John Chun lives and works in Seattle, more than 2,400 miles from Morningside Heights—as he did in 2004 when he first encountered the then relatively new website LinkedIn. Seeking to connect with fellow graduates, Chun took the initiative to create an informal group that he called the “Columbia Alumni Network.” As LinkedIn grew, attracting more and more users, Chun’s group became the site’s go-to spot for Columbians of every stripe—allowing them not only to network professionally but also to reconnect with old friends, make new connections, and explore similar professional and personal concerns.
He approached University officials when the group hit 5,000 users; it had grown to about 10,000 when the Columbia Alumni Association agreed to assume administrative responsibilities. Today, the online network connects more than 36,000 alumni worldwide who share a commitment to the University and to each other. It’s just one of several CAA tools that helps thousands maintain ties to their alma mater—and it started with a lone Columbian in the Pacific Northwest.
John Chun ’91CC was recently appointed a superior court judge in King County, Washington. Formerly a partner at Summit Law Group in Seattle, Chun was a trial lawyer and client counselor whose practice focused on employment and complex commercial disputes. He has served as a trustee of the Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington and is currently a board member for the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance. Chun attended Cornell Law School after graduating from Columbia, where he majored in English.
Published: March 2014