When I first started looking at universities and football programs, the best advice I received was to think of my education as a forty-year decision, not a four-year decision. I turned down offers from the Air Force Academy, the Naval Academy, and other Ivies because #OnlyHere could I play the sport I love while plugging into the best network in the best city.
Here, I could make an impact and help build up a program. That’s what Columbia Football offered: opportunity.
In my junior year, our team transitioned to playing with Al Bagnoli. Under his direction, football became fun again, and this year, our team was proud to deliver a win on Homecoming. Because of Coach Bagnoli, we have our swagger back and are winning more victories on the field. We are attracting more recruits and have raised our level of competition above other schools.
And #OnlyHere did I learn the power of networking. I have been able to make connections with mentors, like Tom Tryforos ‘81CC, who have helped guide me as I explored different options available to me on the field and off, back in my hometown of Cincinnati and here in New York. They have invested the time to help me figure out where my interests lie and where I want my career to go, and how to stay the course and lead by example when times were tough.
During my time at Columbia, I have found, applied for, and landed some great internships, thanks to the advice, preparation, and pointers I got through my connections and our Office of Enrichment Services. Most recently, I completed a summer internship with Estée Lauder in innovation strategy, which gave me valuable experience and confidence to take into a full-time job after I graduate.
I couldn’t be more grateful, or feel more inspired to offer the same guidance for the next generation of Columbia Lions. In my time here, I have been able to show our first-years and sophomores the tools available to them around campus and through Columbia Athletics. I am giving back to them, just as alumni have strengthened the program for student-athletes through their gifts, counsel, and support.
Thank you for all you do. I appreciate all the resources available to me at Columbia Athletics—made possible by donors to The Fund for Excellence.It’s bittersweet to be leaving Columbia, but I am excited for the next step in my life and to continue supporting the resurgence of Columbia Football.
Roar, Lion, Roar!
Cameron Dunn ‘17CC Football
PS: To read more about Columbia Football, visit the Lions' home page at this link.