Austin E. Quigley

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Austin E. Quigley
See also Wikipedia's article about "Austin E. Quigley".

Austin E. Quigley was the 14th Dean of Columbia College. A professor of English dramatic literature prior to his elevation to the deanship, he has the most charming British accent. He was succeeded by Michele M. Moody-Adams on July 1, 2009. Quigley's 14 year tenure as dean is third only to John Howard Van Amringe (16 years) and Herbert Hawkes (26 years). He continues to teach as the Brander Matthews Professor of Dramatic Literature.

Taking over as dean following the abolition of the Columbia College Faculty and years of administrative turmoil thanks to repeated restructurings at the end of Michael Sovern's university presidency and the beginning of George Rupp's (a chaotic period during which, in 1997, he was briefly fired and then rehired [1]), Quigley made securing money for the College's needs a priority. At that task Quigley excelled, earning a reputation as a "champion fundraiser" for the school. He has argued that fund raising for the College, which is the university's most high-profile school, benefits the other schools in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences more than equal allocations would.

Quigley made sure that the money raised from alumni was directed to student services and student needs, particularly financial aid that is now amongst the best in the country. The Lerner Hall Student Center has great facilities for students, even though not everybody likes the design.

Quigs was immensely popular with students, regularly attending residence hall dinners and organizing small group get togethers where students could get to know him well. He was often invited to participate in theatrical events appearing in two varsity shows and a performance of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. His Senior Dinner speech, at which Quigley turned on the charm, was one of the highlights of graduation festivities.

You were also likely to see him as an alum, especially at joint student-alumni events. He will stir your heartstrings with talk of an "intergenerational community" of Columbians extending back to 1754 and it is this theme that encouraged record-setting levels of giving from alumni to students.

In 2008, just before stepping down as Dean, he was honored with an Alexander Hamilton Medal. In 2009 he received the Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates.

The Austin E. Quigley Prize is now given in his honour.

Preceded by
Steven Marcus
Dean of Columbia College 
Succeeded by
Michele M. Moody-Adams


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