Dewey Dinner Transformed into the Dewey Reception
Published in TC Today - Volume 26, No. 2
To celebrate the increase in the number of members in the Dewey Circle Network, the traditional Dewey Dinner was transformed into an evening of entertainment by Teachers College musicians. Instead of the usual dinner and speeches, guests arrived at Low Rotunda on the Columbia University campus to a cocktail reception with hot hors d'oeuvres and a display of work by TC art students.
Several John Dewey Scholars were among the guests. Dewey Scholars are students who receive scholarships from the unrestricted funds that comprise the Annual Fund. Dewey Circle members are donors whose gift to the Annual Fund exceeds $1,000. This year there were 41 new members who received the John Dewey Medal from Co-Chair of the Trustees Antonia Grumbach as a thank-you gift for their support.
One student, Ben Adams, spoke on behalf of all the Dewey scholars. Adams, who is working toward a Ph.D. in the Clinical Psychology Program, spoke about his father's decision to leave a tiny farming town in Utah to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Brigham Young University. Adams took it one step further and moved across the country to do the same thing at Teachers College.
"One of the biggest risks I took when deciding to come to Teachers College was a financial one," Adams said, adding that the experience of taking out enormous loans to pay for his education was a scary one. "You can probably imagine how grateful I felt when I was awarded a partial tuition scholarship that helps me pay for two classes each year."
As is done each year at the Dewey Dinner, the John Dewey Leadership Award was presented to a person who has been generous with time, support and leadership toward the Teachers College mission. This year's award was presented to Trustee Elliot Jaffe who served for three years as Chair of the National Campaign Committee, was on the President's Advisory Board, and is on the Board of Trustees. TC President Arthur Levine read the citation, which recounted Jaffe's support of the Peace Corps Fellows Program before federal money was available. It spoke of Jaffe's continued support of minority students who are committed to teaching in New York City public schools.
A very excited Jaffe accepted the award saying, "Seeing the dedication that Arthur Levine and Joe Brosnan [Vice President for Development and External Affairs] have to Teachers College, and everything they were doing, led me to take on responsibilities and the role of Chair of the Capital Campaign. This is really a time to reward them."
After the cocktail reception, guests were treated to the musical program performed by TC Music and Education students Mary-Frances White, Victoria Young, Victor J. Lin, and Samuel Bolduc on violin; Szu-Han Chuang on cello; and Sarah Han and Victor Lin on piano. The entire group participated in playing Concerto in G Major for 4 Violins by Georg Philipp Telemann. Chuang played the solo Cello Suite # 3 by Bach. "Inspiration," a piece composed by student Samuel Bolduc in honor of the events that occurred on September 11th, was performed by Bolduc on Violin and Lin on piano. Preludes for Piano, by Frederic Chopin, featured soloist Han, and Jazz Selections for Piano, a medley of "America the Beautiful" and "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" (to reflect the playoff game being played at Yankee Stadium during the reception) featured Lin on piano. The group finished with Concerto in B minor for 4 Violins, Op.3, No. 10 by Vivaldi.
Dewey Circle Network Chair Christina Davis closed the event with a champagne toast to the students who are "at the heart of our mission" and to the members of the John Dewey Circle for their generosity and dedication.