past award recipients

    Marc Mazur


A train of political figures powered through Marc Mazur’s childhood home in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. They came to see and to plot with Marc’s dad, Jay Mazur, president of the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union. Commanding personalities, demanding better lives for the union of low-income, highly-stressed immigrant garment workers, they imprinted on Marc a certain purposefulness and drive. For Marc, all that drive led him from football to finance, a route that his father and his father’s friends might not have expected, but eventually onto a familiar path of service. Today, Marc spends nearly half his time serving the needs of others, much of it devoted to helping Columbia student athletes choose the better forks in the roads of their lives, assisted by Marc’s similar experiences since he arrived on Morningside Heights in 1977.

markMazurEnergy exuding from his fast-paced but warm manner, Marc races where he goes, still thrilled by the campus that “made me what I am.” At the Business School he meets a student who used to work for him when he served as CEO of United States office of international hedge fund manager Brevan Howard. On the steps of Low Library he meets Megan Marino, College 2009, daughter of his friend and fellow Columbia football alumnus, Paul Marino, College 1974. In a ceaseless and easy patter of ideas and names pumped out staccato like balls flying out of a tennis ball machine, Marc introduces people to each other, exchanges cards, contemplates opportunities and generates plans, all intended to enhance the life of whomever he addresses.

Bemused at the baffling array of fine colleges soliciting him when he was a high school senior, Marc met a Columbia football coach who did something to clear the miasma. The coach, Bill Campbell, College 1962, later the head of Intuit Inc. and now chairman of Columbia’s Board of Trustees, embraced Marc and held onto him for Columbia. “Bill Campbell came to my house and quickly figured out that he had to sell my mother, Barbara Mazur. She was the one with the power, Bill figured. He did that, and I am ever since grateful,” says Marc, eyes smiling with filial piety for his beloved, late mother. Marc finds young people of talent today, and endeavors to do the same for them. He quickly assesses the energy and the talents of those with whom he interacts, pushing and pulling at the edges of their hopes to nudge them forward.

While at Villanova University Law School, Marc contacted 200 Columbia alumni about job prospects in the New York financial community, seeking an interview, a few minutes on the train, any contact with them that might lead to something of value. Saul Cohen, College 1957, then the general counsel of Lehman Brothers, gave Marc a summer job, with which Marc was able to launch himself into a competitive position in banking at Salomon Brothers when he graduated from law school. There he rose to head Salomon’s London Eurobond trading desk, leaving that firm after three years for Goldman Sachs, where he headed Eurobond sales, trading and origination and, after ten years at Goldman, served as consultant to Chairman Jon Corzine, now governor of New Jersey. A former senior advisor to the Tsinghua Venture Capital Company, of the Tsinghua University in Beijing, and to Think Equity Partners, LLC, a San Francisco-based investment bank, Marc serves as a director of several public and private companies. He now spends his business time as an investment banker serving firms in the financial services and healthcare fields.

Marc, who says he has found the Community Impact programs “hugely inspiring in what they reveal about Columbia and its students,” serves on the executive committee of the board of the Columbia College Alumni Association, and on the boards of directors of each of: the National Association on Drug Abuse Problems, which does training, outplacement and support for people in need who suffer addiction problems; The Jed Foundation, which works to prevent college suicides; and College Track, a Palo Alto-based not-for-profit that provides educational and mentoring support for low-income youth in the San Francisco Bay area.

Marc lives in Pelham Manor, NY, with his wife, Nora, a fine art and antiques appraiser and a member of the Barnard Class of 1981, and his sons, William, who was an Intel Science Talent Search national semi-finalist in 2007, before entering Columbia College’s Class of 2011, and Jamie, a high school sophomore whose unending dedication to Columbia athletics started when he began service as a six-year-old ball boy for the football team.