Columbia SoCal began as early as the 1930s and became incorporated in the 70s. This non-profit organization is supported by the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) which was founded in 2005 with an opening gala at New York's Museum of Modern Art. In 2007, the CAA launched in Europe with the marquee "CAA Paris 2007" event, featuring a conference with notables such as Kofi Annan, Jeff Sachs, Joe Stiglitz, and Orhan Pamuk, as well as school-based receptions, and a semi-formal gala.
The CAA has grown to support over 100 alumni clubs and shared interest groups, an online Alumni Directory and numerous social networks facilitating unlimited connections, a suite of career resources, and opportunities to connect in person through social, cultural, and intellectual programs.
In 2012, Lee C. Bollinger launched a Presidential Task Force to look at the next five years of the CAA. The CAA 2017 Strategic Plan lies out a healthy future for our Columbia connections and the possibilities of our alma mater, with a focus on five areas:
- School-based relationships and collaborations
- Volunteer development and empowerment
- Best practices
- CAA Awareness