Columbia’s Alumni Medal to Marvin M. Lipman’54

​Marvin M. Lipman’54 was awarded a 2013 Alumni Medal from Columbia University for contributions that began as an undergraduate at Columbia College and continued at P&S and beyond. He was one of 10 recipients of this year’s medal, which recognizes alumni for distinguished service of 10 years or more to the University.

“I always wanted to go to P&S,” said Dr. Lipman in an interview taped for the fall Columbia Alumni Association Leaders Assembly Gala, which honors alumni medal recipients. “That was my dream.” After graduating from Columbia College, his dream came true; he enrolled at P&S, initiating what he described as the best four years of his life. Medical school was followed by an internship and assistant residency at Presbyterian Hospital, a two-year stint as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in Germany, completion of his residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and then back home to an NIH fellowship in endocrinology under Dr. Joseph Jailer at Columbia.

Since 1967, Dr. Lipman has served as chief medical adviser and editor of Consumer Reports, which has published more than 300 of his articles. He continues to practice medicine as an endocrinologist with the Scarsdale Medical Group. He is clinical professor emeritus at New York Medical College, where he taught for nearly 30 years. 

He has chaired his P&S class since graduating in 1954 and in 2004 was instrumental in organizing fundraising for his 50th P&S reunion. He and classmate P. Roy Vagelos achieved a first among reunion classes: 100 percent of the class donated funds. Hoping that subsequent classes may achieve the same milestone, Dr. Lipman adds, “Sixty home runs stood for a long time…until Roger Maris came along.” In 2008, the P&S Alumni Association honored him with its Gold Medal for Meritorious Service. He currently serves as treasurer of the P&S Alumni Council.

Dr. Lipman and his wife, Naomi Loeb Lipman (a 1951 Barnard graduate), have four children.

“When you’re a student, the college invests in you,” he said. “When you graduate, you take that investment with you for the rest of your life. The college becomes a part of you.”