Use your success to pay it forward.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Tommy Doyle, School of General Studies, Economics, Port Washington, New York

Claim to fame: CUPAL President, Varsity Show, playing the tortured older male role in that musical you got dragged to, Army Veteran, not understanding how my tone comes across in emails, and talking a little too much about how long I’ve been doing theatre here.

Where are you going? I’m staying in New York to get rich in banking, and then I’m going to invest it all in the performing arts.

What are three things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2028?

  1. Regardless of what you want to be when you grow up, the most important skill you can learn is the art of storytelling.
  2. You can do anything you want in this life, just not all at once. The only decision you have to make right now is what you want to do first.
  3. The point of money, success, and anything aspirational is to be exceptionally generous once you’ve achieved it; to pay it forward.

“Back in my day…” Oh goodness, where do I start…

Favorite Columbia lore? The saga of CMTS Presents: Beyond the Rain.

What was your favorite class at Columbia?

  • Acting II with Mana Allen and Barbara Anselmi
  • The Song Within Us with Peter Susser
  • Empirical Approaches to Development with Anja Benshaul-Tolonen
  • Monetary Theory and Policy with Elham Saeidinezhad

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I’m sorry, but you’re just not a real New Yorker if you’re willing to give up cheese.

Whom would you like to thank?

My family, and especially my grandparents, for believing in my potential.

Solomon Hoffman and Alex Hare for taking a chance on me and inspiring this journey.

The Ehrlich Family for keeping me afloat in my most challenging moments, and facilitating this dream for so many years.

The United States Army for giving me discipline, drive, and, of course, the GI Bill.

The School of General Studies for making a place in the world of elite higher education for non-traditional students; the kinds that messed up, got up, and never gave up.

Tessie Scroggins, Emily Delman, Allie Emmerich, Nina Lam, Julia Dooley, Steven Chaikelson, and the many other members of the faculty and administration that have worked with me.

Every professor who ever gave me an extension on an assignment; and the few who never had to.

The Cooper Family for their love, support, mentorship, generosity, and professional guidance.

CUPAL, and the entire performing arts community, for allowing me to grow personally and artistically; for giving me a home.

My many friends over many years. I love you all.

One thing to do before graduating? Take stock of the many blessings that led you to Barnard and Columbia, find your Shania, and try the buffalo wings at The Heights.

Any regrets? I don’t know if it matters because I’d rather regret the things I’ve done, than the things I haven’t.

Tommy via Tommy