A 27-year veteran of the St. Louis Fire Department, Derrick Phillips ’17 has been in charge of training and homeland security at the second-oldest career firefighting department in America for the past eight years. Last summer, he set a new career milestone with a promotion from battalion chief to deputy chief for the department.
day night in October, more than a dozen African American alumni of Columbia College gathered in a hotel lobby near campus to reminisce. Many of them were part of the first cohorts of Black students to attend the school in the early 1970s. Some hadn’t seen each other in person in nearly 50 years but, as they shared hugs, laughs and stories, the intervening decades just seemed to melt away.