Current Student Jabari McDonald Receives the Campbell Award for Student Leadership

April 23, 2018

Current Film Student, Jabari McDonald is the recipient of the prestigious 2018 Campbell Award for the School of the Arts. It is the third year in a row that a film student has taken home the award.


The Campbell Award is among The School of General Studies Student Leadership Awards. These are given to individuals that have distinguished themselves with their dedication to leadership and service to the Columbia University community.


Established in 2016 by the University Trustees and the Board of the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA), the Campbell Award recognizes exceptional leadership and Columbia spirit. It is presented by the CAA to a graduating student at each School who has demonstrated a commitment to building the University community and pride.


McDonald is a student from the Film Program. As a producer, he has worked on many films, including his thesis You, the Ocean (directed by Bianca Catbagan), which won the Emerging Filmmakers Production grant and will have its premiere late this year at the Columbia University Film Festival.


“We are thrilled that Jabari McDonald won the prestigious Bill Campbell Award this year for the School of the Arts. While in the Film Program, Jabari has worked on issues of gender and diversity to help students, faculty and staff overcome gaps in understanding and to foster discussions. He has spoken in Town Hall meetings on this topic and helped to re-establish Filmmakers of Color United in Spirit (FOCUS) student group. As a current FOCUS board member, he helps invite filmmakers of color for master classes and panel discussions and helps facilitate conversations regarding race, and discrimination in the film industry," said Maureen Ryan, chair of the Film Department.


This award was named after Bill Campbell, one of the most recognized Columbia alumni. In 1983 he joined a young company, Apple Computer, Inc., as vice president of marketing, and eventually became the CEO of Intuit, the maker of the software applications Quicken and TurboTax. He also became a tech Guru for Steve Jobs of Apple, Larry Page of Google, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon.


Campbell was also Chair Emeritus, University Trustee and CAA co-founder. He passed away on April 17th, 2016


The Campbell Award is offically conferred at the Columbia School of General Studies Class Day ceremony, May 14, 2018.