Graduation 2014: P&S Professor Receives Alumni Medal

Donald Quest

Donald O. Quest, the J. Lawrence Pool Professor of Neurological Surgery at P&S, was presented with an Alumni Medal by Columbia President Lee Bollinger for distinguished service to the University. Dr. Quest, a 1970 graduate of P&S, was one of 10 alumni who received medals during the Columbia University commencement on the Morningside campus May 21.

Alumni medals are given to graduates who are recognized for building Columbia’s community—whether regionally, online, in specific schools, or in cross-campus initiatives. Alumni medalists also are honored each fall at the Columbia Alumni Association Leaders Assembly Gala.

The Alumni Medal, first awarded in 1933, recognizes alumni for distinguished service of 10 years or more to the University—including university schools, alumni associations, regional Columbia Clubs, and University-wide initiatives.

Dr. Quest, who also is an assistant dean of students, attended the University of Illinois on a Navy scholarship and served in combat as a U.S. Navy aviator aboard the USS Kittyhawk in Vietnam. After graduating from P&S, he spent two years as an intern and resident at Massachusetts General Hospital before returning to the Neurological Institute of New York. He joined the Columbia faculty upon completion of his training.

He has served as vice chairman and acting chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery. An active member of the P&S Alumni Association for many years, he is a past president of the association. “In large measure P&S and Columbia have made me what I am. I have been able to fulfill my dream of becoming a doctor, serve my patients, and help lead my department and the medical school in becoming the best that it can be. I am most impressed, even amazed, at the breadth and depth of excellence that makes up the essence of Columbia and am grateful and proud to be a part of it.”