Carlos V. Cruz
Carlos V. Cruz ’88CC, earned his BA in Economics. Raised at the Marcy Avenue projects in Brooklyn and in South Texas by immigrants from Panama and Mexico, Cruz learned the beauty of bringing diverse people together and the power of community, an outlook that he put into practice in his vast extracurricular involvement at Columbia. As multi-year President of Columbia Pride and Development and Communications Chair of the Latino Alumni Association of Columbia University (LAACU), sometimes simultaneously with his Pride Board service, he takes great pleasure in helping amplify and support the LAACU and Pride Scholarships at Columbia College, the David Roye, MD, Pride Visiting Medical Student Scholarship at Columbia Orthopedics, and the Alumbra Scholarship at The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). The Pride Scholarship surpassed its fundraising goal in first year and more than doubled the total dollar amount of gifts in its second year. The Alumbra Scholarship at SEAS received over $90,000 in donations during its first year. Moreover, serving as a 1754 Society ambassador, Cruz hopes to teach Columbians on the many ways to leave a legacy at Alma Mater. Cruz continues to be inspired by the ideas, accomplishments, and character of his alumni friends, knowing what a resource they can be for each other. He created and partnered with other Columbia groups to program numerous in-person and online events during the pandemic, including alumni book releases, a virtual wine tasting, restoring a Columbia tradition, the Pride Dance at Earl Hall, and get-togethers in Los Angeles and London. With his work on social media, Columbia Pride now has over 1,000 followers on Instagram. One of Cruz's greatest joys in volunteering is guiding students at the Center for Career Education and the Odyssey Mentoring Program. Following his work, right after graduation, with Columbia Undergraduate Admissions, Cruz embarked on a career in supply chain, product development, sourcing, and merchandising where he has risen to positions of leadership at Gap, Inc. and Target, helped structure startups, and consulted.