Continuing Bwog’s rare tradition of saluting the sons and daughters of Alma Mater, we would like to take the time to recognize the achievements (and stupefying failures) of some of Columbia’s most recent headline-making alumni.

We begin with Lee Phil-sang, a Korean journalist who earned his M.A. and Ph.D. here. Lee was just selected to become President of Korea University. All hail PrezPhil- an alumnus who makes Bwog proud. We also note that Korea University seems to have presidential term limits…and wonder what PrezBo would be up to as a lame duck.

We turn now to Democratic Party luminary Barack Obama C’83. After learning that he had inadvertently killed one journalist’s chances at landing a hot date by presuming he worked for a college newspaper and calling him “baby-faced” during a press conference (and apparently exiling him to the Henry Daily Herald, “serving Stockbridge, Hampton, McDonough, and Locust Grove,” Georgia), Obama had the class to call him up (listen to the mp3!) “I’m calling to publicly apologize for messing up your game,” the Senator said. Barack, as always, you’re an alumnus who makes Bwog proud.

Finally, the pièce de résistance. Gawker has the story (via the NY Post‘s interview entitled “The Socialist”…which Gawker doesn’t get, though we at the University of Havana North would) of socialite Tinsley Mortimer, a Columbia alum whose cringeworthy quotes could fill pages. One example: “Everyone I’ve met in Japan has been absolutely adorable. They have big smiles on their faces, and they just are so cute and seem so happy to meet you or work with you or something.”

Another: “I was wearing this hot pink – so perfect, ’cause pink’s my favorite color – Givenchy dress. It was pink and it had these little crystal buttons down the side and it had this big bow, like, right up here, and the bow, and the pink – I mean, it couldn’t be more perfect for me! And I wear it, and Vogue was doing a sort of ‘color of the moment’ or something, and I just opened the magazine and saw it. I was so excited. I mean, I like to see my picture.”

Gawker has more and a slew of comments, many aghast (or doubtful) that Mortimer was able to obtain a degree here. Bwog assures its readers, however, that she could hardly be more Columbia. Married to an i-banker descended from John Jay (he of the dorm and dining hall himself), she calls her former school “so beautiful…the architecture and everything. It might as well have been in Europe.” She graduated with a degree in art history, “but then I didn’t do anything with it…I always sort of dreamed of going to Parsons and stuff for interior design. Then I realized that, I mean, I was there, and I, um, I just got a little sick of papers. And school.” We can forgive you for that, Tinsley, but hardly for besmirching the reputation of a Columbia degree. Ms. Mortimer can only be an alumna who lets Bwog down.