Alice Newton, recipient of the 2024 Tannenbaum-Warner Award for Extraordinary Service to The University Seminars

Alice Newton retired in August 2023 after 18 years of distinguished service at The University Seminars, where she worked with three directors and was herself Interim Director for three years (2019 -2022). From 1968, while a student at Rutgers University, and later at New York University (where she completed a bachelor’s degree in history), Alice participated in the anti-war, anti-racism, environmental justice, and women’s movements. Social justice activism continues to be a central part of her life. Alice later earned a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs with a specialty in human rights and Latin America. While working toward this degree, she began as an administrative assistant at The University Seminars with Director Robert Belknap. She was promoted to Assistant Director, Associate Director, Deputy Director, Acting Director, and finally Interim Director. In partnership with Director Bob Pollack, Alice expanded the breadth of the Seminars’ programming with initiatives to promote diversity and to raise the voices of underrepresented and emerging scholars. Alice made The Seminars inclusive and welcoming also by facilitating initiatives such as the Seminar Workshops and the Belo Award, both founded under her leadership, and by working closely with the Columbia University Libraries to enable associate members to benefit from remote library privileges.