experience in recent years largely different to that of other Arab nations? If so, why? Or does it face the same challenges as its regional neighbours in rebuilding society?


December Events:

Afternoon Classical Recital | Saturday December 9th

Taking you on a historical journey of music, classical musicians Yvonne Wang (violin) and Jane Lu (piano) will perform iconic pieces starting from Baroque, leading to the Romantics and ending with modern tango:

The Four Seasons (Summer and Winter)Vivaldi
Violin Sonata No. 5 in F MajorBeethoven
Music at SunsetYinghai Li
Vuelvo al surPiazzolla

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