Letter from the Editor:
Affinity, Winter 2021-22

When Greek philosopher Heraclitus mused the only constant in life is change, do you think he knew just how right he would be?

After a 22-year career in the U.S. Army and three decades of leadership in higher education, Dr. David Russell was easing into retirement when he joined the college’s Board of Trustees in 2016. Fast-forward to late 2020, and Russell, then-chair of the board, became the college’s acting president and then interim president in January 2021. It didn’t take long to recognize his assured guidance as the best way forward. This past October, Russell accepted a three-year extension and was formally sworn in as CC’s 18th president.

Also in the fall, members of a former student choral group returned to campus for a 50th reunion. They were recruited from across the United States to Columbia, Missouri, earning scholarships and student aid that would set a path for newfound success. What they didn’t expect was to become trailblazers, coming together to form the first cohort of Black students to integrate the college in the 1970s.

President Dr. David Russell is featured on cover of the latest issue of Affinity.

Founding member Angela Timmons Montgomery ’74 spoke of their friendship: “Words cannot convey what this group means to me. That foundation laid the way and launched us into our careers. All in all, if we were to define success, it would start here [at Columbia College].”

It has been nearly 10 years since I joined the Affinity production staff, and I, too, have leaned in to this season of change. This is my first issue as the director of Alumni Relations. The greatest joy in my work is to hear from our CCAA members – where you are now and how CC played a part in your journey. While we continue to tell your stories inside the pages of Affinity, you may choose how you receive the magazine. Our digital archive is available to read online, and we have also debuted a print subscription. Learn more at my.ccis.edu/affinity.

Happy reading,

We Are CC!


Carolyn Preul

Carolyn Preul is the director of Alumni Relations and editor of Affinity magazine. The magazine is published by the Columbia College Division of Advancement. Readers are encouraged to share story ideas and provide feedback with the magazine production team. Please send comments to the editor at ccalum@ccis.edu.