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Columbia University in the City of New York (commonly known as Columbia University, or simply Columbia) is a private university in the United States and a member of the Ivy League. Columbia's main campus lies in the Morningside Heightsmarker neighborhood in the borough of Manhattanmarker, in New York City. It was founded in 1754 as King's College by royal charter of George II of Great Britain, and is one of only two United States universities to have been founded under such authority. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New Yorkmarker, and is the sixth oldest in the United States making it one of the country's original colonial colleges. After the American Revolutionary War, it was briefly chartered as a state entity from 1784-1787. The university now operates under a 1787 charter that places the institution under a private board of trustees.

Columbia annually awards the Pulitzer Prizes and is one of 14 founding members of the Association of American Universities. More Nobel Prize winners are affiliated with Columbia than with any other institution in the world. Notable alumni and affiliates include five Founding Fathers of the United States, four United States Presidents, nine Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Statesmarker, 96 Pulitzer Prize winners, 92 Nobel Prize winners, and 20 Academy Award winners. Columbia University currently has two global centers in Ammanmarker, Jordanmarker and Beijing, Chinamarker. It was ranked 4th in the world in the 2009 Global University Ranking out of over 15,000 universities.


Morningside Heights

The majority of Columbia's graduate and undergraduate studies are conducted in Morningside Heightsmarker on Seth Low's late-19th century vision of a university campus where all disciplines could be taught in one location. The campus was designed along Beaux-Arts principles by acclaimed architects McKim, Mead, and White.

Mathematics Building

Columbia's main campus occupies more than six city blocks, or 32 acres (132,000 m²), in Morningside Heightsmarker, New York City, a neighborhood that contains a number of academic institutions. The university owns over 7,800 apartments in Morningside Heights, housing faculty, graduate students, and staff. Almost two dozen undergraduate dormitories (purpose-built or converted) are located on campus or in Morningside Heights. Columbia University has an extensive underground tunnel system more than a century old, with the oldest portions predating the present campus. Some of these remain open to students, while others are closed to the public.

New buildings and structures on the campus, especially those built after Second World War, have often only been constructed after a contentious process often involving open debate and community protest. Often the complaints raised during periods of expansion have included issues beyond the debate over construction of designs that diverged from the original McKim, Mead, and White plan. Protests often involved complaints against the university administration. This was the case with Uris Hall, built in the 1960s and more recently with Alfred Lerner Hall, a deconstructivist structure completed in 1998 and designed by Columbia's then-Dean of Architecture, Bernard Tschumi. These same issues have surfaced in the debate over future expansion into Manhattanvillemarker.

Columbia's library system includes over 9.5 million volumes.

Several buildings on the Morningside Heights campus are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Low Memorial Librarymarker, a National Historic Landmark and the centerpiece of the campus, is listed for its architectural significance. Philosophy Hallmarker is listed as the site of the invention of FM radio. Also listed is Pupin Hallmarker, another National Historic Landmark, which houses the physics and astronomy departments. Here the first experiments on the fission of uranium were conducted by Enrico Fermi. The uranium atom was split there ten days after the world's first atom-splitting in Copenhagen, Denmarkmarker.

Other campuses

Health-related schools are located at the Columbia University Medical Center, located in the neighborhood of Washington Heightsmarker, fifty blocks uptown. Columbia also owns the Baker Field, which includes the Lawrence A.marker Wien Stadiummarker as well as facilities for field sports, outdoor track and tennis, at the northern tip of Manhattan island (in the neighborhood of Inwood). There is a third campus on the west bank of the Hudson River, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatorymarker in Palisades, New Yorkmarker. A fourth is the Nevis Laboratories in Irvington, New Yorkmarker. A satellite site in Paris holds classes at Reid Hall.

University Hospital

New York-Presbyterian Hospital is affiliated with medical schools of both Columbia University and Cornell Universitymarker. According to the US News and World Reports "Americas Best Hospitals 2009", it is ranked sixth overall and third among university hospitals. Columbia Medical School has a strategic partnership with New York State Psychiatric Institute. Columbia is also affiliated with nineteen hospitals in the US and four hospitals overseas.

Alma Mater

Alma Mater

This name refers to a statue on the steps (see right) of Low Memorial Librarymarker by sculptor Daniel Chester French. There is a small owl "hidden" on the sculpture. Alma Mater is also the subject of many Columbia legends. The main legends include that the first student in the freshmen class to find the hidden owl on the statue will be valedictorian, and that any subsequent Barnard student who finds it will marry a Columbia man, given that Barnard is a women's college.

Butler Library

The main library, packed during midterms and finals weeks, has three main parts: the stacks, the study rooms, and the cafe. During finals, to get a spot at Butler, students awaken early and compete for a seat.Butler houses 1.9 million of the university's 9.2 million volumes, mostly in the humanities and history. Unlike the libraries of most other schools, Butler remains at least partially open 24 hours a day and acts as a center of late night studying. Butler also houses Columbia University's Rare Books and Manuscripts Library (including the Columbiana University Archives), the Philip L. Milstein Undergraduate Library, the Oral History collection, and the Butler Media Collection. Butler Library is one of two dozen libraries on campus, mostly distinguished by subject disciplines.

Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library

Avery Hall

The Avery Library is the largest library of architecture in the United States and among, if not the, largest in the world. The library contains more than 400,000 volumes, of which most are non-circulating and must be read on site. One of the library's major undertakings is the "Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals", which is one of the foremost international resources for locating citations to architecture and related topics in periodical literature. The Avery Index covers periodicals thoroughly from present day back to the 1930s, with limited coverage dating to the nineteenth century.

Residence halls

First-year students usually live in one of the large residence halls situated around South Lawn: Hartley Hall, Wallach Hall , John Jay Hall, Furnald Hall or Carman Hall. The East Campus is another large on-campus residential complex. There are several dorms immediately off-campus, such as Hogan Hall, McBain Hall, Schapiro Hall, Broadway Hall, Wien Hall, River, Harmony Hall and a variety of smaller buildings.

The Steps

"The Steps", alternatively known as "Low Steps" or the "Urban Beach", are a popular meeting area for Columbia students. The term refers to the long series of granite steps leading from the lower part of campus (South Field) to its upper terrace. On warm days, the steps become crowded with students conversing, reading, or sunbathing. Occasionally, they play host to film screenings and concerts. The King's Crown Shakespeare Troupe annually performs an outdoor play on the steps. The design of the steps is modeled after the architecture in Raphael's "The School of Athens", a fresco in the Vatican.


The sundial as it originally appeared before the removal of the granite sphere
This elevated stone pedestal at the center of the main campus quadrangle now serves as a podium for speeches. Originally there was a large granite sphere on the pedestal that marked the time with its shadow. It sat upon the pedestal from approximately 1914 to 1946, when it was removed due to cracking. The ball was assumed destroyed until it was discovered intact in a Michigan field in 2001. As of 2006, it seems unlikely that the sundial will be restored.


Columbia's most famous online contribution has been Go Ask Alice!, which, since 1993, has provided students and the general public with frank and progressive answers to anonymously posted health questions. Topics covered include drug abuse, sexuality, and interpersonal and romantic relationships. The site receives approximately 2,000 questions a week.

In recent years, new outlets for Columbia student life have opened online. Some, such as the Bwog, the blog of the undergraduate magazine The Blue and White and a medium for campus gossip, and the professor ratings site CULPA (the Columbia Underground Listing of Professor Ability), have flourished. CULPA, established in 1997 and unaffiliated officially with the university, allows students to anonymously post their own reviews of their professors. It is regarded as one of the most useful tools for students looking to enroll in a class, boasting over 10,000 reviews. Because of the candid nature of the submissions, the site has occasionally been accused of harboring biased reviews and misrepresenting professors. Still, it is the main source of professor review currently available to the Columbia student body.

Students have launched a number of other, sometimes pioneering, websites. CU Community was a popular online networking website created by Adam Goldberg (SEAS ´06) containing 85% of the undergraduate student body, that later rebranded itself CampusNetwork and launched across several universities, before succumbing to its long-time competitor, Facebook. The Columbia Daily Spectator launched a blog called SpecBlogs, but this has also since been shut down. Other ventures have been more successful. Carsplit, also created by Adam Goldberg (SEAS ´06), launched in 2005 as a way for students to split the cost of taking a taxi to the airport. Usage peaks during winter break where, last year, over 1,000 students used the service. CU Snacks, authored by Brandon Arbiter (SEAS ´06) was one of the first online, late night snack delivery services. It started from Wien Residence Hall in 2004 and, although it remains completely student-run, it is now part of the experiential education program of Columbia's Center for Career Education. A more recent launch was WikiCU,, a student-run wiki about Columbia University and its surrounding neighborhood of Morningside Heights.


Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in the state of New Yorkmarker. Founded and chartered as King's College in 1754, Columbia is the sixth-oldest such institution in the United States (by date of founding; fifth by date of chartering). After the American Revolutionary War, King's College was renamed Columbia College in 1784, and in 1896 it was further renamed Columbia University. Columbia has grown over time to encompass twenty schools and affiliated institutions.

King's College: 1754–1784

Trinity Church schoolyard, the first home of King's College c.1755, as imagined in a 1954 illustration created for Columbia's bicentennial.
(Columbia University Archives)
Discussions regarding the foundation of a college in the Province of New York began as early as 1704, but serious consideration of such proposals was not entertained until the early 1750s, when local graduates of Yalemarker and members of the congregation of Trinity Churchmarker (then Church of England, now Episcopal) in New York City became alarmed by the establishment of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton Universitymarker). Concerns arose both because it was founded by "new-light" Presbyterians influenced by the evangelical Great Awakening and, as it was located in the province just across the Hudson River, because it provoked fears of New York developing a cultural and intellectual inferiority. They established their own 'rival' institution, King's College, and elected as its first president Samuel Johnson. Classes began on July 17, 1754 in Trinity Church yard, with Johnson as the sole faculty member. A few months later, on October 31, 1754, Great Britain's King George II officially granted a royal charter for the college. In 1760, King's College moved to its own building at Park Place, near the present City Hallmarker, and in 1767 it established the first American medical school to grant the M.D. degree.

Controversy surrounded the founding of the new college in New York, as it was a thoroughly Church of England institution dominated by the influence of Crown officials in its governing body, such as the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Secretary of State for the Colonies. Fears of the establishment of a Church of England episcopacy and of Crown influence in America through King's College were underpinned by its vast wealth, far surpassing all other colonial colleges of the period.

King's College Hall, 1770
The American Revolution and the subsequent war were catastrophic for King's College. It suspended instruction in 1776, and remained so for eight years, beginning with the arrival of the Continental Army in the spring of that year and continuing with the military occupation of New York City by British troops until their departure in 1783. The college's library was looted and its sole building requisitioned for use as a military hospital first by American and then British forces. Additionally, many of the college's alumni, primarily Loyalists, fled to Canada or Great Britain in the war's aftermath, leaving its future governance and financial status in question.

Although the college had been considered a bastion of Tory sentiment, it nevertheless produced many key leaders of the Revolutionary generation - individuals later instrumental in the college's revival. Among the earliest students and trustees of King's College were five "founding fathers" of the United States: John Jay, who negotiated the Treaty of Paris between the United States and Great Britain, ending the Revolutionary War, and who later became the first Chief Justice of the United States; Alexander Hamilton, military aide to General George Washington, author of most of the Federalist Papers, and the first Secretary of the Treasury; Gouverneur Morris, the author of the final draft of the United States Constitution; and Robert R. Livingston, a member of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence.

Hamilton's first experience with the military came while a student during the summer of 1775, after the outbreak of fighting at Bostonmarker. Along with Nicholas Fish, Robert Troup, and a group of other students from King's he joined a volunteer militia company called the "Hearts of Oak" – Hamilton achieving the rank of Lieutenant. They adopted distinctive uniforms, complete with the words "Liberty or Death" on their hatbands, and drilled under the watchful eye of a former British officer in the graveyard of the nearby St. Paul's Chapel. In August 1775, while under fire from the HMS Asia, the Hearts of Oak (a.k.a. the "Corsicans") participated in a successful raid to seize cannon from the Batterymarker, becoming an artillery unit thereafter. Ironically, in 1776 Captain Hamilton would engage in and survive the Battle of Harlem Heights, which took place on and around the site that would become home to his Alma Mater over a century later, only to be - after his dueling death twenty-eight years later - entombed on the site of the first home for King's College in the Trinity Church yard.

Early Columbia College: 1784–1857

After the war, the remaining members of the Board of Governors of King's sought to resuscitate the college, petitioning the Legislature of New York to "make such alterations in the Charter as the changed condition of affairs might demand." The Legislature agreed, and on May 1, 1784, it passed "an Act for granting certain privileges to the College heretofore called King's College." The Act created a Board of Regents to oversee the resuscitation of King's, giving them the power to hire a college president and appoint professors, but prohibiting the College from administering any "religious test-oath" to its faculty. Finally, in an effort to demonstrate its support for the new Republic, the Legislature stipulated that "the College within the City of New York heretofore called King's College be forever hereafter called and known by the name of Columbia College."

On May 5, 1784, the Regents held their first meeting, instructing Treasurer Brockholst Livingston and Secretary Robert Harpur (who was Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at King's) to recover the books, records and any other assets that had been dispersed during the war, and appointing a committee to supervise the repairs of the college building. In addition, the Regents moved quickly to rebuild Columbia's faculty, appointing William Cochran instructor of Greek and Latin.

In the summer of 1784, after the legislature passed the act restoring the college, Major General James Clinton, a hero of the revolutionary war, brought his son DeWitt Clinton to New York on his way to enroll him as a student at the College of New Jersey. When James Duane, the Mayor of New York and a member of the Regents, heard that the younger Clinton was leaving the state for his education, he pleaded with Cochran to offer him admission to the reconstituted Columbia. Cochran agreed - in no small part due to the fact that DeWitt's uncle, George Clinton, the Governor of New York, had recently been elected Chancellor of the College by the Regents - and DeWitt Clinton became one of nine students admitted to Columbia that year.

As the state proved negligent in its funding of the institution, this arrangement became increasingly unsatisfactory for both. An expansion of the Regents to 20 New York City residents had placed Hamilton and Jay at the helm, and they, along with Duane, argued for privatization of the college. In 1787 a new charter was adopted for the college, still in use today, granting power to a private board of Trustees. Samuel Johnson's son, William Samuel Johnson, became its president.

College Hall in 1790
a period in the 1790s, with New York City as the federal and state capital and the country under successive Federalist governments, a revived Columbia thrived under the auspices of Federalists such as Hamilton and Jay. George Washington, notably, attended the commencement of 1790, and nascent interest in legal education commenced under Professor James Kent. As the state and country transitioned to a considerably more Jeffersonian era, however, the college's good fortunes began to dry up. The primary difficulty was funding; the college, already receiving less from the state following its privatization, was beset with even more financial difficulties as hostile politicians took power and as new upstate colleges, particularly Hamilton and Unionmarker, lobbied effectively for subsidies. What Columbia did receive was Manhattan real estate, which would only later prove lucrative.

Columbia's performance flagged for the remainder of the 19th century's first half. The law faculty never managed to thrive during this period, and in 1807 the medical school, hoping to arrest its decline, broke off to merge with the independent College of Physicians and Surgeons. Contention between students and faculty were highlighted by the "Riotous Commencement" of 1811, in which students violently protested the faculty's decision not to confer a degree upon John Stevenson, who had inserted objectionable words into his commencement speech. Though the college was finally able to shake its embarrassing reputation for structural shabbiness by adding several wings to College Hall and refinishing it in the more fashionable Greek Revival style, the effort failed to halt Columbia's long-term downturn, and was soon overshadowed by the Gibbs Affair of 1854, in which famed chemistry professor Oliver Wolcott Gibbs was denied a professorship at the college, from which he had graduated, due to his Unitarian affiliation. The event demonstrated to many, including frustrated diarist and trustee George Templeton Strong, the narrow-mindedness of the institution. By July, 1854 the Christian Examiner of Boston, in an article entitled "The Recent Difficulties at Columbia College", noted that the school was "good in classics" yet "weak in sciences", and had "very few distinguished graduates".

Expansion and the move to Madison Avenue

In 1857, the College moved from Park Place to a primarily Gothic Revival campus on 49th Street and Madison Avenue, where it remained for the next fifty years. The transition to the new campus coincided with a new outlook for the college; during the commencement of that year, College President Charles King proclaimed Columbia "a university". During the last half of the nineteenth century, under the leadership of President F.A.P. Barnard, the institution rapidly assumed the shape of a true modern university. Columbia Law School was founded in 1858, and in 1864 the School of Mines, the country's first such institution and the precursor to today's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, was established. Barnard Collegemarker for women, established by the eponymous Columbia president, was established in 1889; the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons came under the aegis of the University in 1891, followed by Teachers College, Columbia University in 1893. The Graduate Faculties in Political Science, Philosophy, and Pure Science awarded its first PhD in 1875. This period also witnessed the inauguration of Columbia's participation in intercollegiate sports, with the creation of the baseball team in 1867, the organization of the football team in 1870, and the creation of a crew team by 1873. The first intercollegiate Columbia football game was a 6-3 loss to Rutgersmarker. The Columbia Daily Spectator began publication during this period as well, in 1877.

Morningside Heights

Development of the Morningside Heights campus by 1915
In 1896, the trustees officially authorized the use of yet another new name, Columbia University, and today the institution is officially known as "Columbia University in the City of New York." Additionally, the engineering school was renamed the "School of Mines, Engineering and Chemistry." At the same time, University president Seth Low moved the campus again, from 49th Street to its present location, a more spacious (and, at the time, more rural) campus in the developing neighborhood of Morningside Heightsmarker. The site was formerly occupied by the Bloomingdale Lunatic Asylum. One of the asylum's buildings, the warden's cottage (later known as East Hall and Buell Hall), is still standing today.

The building often depicted as emblematic of Columbia is the centerpiece of the Morningside Heights campus, Low Memorial Librarymarker. Constructed in 1895, the building is still referred to as "Low Library" although it has not functioned as a library since 1934. It currently houses the offices of the President and Provost, the Visitor's Center, the Trustees' Room and Columbia Security. Patterned loosely on the Classical Pantheonmarker, it is surmounted by the largest all-granite dome in the United States.

Under the leadership of Low's successor, Nicholas Murray Butler, Columbia rapidly became the nation's major institution for research, setting the "multiversity" model that later universities would adopt. On the Morningside Heights campus, Columbia centralized on a single campus the College, the School of Law, the Graduate Faculties, the School of Mines (predecessor of the Engineering School), and the College of Physicians & Surgeons. Butler went on to serve as president of Columbia for over four decades and became a giant in American public life (as one-time vice presidential candidate and a Nobel Laureate). His introduction of "downtown" business practices in university administration led to innovations in internal reforms such as the centralization of academic affairs, the direct appointment of registrars, deans, provosts, and secretaries, as well as the formation of a professionalized university bureaucracy, unprecedented among American universities at the time.

In 1893 the Columbia University Press was founded in order to "promote the study of economic, historical, literary, scientific and other subjects; and to promote and encourage the publication of literary works embodying original research in such subjects." Among its publications are The Columbia Encyclopedia, first published in 1935, and The Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer of the World, first published in 1952.

In 1902, New York newspaper magnate Joseph Pulitzer donated a substantial sum to the University for the founding of a school to teach journalism. The result was the 1912 opening of the Graduate School of Journalismmarker — the only journalism school in the Ivy League. The school is the administrator of the Pulitzer Prize and the duPont-Columbia Award in broadcast journalism.

In 1904 Columbia organized adult education classes into a formal program called Extension Teaching (later renamed University Extension). Courses in Extension Teaching eventually give rise to the Columbia Writing Program, the Columbia Business School, and the School of Dentistry and Oral Surgery.

Columbia Business School was added in the early 20th century. During the first half of the 20th Century Columbia and Harvard Universitymarker had the largest endowments in the United States.

Archetypal Columbia man, from a 1902 poster

By the late 1930s, a Columbia student could study with the likes of Jacques Barzun, Paul Lazarsfeld, Mark Van Doren, Lionel Trilling, and I. I. Rabi. The University's graduates during this time were equally accomplished — for example, two alumni of Columbia's Law School, Charles Evans Hughes and Harlan Fiske Stone (who also held the position of Law School dean), served successively as Chief Justices of the United States. Dwight Eisenhower served as Columbia's president from 1948 until he became the President of the United States in 1953.

Research into the atom by faculty members John R. Dunning, I. I. Rabi, Enrico Fermi and Polykarp Kusch placed Columbia's Physics Department in the international spotlight in the 1940s after the first nuclear pile was built to start what became the Manhattan Project.

Following the end of World War II, the School of International Affairs was founded in 1946. Focusing on developing diplomats and foreign affairs specialists, the school began by offering the Master of International Affairs. To satisfy an increasing desire for skilled public service professionals at home and abroad, the School added the Master of Public Administration degree in 1977. In 1981, the School was renamed the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). The School introduced an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy in 2001 and, in 2004, SIPA inaugurated its first doctoral program — the interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Sustainable Development.

In 1947, to meet the needs of GIs returning from World War II, University Extension was reorganized as an undergraduate college and designated the Columbia University School of General Studies. While the former university extension had granted the B.S. degree since 1921, the School of General Studies first granted the B.A. degree in 1968 and is now considered one of the three colleges of Columbia University (CC, SEAS, GS).

Earl Hall houses the Department of Religion at Columbia.

Pro Ecclesia Dei, St. Paul's Chapel of Columbia University offers sanctuary for spiritual solace on campus.

Columbia College first admitted women in the fall of 1983, after a decade of failed negotiations with Barnard Collegemarker, an all female institution affiliated with the University, to merge the two schools. Barnard College still remains affiliated with Columbia, and all Barnard graduates are issued diplomas authorized by both Columbia University and Barnard College.

In 1990 the Faculty of Arts & Sciences was created, unifying the faculties of Columbia College, the School of General Studies, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of International and Public Affairs.

In 1997, the Columbia Engineering School was renamed the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, in honor of Chinese businessman Z. Y. Fu, who gave Columbia $26 million. The school is popularly referred to as "SEAS" or simply "the engineering school."

Manhattanville Campus Expansion

As of April 2007, the university had purchased more than two-thirds of the sought for a new campus in Manhattanvillemarker, an industrial neighborhood to the north of the Morningside Heights campus. Stretching from 125th Street to 133rd Street, the new campus would house buildings for Columbia's schools of business and the arts and allow the construction of the Jerome L. Greene Center for Mind, Brain, and Behavior, where research will occur on neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The $7 billion expansion plan includes demolishing all buildings, except three that are historically significant, eliminating the existing light industry and storage warehouses, and relocating tenants in 132 apartments. Replacing these buildings will be of space for the University. The space will be used for additional teaching, critical research, and auxiliary services. Designed by Pritzker prize winning architect Renzo Piano, the will include more accessible pedestrian streets and additional public open spaces.

According to the 2006 Environmental Impact Statement certified by the Department of City Planning, almost 300 people would be displaced from the project zone, and almost 3,300 would be displaced from areas surrounding it. Community activist groups in West Harlem fought the expansion for reasons ranging from property protection and fair exchange for land, to residents' rights. Subsequent public hearings drew neighborhood opposition. Most recently, as of December 2008, the State of New York's Empire State Development Corporation approved use of eminent domain, which, through declaration of Manhattanville's "blighted" status, gives governmental bodies the right to appropriate private property for public use. On May 20, 2009, the New York Public Authorities Control Board approved the Manhanttanville expansion plan.


Admissions and financial aid

Van Am Quad
In 2009, Columbia College admitted 8.9% of applicants for the Class of 2013, one of the lowest rates in the country. The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences admitted 14.4%, a record for the School.

Columbia is also a racially diverse school, with approximately 52% of all students identifying themselves as persons of color. Additionally, 50.3% of all undergraduates in the Class of 2013 will be receiving financial aid. The average financial aid package for these students exceeds $30,000, with an average grant size of over $20,000.

On April 11, 2007, Columbia University announced a $400m to $600m donation from media billionaire alumnus John Kluge to be used exclusively for undergraduate financial aid. The donation is among the largest single gifts to higher education. Its exact value will depend on the eventual value of Kluge's estate at the time of his death; however, the generous donation has helped change financial aid policy at Columbia. The University was able to extend financial aid offerings to more students; Columbia now has one of the most comprehensive financial aid policies among the nation's colleges and universities.

Undergraduate students in Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science with family income under $60,000 are not expected to pay tuition, room, board, and other fees. At the same time, all students who are eligible for financial aid (regardless of income), in lieu of loans, will be awarded University grants. However, this does not apply to international students, transfer students, nor students from the School of General Studies.

Whether a prospective international Columbia College student can pay the fees, will affect the admission decision:"Foreign students seeking financial aid should be aware that their admissions applications are read in a more selective process"


Columbia has three undergraduate institutions:
Rotunda in Low Library

Columbia also has a number of graduate and professional schools, including: The university is affiliated with Barnard Collegemarker, Teachers College, the Union Theological Seminarymarker, and the Jewish Theological Seminary of Americamarker, all located nearby in Morningside Heights. A joint undergraduate program is available through the Jewish Theological Seminary of Americamarker as well as through the Juilliard Schoolmarker.


The undergraduate school of Columbia University is ranked 8th (tied with University of Chicagomarker) among national universities by U.S. News & World Report (USNWR),. Columbia College is the third most selective school in the Ivy League behind Harvard and Yale. Columbia is ranked third, behind Harvard and Yale, among Ivy League institutions, by the Times Higher Education Supplement.

Columbia is ranked 7th among world universities and 6th among universities in the Americas by Shanghai Jiao Tong Universitymarker, 13th by Forbes, 2nd in Internet Media Buzz by the Global Language Monitor,, 10th in the top 50 for Social Sciences,10th among world universities and 6th in North America by the THES - QS World University Rankings, 10th among "global universities" by Newsweek, and 1st in the U.S. among both national research universities by the Center for Measuring University Performance. According to the National Research Council, graduate programs are ranked 2nd nationally.

According to the U.S. News & World Report, The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, home to the Pulitzer Prize, ranks #1. Teachers College (Columbia's Graduate School of Education) ranks #3. School of Social Work ranks #4. The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) ranks #3, according to Architect magazine's November 2007 issue. Columbia Law School ranks #4. The Mailman School of Public Health ranks #3. Columbia Business School ranks #9, #2 according to The Financial Times, and #3 according to Fortune Magazine. Columbia's medical school, called the College of Physicians and Surgeons, ranks #10. According to Foreign Policy magazine, the School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) PhD program (overall) in international relations is ranked #2, and the Master's program (policy area) is ranked #2. Finally, Columbia's Institute of Human Nutrition ranks #1, according to The Chronicle for Higher Education.

Columbia received an overall grade of "A-" on the Sustainable Endowment Institute's College Sustainability Report Card 2009. Columbia was one of 15 schools, out of 300 in the U.S. and Canada, to receive this grade. No college received an "A."

High School Programs

Columbia University's Summer Program for High School Students offers highly motivated students the opportunity of classes in the summer. The Summer Programs for High School Students in New York City, Barcelona, and the Middle East are renowned for their academic rigor and instructional excellence.

Columbia also offers a program called the Columbia University Science Honors Program, which attracts high school students (sophomores, juniors, and seniors). The program is highly competitive, admitting about one-sixth of applicants who are selected based on their transcripts, student-written essays, a teacher recommendation, and a three-hour science and math test. It offers college-level courses in science and math every Saturday during the academic year.

Student life


Journalism School Building

Columbia University is home to a rich diversity of undergraduate, graduate, and professional publications.

The Columbia Daily Spectator is the nation's second-oldest student newspaper; and The Blue and White, a monthly literary magazine established in 1890, has recently begun to delve into campus life and local politics in print and on its daily blog, dubbed the Bwog.

Political publications include The Current , a journal of politics, culture and Jewish Affairs; the Columbia Political Review, the multi-partisan political magazine of the Columbia Political Union; and AdHoc, which denotes itself as the "progressive" campus magazine and deals largely with local political issues and arts events.

Arts and literary publications include the Columbia Review, the nation's oldest college literary magazine; Columbia, a nationally regarded literary journal; the Columbia Journal of Literary Criticism; and The Mobius Strip, an online arts and literary magazine.

Inside New York is an annual guidebook to New York City, written, edited, and published by Columbia undergraduates. Through a distribution agreement with Columbia University Press, the book is sold at major retailers and independent bookstores.

Columbia is home to numerous undergraduate academic publications. The Journal of Politics & Society, is a journal of undergraduate research in the social sciences, published and distributed nationally by the Helvidius Group; the Columbia East Asian Review allows undergraduates throughout the world to publish original work on China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, and Vietnam and is supported by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute; and The Birch, is an undergraduate journal of Eastern European and Eurasian culture that is the first national student-run journal of its kind; and the Columbia Science Review is a science magazine that prints general interest articles, faculty profiles, and student research papers.

The Fed a triweekly satire and investigative newspaper; and the Jester of Columbia, the newly (and frequently) revived campus humor magazine both inject humor into local life.

Other publications include The Columbian, the second oldest collegiate yearbook in the nation; the Gadfly, a biannual journal of popular philosophy produced by undergraduates; and Rhapsody in Blue, an undergraduate urban studies magazine.

Professional journals published by academic departments at Columbia University include Current Musicology and The Journal of Philosophy. During the spring semester, graduate students in the Journalism School publish The Bronx Beat, a bi-weekly newspaper covering the South Bronx. Teachers College publishes the Teachers College Record, a journal of research, analysis, and commentary in the field of education, published continuously since 1900.


Columbia is home to two pioneers in undergraduate student broadcasting, WKCR-FM and CTV.

WKCRmarker, the student run radio station broadcasts to the Tri-State area and claims to be the oldest FM radio station in the world, owing to the University's affiliation with Major Edwin Armstrong. The station currently has its studios on the second floor of Alfred Lerner Hall on the Morningside campus with its main transmitter tower at 4 Times Square in Midtown Manhattan.

Columbia Television (CTV) is the nation's second oldest student television station and home of CTV News, a weekly live news program produced by undergraduate students. CTV transmits a cablecast and webcast from its studio in Alfred Lerner Hall.

Speech and debate

The Philolexian Society is a literary and debating club founded in 1802, making it the oldest student group at Columbia, as well as the third oldest collegiate literary society in the country. It has many famous alumni, and administers the Joyce Kilmer Bad Poetry Contest (see below).

The Columbia Parliamentary Debate Team, competes in tournaments around the country as part of the American Parliamentary Debate Association, and hosts both high school and college tournaments on Columbia's campus, as well as public debates on issues affecting the university.

Greek life

Columbia University is home to many fraternities, sororities, and co-educational Greek organizations. Approximately 10–15% of undergraduate students are associated with Greek life. There has been a Greek presence on campus since the establishment in 1842 of the Lambda Chapter of Psi Upsilon. Today, there are thirteen NIC fraternities on the campus, four NPC sororities five multicultural Greek organizations, and five historically Black Fraternities and Sororities.

Entrepreneurship at Columbia

The Columbia University Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs (CORE) was founded in 1999. The student-run group aims to foster entrepreneurship on campus. Each year CORE hosts dozens of events, including a business plan competition and a series of seminars. Recent seminar speakers include Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and Chairman of HDNet, and Blake Ross, creator of Mozilla Firefox. As of 2006, CORE has awarded graduate and undergraduate students with over $100,000 in seed capital. Events are possible through the contributions of various private and corporate groups; previous sponsors include Deloitte & Touche, Citigroup, and i-Compass.

There are currently over 2,000 members in CORE. The organization is governed by its executive board, which comprises fifteen undergraduates.

The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science offers a minor in Technical Entrepreneurship through its enter for Technology, Innovation, and Community Engagement, while the Graduate School of Business offers a program in Entrepreneurship.


The Columbia University Orchestra was founded by composer Edward MacDowell in 1896, and is the oldest continually operating university orchestra in the United States. Undergraduate student composers at Columbia may choose to become involved with Columbia New Music, which sponsors concerts of music written by undergraduate students from all of Columbia's schools.

The Columbia University Marching Band, America's first college marching band to convert to the "scramble band" format, is perhaps Columbia's most notorious student group, due to both its penchant for edgy humor and its central role in campus traditions such as Orgo Night. For this reason, the Band is frequently seen on campus performing as more of a humor or comedy group rather than or in addition to its role as a spirit group, although it does also cheer and play songs at Columbia football and basketball games, just as a traditional marching band would.

There are a number of performing arts groups at Columbia dedicated to producing student theater, including the Columbia Players, King's Crown Shakespeare Troupe (KCST), Columbia Musical Theater Society (CMTS), New and Original Material Authored by Students (NOMADS), Columbia University Performing Arts League (CUPAL), Black Theatre Ensemble (BTE), sketch comedy group Chowdah, and improvisational troupes Fruit Paunch and Alfred.

The Columbia Queer Alliance is the central Columbia student organization that represents the lesbian, gay, transgender, and questioning student population. It is the oldest gay student organization in the world, founded as the Student Homophile League in 1966 by students including lifelong activist Stephen Donaldson.

Columbia University campus military groups include the U.S. Military Veterans of Columbia University and Advocates for Columbia ROTC. In the 2005-06 academic year, the Columbia Military Society, Columbia's student group for ROTC cadets and Marine officer candidates, was renamed the Hamilton Society for "students who aspire to serve their nation through the military in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton". (Hamilton served with George Washington during the American Revolution.)

The University also houses an independent nonprofit organization, Community Impact. Community Impact strives to serve disadvantaged people in the Harlem, Washington Heights, and Morningside Heights communities. Community Impact strives to provide high quality programs, advance the public good, and foster meaningful volunteer opportunities for students, faculty, and staff of Columbia University. Many of the university's student body and staff keep the program in operation through volunteerism, as well as off campus volunteers.


A member institution of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Columbia fields varsity teams in 29 sports. The football Lions play home games at the 17,000-seat Lawrence A.marker Wien Stadiummarker at Baker Fieldmarker. One hundred blocks north of the main campus at Morningside Heights, the Baker Athletics Complex also includes facilities for baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, tennis, track and rowing. The basketball, fencing, swimming & diving, volleyball and wrestling programs are based at the Dodge Physical Fitness Center on the main campus.

The Columbia mascot is a lion named Roar-ee. At football games, the Columbia University Marching Band plays "Roar, Lion, Roar" each time the team scores and "Who Owns New York?" with each first down. At halftime, alumni stand and sing the alma mater, "Sans Souci." Notable among a number of songs commonly played and sung at various events such as commencement and convocation, and athletic games are: Colossus of Columbia the Columbia University fight song.
Soccer Stadium

Columbia became the third school in the United States to play intercollegiate football when it sent a squad to New Brunswick, N.J., in 1870 to play a team from Rutgersmarker. Three years later, Columbia students joined representatives from Princetonmarker, Rutgers and Yalemarker to ratify the first set of rules to govern intercollegiate play.

During the first half of the 20th century, the Lions had consistent success on the gridiron. Under Hall of Fame coach Lou Little, the 1934 squad shut out heavily favored Stanfordmarker in the Rose Bowlmarker winning what was the precursor to the national championship. During World War II football players were recruited to move uranium in support of the school's participation in the Manhattan Project.Little's 1947 edition beat defending national champion Army, then riding a 32-game win streak, in one of the most stunning upsets of the century. Greats of the era included the All-American Sid Luckman, the quarterback who would lead the Chicago Bears to four NFL championships in the 1940s while ushering football into the modern era with the T formation.

Since sharing their only Ivy League title with Harvardmarker in 1961, the football Lions have had only three winning seasons (6-3 in 1971, 5-4-1 in 1994 and 8-2 in 1996). Norries Wilson, a runner-up for national assistant coach of the year while at the University of Connecticutmarker in 2004, is the latest head coach brought in to try to turn the program around. Several Lions players have gone on to success in the National Football league in the past few decades, including quarterback John Witkowski, offensive lineman George Starke, and linebacker Marcellus Wiley.

The Lions boast a rich athletic tradition. The wrestling team is the oldest in the nation, and the football team was the third to join intercollegiate play. A Columbia crew was the first from outside Britain to win at the Henley Royal Regatta. Former students include baseball Hall of Famersmarker Lou Gehrig and Eddie Collins and football Hall of Famer Sid Luckman.

More recently, Columbia has excelled at archery, cross country, fencing and wrestling. In 2008, Olympic silver medal fencer James L. Williams along with three teammates, including Keeth Smart, Class of 2010 at Columbia Business School, earned the first American medal in men's fencing since 1984. In 2000, Olympic gold medal swimmer Cristina Teuscher became the first Ivy League student to win the Honda-Broderick Cup, awarded to the best collegiate woman athlete in the nation. Five years later, Caroline Bierbaum, Womens' Cross Country/Track and Field, won the Honda award for Cross Country following a third-place finish at the NCAA meet and five All-American selections in Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track. In 2007, the Men's Track Team became the first Ivy League school to win a Championship of America race at the prestigious Penn Relays by capturing the 4x800. The team of Michael Mark, Jonah Rathbun, Erison Hurtalt and Liam Boylan-Pett ran 7:22.64, outkicking the anchor legs of national powerhouses Michigan, Villanova, and Oral Roberts. The team has finished no lower than fifth in the past three years. That year, Erison Hurtault '07 completed a career sweep of the Indoor and Outdoor Ivy League 400m, winning all eight races he competed in. In addition to being a nine-time Ivy League champion and All-American, Erison represented Dominica at both the the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2009 Berlin World Championships. Women's Track and Field graduate and current coach Delilah DiCrescenzo has been ranked as high as 5th in the nation in the 3000m steeplechase.

The baseball team hosted the first sporting event ever televised in the United States. On May 17, 1939 fledgling NBC broadcast a doubleheader between the Columbia Lions vs. Princetonmarker Tigers at Columbia's Baker Field.

In basketball, perhaps the greatest player to wear Columbia Blue was All-American Chet Forte, the 1957 national college player of the year. George Gregory, Jr. became the first African-American All-American in 1931. The 1968 Ivy League championship team included future NBA player Jim McMillian.

Controversies and student demonstrations

Protests of 1968

Students initiated a major demonstration in 1968 over two major issues. The first was Columbia's proposed gymnasium in neighboring Morningside Parkmarker; this was seen by the protesters to be an act of aggression aimed at the black residents of neighboring Harlemmarker. A second issue was the Columbia administration's failure to resign its institutional membership in the Pentagonmarker's weapons research think-tank, the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA). Students barricaded themselves inside Low Librarymarker, Hamilton Hall, and several other university buildings during the protests, and New York City police were called onto the campus to arrest or forcibly remove the students.

Protests against racism and apartheid

Further student protests, including hunger strike and more barricades of Hamilton Hall and the Business School during the late 1970s and early 1980s, were aimed at convincing the university trustees to divest all of the university's investments in companies that were seen as active or tacit supporters of the apartheid regime in South Africa. A notable upsurge in the protests occurred in 1978, when following a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the student uprising in 1968, students marched and rallied in protest of University investments in South Africa. The Committee Against Investment in South Africa (CAISA) and numerous student groups including the Socialist Action Committee, the Black Student Organization and the Gay Students group joined together and succeeded in pressing for the first partial divestment of a U.S. University.

The initial (and partial) Columbia divestment,focused largely on bonds and financial institutions directly involved with the South African regime. It followed a year long campaign first initiated by students who had worked together to block the appointment of former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to an endowed chair at the University in 1977.

Broadly backed by a diverse array of student groups and many notable faculty members the Committee Against Investment in South Africa held numerous teach-ins and demonstrations through the year focused on the trustees ties to the corporations doing business with South Africa. Trustee meetings were picketed and interrupted by demonstrations culminating in May 1978 in the takeover of the Graduate School of Business. These initial successes set a pattern which was later repeated at many more campuses across the country, resulting in the eventual divestment at hundreds of colleges and universities.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visit and speech controversy

Students protest Ahmadinejad's visit.

The School of International and Public Affairs traditionally extends invitations to many heads of state and heads of government who come to New York City for the opening of the fall session of the United Nations General Assembly. In 2007, Iranianmarker President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was one of those invited to speak on campus. Ahmadinejad accepted his invitation and spoke on September 24, 2007 as part of Columbia University's World Leaders Forum. The invitation proved to be highly controversial. Thousands of demonstrators swarmed the campus on September 24 and the speech itself was televised worldwide. University President Lee Bollinger tried to triangulate the controversy by letting Ahmadenijad speak, but with a extraordinarily negative introduction (given personally by Bollinger.) This did not mollify those who were displeased with the fact that the Iranian leader had been invited onto the campus.

During his speech, Ahmadinejad criticized Israelmarker's policies towards the Palestinians; called for research on the historical accuracy of Holocaust; raised questions as to who initiated the 9/11 attacks; expressed the self-determination of Iran's nuclear power program, criticizing the United Nation's policy of sanctions on his country; and criticized U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. In response to a question about Iran's treatment of women and homosexuals, he asserted that women are respected in Iran and that "In Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country... In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have it." The latter statement drew laughter from the audience.

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office accused Columbia of accepting grant money from the Alavi Foundation to support faculty "sympathetic" to Iran's Islamic republic.

ROTC ban

Since 1969, during the Vietnam War, the university has not allowed the US military to have Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) programs on campus. However, even after 1969, Columbia students could participate in ROTC programs at other nearby colleges and universities. A few undergraduate Military Science courses were taught at Columbia as late as the 1970s.

At a forum at the university during the 2008 presidential election campaign, both John McCain and Barack Obama said that the university should consider reinstating ROTC on campus. After the debate, the President of the University, Lee Bollinger stated that he did not favor reinstating Columbia's ROTC program, because of the military's anti-gay policies. In November 2008, Columbia's undergraduate student body held a referendum on the question of whether or not to invite ROTC back to campus, and the students who voted were almost evenly divided on the issue. ROTC lost the vote (which would not have been binding on the administration, and did not include graduate students, faculty, or alumni) by a fraction of a percentage point.


Orgo Night

On the day before the Organic Chemistry exam — which is often on the first day of finals — at precisely the stroke of midnight, the Columbia University Marching Band occupies Butler Library to distract diligent students from studying. After a forty-five minutes or so of jokes and music, the procession then moves out to the lawn in front of Hartley, Wallach and John Jay residence halls to entertain the residents there. The Band then plays at various other locations around Morningside Heights, including the residential quadrangle of Barnard Collegemarker, where students of the all-women's school, in mock-consternation, rain trash - including notes and course packets - and water balloons upon them from their dormitories above. The Band tends to close their Orgo Night performances before Furnald Hall, known among students as the more studious and reportedly "anti-social" residence hall, where the underclassmen in the Band serenade the graduating seniors with an entertaining, though vulgar, mock-hymn to Columbia, composed of quips that poke fun at the various stereotypes about the Columbia student body.

Tree-Lighting and Yule Log ceremonies

College Walk is illuminated in the winter months
The campus Tree-Lighting Ceremony is a relatively new tradition at Columbia, inaugurated in 1998. It celebrates the illumination of the medium-sized trees lining College Walk in front of Kent and Hamilton Halls on the east end and Dodge and Journalism Halls on the west, just before finals week in early December. The lights remain on until February 28. Students meet at the sun-dial for free hot chocolate, performances by various a cappella groups, and speeches by the university president and a guest.

Immediately following the College Walk festivities is one of Columbia's older holiday traditions, the lighting of the Yule Log. The ceremony dates to a period prior to the Revolutionary War, but lapsed before being revived by University President Nicholas Murray Butler in the early 20th century. A troop of students dressed as Continental Army soldiers carry the eponymous log from the sun-dial to the lounge of John Jay Hall, where it is lit amid the singing of seasonal carols. The ceremony is accompanied by a reading of A Visit From St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore (Columbia College class of 1798) and Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus by Francis Pharcellus Church (Class of 1859).

The Varsity Show

Entrance to The Miller Theatre

An annual musical written by and for students and is one of Columbia's oldest traditions. Past writers and directors have included Columbians Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, Lorenz Hart, I.A.L. Diamond, and Herman Wouk. The show has one of the largest operating budgets of all university events.

Faculty and research

Columbia was the first North American site where the Uranium atom was split. It was the birthplace of FM radio and the laser. The MPEG-2 algorithm of transmitting high quality audio and video over limited bandwidth was developed by Dimitris Anastassiou, a Columbia professor of electrical engineering. Biologist Martin Chalfie was the first to introduce the use of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) in labelling cells in intact organisms. Other inventions and products related to Columbia include Sequential Lateral Solidification (SLS) technology for making LCDs, System Management Arts (SMARTS), Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) (which is used for audio, video, chat, instant messaging and whiteboarding), pharmacopeia, Macromodel (software for computational chemistry), a new and better recipe for glass concrete, Blue LEDs, Beamprop (used in photonics), among others.Columbia scientists are credited with about 175 new inventions in the health sciences each year. More than 30 pharmaceutical products based on discoveries and inventions made at Columbia are on the market today. These include Remicade (for arthritis), Reopro (for blood clot complications), Xalatan (for glaucoma), Benefix, Latanoprost (a glaucoma treatment), shoulder prosthesis, homocysteine (testing for cardiovascular disease), and Zolinza (for cancer therapy).

Columbia's Science and Technology Ventures currently manages some 600 patents and more than 250 active license agreements. Patent-related deals earned Columbia more than $230 million in the 2006 fiscal year, according to the university. In 2004, Columbia made $178 million (compared to $24 million made by Harvardmarker).

As of October 2009, 79 Columbia University graduates, faculty, and affiliates have been honored with Nobel Prizes for their work in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, peace, and economics. In the last 12 years (1996-2008), 18 Columbia affiliates have won Nobel Prizes, of whom eight are current faculty members. However, currently, eleven Nobel Laureates are affiliated with the University of whom nine are faculty, one is an adjunct senior research scientist (Daniel Tsui), and the other a Global Fellow (Kofi Annan).

Columbia faculty awarded the Nobel Prize in the last 10 years (1999-2009) include Martin Chalfie (Chemistry, 2008), Orhan Pamuk (Literature, 2006), Edmund Phelps (Economics, 2006), Richard Axel, a Columbia graduate (Physiology/Medicine, 2004), Joseph Stiglitz (Economics, 2001), Eric Kandel (Physiology/Medicine, 2000), and Robert Mundell (Economics, 1999). Columbia affiliates awarded the Nobel Prize in the last 10 years (1999-2009) include Barack Obama (Peace, 2009), Al Gore (Peace, 2007), John Mather (Physics, 2006), Robert Grubbs (Chemistry, 2005), Linda Buck (Physiology/Medicine, 2004), William Standish Knowles (Chemistry, 2001), and James Heckman (Economics, 2000).

Other awards and honors won by current faculty include 29 MacArthur Foundation Award winners, 4 National Medal of Science recipients, 43 National Academy of Sciencesmarker Award winners, 20 National Academy of Engineering Award winners, 38 Institute of Medicine of the National Academies Award recipients and 143 American Academy of Arts and Sciencesmarker Award winners.

Notable Columbians

Alumni and famous past students

Three United States Presidents, nine Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Statesmarker and 40 Nobel Prize winners have studied at Columbia. Alumni also have received more than 20 National Book Awards and 96 Pulitzer Prizes. (See List of Columbia University people--National Book Awards, Pulitzer prizes.) Four United States Poet Laureates received their degrees from Columbia. Today, two United States Senators and 16 current Chief Executives of Fortune 500 companies hold Columbia degrees, as do three of the 25 richest Americans and 16 billionaires. Alumni of the University have served (in more than 70 positions) as members of U.S. Presidential Cabinets or as U.S. Presidential advisers. More than 40 U.S. senators, 90 U.S. congresspersons, and 35 U.S. governors have received their education at Columbia. Alumni have founded or been the president of more than fifty-five universities and colleges in the nation and the world.

Attendees of King's College, Columbia's predecessor, included Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Robert R. Livingston, Egbert Benson, and Gouverneur Morris.

U.S.marker Supreme Courtmarker Chief Justices Harlan Fiske Stone, Charles Evans Hughes and Associate Justices Benjamin Cardozo, William O. Douglas, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg graduated from Columbia law school. Chief Justice John Jay and Associate Justice Samuel Blatchford studied law at and graduated from King's College and Columbia College, respectively, before the establishment of the law school. Associate Justices Stanley Foreman Reed and Joseph McKenna attended Columbia Law but did not graduate. Former U.S. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt also attended the law school without graduating as it was common at the time for young men to enter the bar after completing only a year or two of legal education.

Former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower served as President of the University. Other significant figures in American history to attend the university were John L. O'Sullivan, the journalist who coined the phrase "manifest destiny", Alfred Thayer Mahan, the geostrategist who wrote on the significance of sea power, Jewish philanthropist Sampson Simson and progressive intellectual Randolph Bourne. Former Secretary of State Alexander Haig studied at Columbia Business School between 1954 and 1955. Wellington Koo, a Chinese diplomat who argued passionately against Japanese and Western imperialism in Asia at the Paris Peace Conference, is a
graduate, having honed his debating skills in Columbia's Philolexian Society, as is Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, one of the founding fathers of India and chief architect of its constitution. Local politicians have been no less represented at Columbia, including Seth Low, who served as both President of the University and Mayor of the City of New York, and New York governors Thomas Dewey, also an unsuccessful presidential candidate, DeWitt Clinton, who presided over the construction of the Erie Canal, Hamilton Fish, later to become U.S. Secretary of State, and Daniel D. Tompkins, who was a Vice President of the United States.

Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the President of Estonia, received his BA in psychology at Columbia in 1976. Abdul Zahir received his M.D. from Columbia University. Philip Gunawardena joined Columbia in 1925 for his post-graduate studies. General, historian, and author John Watts de Peyster attended Columbia College and later received a M.A. degree at Columbia.

More recent political figures educated at Columbia include U.S. President Barack Obama, former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel of Alaskamarker, current U.S. Senators Judd Gregg of New Hampshiremarker and Frank Lautenberg of New Jerseymarker, Governor of New York David Paterson and his Chief of Staff Charles J. O'Byrne, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, UN weapons inspector Hans Blix, former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, conservative commentators Patrick J. Buchanan, John McLaughlin and Norman Podhoretz, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank Alan Greenspan, George Stephanopoulos, Senior Advisor to former U.S. President Bill Clinton, George Pataki, the former governor of New York State, and Mikhail Saakashvili, the current President of the country of Georgia. Louisiana Lieutenant Governor, Lether Frazar, who was president of two universities in his state, obtained his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1942. Warlick Carr, a prominent attorney in Lubbockmarker attended Columbia for a year.

Scientists Stephen Jay Gould, Robert Millikan and Michael Pupin, cultural historian Jacques Barzun, literary critic Lionel Trilling, sociologists Immanuel Wallerstein and Seymour Martin Lipset, behavioral psychologist Charles Ferster, poet-professor Mark Van Doren, philosophers Irwin Edman and Robert Nozick, and economists Milton Friedman, Former Afghan Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani, Nur Mohammed Taraki (Prime Minister and President of Afghanistan, 1978–1979), Daniel C. Kurtzer, and communications economist Harvey J. Levin all obtained degrees from Columbia. J.P Morgan associate Temple Bowdoin graduated in 1885.

In culture and the arts, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lorenz Hart, screenwriters Sidney Buchman and I.A.L. Diamond, critic and biographer Tim Page, musician Art Garfunkel, and children's songwriter Bobby Susser, are all among Columbia's alumni. The poets Langston Hughes, Federico García Lorca, Joyce Kilmer and John Berryman; the writers Eudora Welty, Isaac Asimov, J. D. Salinger, Upton Sinclair, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Phyllis Haislip, Roger Zelazny, Herman Wouk, Hunter S. Thompson, Aravind Adiga, Apostolos Doxiadis, and Paul Auster; playwrights Tony Kushner and Eulalie Spence; the architects Robert A. M. Stern, Ricardo Scofidio, Peter Eisenman and Christine Wang; the composer Béla Bartók; and film director and screenwriter Cetywa Powell also attended the university. Kate Millett turned her Ph.D. thesis into the book Sexual Politics. Trappist monk, author, and humanist Thomas Merton is an alumnus both as an undergraduate and graduate student. Silent Film actress Miriam Cooper attended writing courses at the school during her later years. Urban theorist and cultural critic Jane Jacobs spent time at the School of General Studies, and educator Elisabeth Irwin received her M.A. there in 1923. Vampire Weekend band members Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Tomson, and Chris Baio graduated from the College in 2006 and 2007. Grammy Award-winning R&B singers Lauryn Hill and Alicia Keys attended Columbia for one year. Singer and songwriter Sean Lennon as well as Japanese-American pop-star Hikaru Utada and Korean-American pop-star Lena Park briefly attended the College. Allison Starling and Remy Zaken, both Broadway actresses, are currently attending the College. Young adult author Maureen Johnson graduated from Columbia with an M.F.A.

Baseball legend Lou Gehrig, along with football quarterback Sid Luckman and sportscaster Roone Arledge, and women's Olympic weight lifter Karyn Marshall are alumni.

Celebrities who graduated from Columbia include the actors Maggie Gyllenhaal, Casey Affleck, Julia Stiles,Rachel Nichols, Amanda Peet, Matthew Fox, Famke Janssen, Brian Dennehy, Jesse Bradford, Ben Stein, George Segal, Rider Strong, James Franco and Mario Van Peebles. Academy Award-winning actors James Cagney and Anna Paquin, and Academy Award-nominated actors Ed Harris and Jake Gyllenhaal attended Columbia for a time. Radio personality Tom Griswold of the nationally syndicated morning radio show The Bob and Tom Show graduated from Columbia. Television talk show host Sally Jesse Raphael is a graduate and Claire-Aimee "Claire" Unabia from Cycle 10 of America's Next Top Model is a graduate of the School of General Studies.

Amelia Earhart also enrolled at Columbia as a pre-med student in 1919. Pete Slosberg, founder of Pete's Brewing Company, is a graduate of Columbia's School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Founding members of the nostalgia rock band Sha Na Na, George Leonard and Robert Leonard, were also graduates from Columbia. The original band line-up, all Columbia students, featured 12 performers: Alan Cooper, Robert Leonard, Frederick 'Denny' Greene, Henry Gross, John 'Jocko' Marcellino, Joe Witkin, Scott Powell, Tony Santini, Donald 'Donny' York, Elliot Cahn, Rich Joffe, Dave Garrett and Bruce 'Bruno' Clark..

Faculty and affiliates

Jacques Barzun, Lionel Trilling, and Mark Van Doren were legendary Columbia faculty members as well as graduates, teaching alongside such luminaries as the philosopher John Dewey, American historians Richard Hofstadter, John A. Garraty, Charles Beard and Reinhard H Luthin, educator George Counts, sociologists Daniel Bell, C. Wright Mills, Robert K. Merton, and Paul Lazarsfeld, art historian Meyer Schapiro, and Renaissance scholar Donald M. Frame. The history of the discipline of anthropology practically begins at Columbia with Franz Boas. Margaret Mead, a Barnard Collegemarker alumna, along with Columbia graduate Ruth Benedict, continued this tradition by bringing the discipline into the spotlight. Nuclear physicists Enrico Fermi, John R. Dunning, I. I. Rabi, and Polykarp Kusch helped develop the Manhattan Project at the university, and pioneering geophysicist Maurice Ewing made great strides in the understanding of plate tectonics. Thomas Hunt Morgan discovered the chromosomal basis for genetic inheritance at his famous "fly room" at the university, laying the foundation for modern genetics. Philosopher Hannah Arendt was a visiting professor in the 1960s. Noted Chinese author and illustrator, Chiang Yee taught Chinese from 1955 to 1977, and retired as Emeritus Professor of Chinese. In 1978 Frank Daniel began his Columbia teaching career; he is most notable for his development of the sequence paradigm of screenwriting.

Melvil Dewey, creator of the Dewey Decimal Classification, was librarian of the University and also founded the first library school in the U.S. at Columbia.More recently, architects Bernard Tschumi, Santiago Calatrava and Frank Gehry have taught at the school. The postcolonial scholar Edward Said taught at Columbia, where he spent virtually the entirety of his academic career, until his death in 2003.

Current faculty (2008-2009 Academic Year) includes nine Nobel Laureates: R. Axel, M. Chalfie, E. Kandel, T.D. Lee, R. Mundell, O. Pamuk, E. Phelps, J. Stiglitz, and H. Stormer.

Also, celebrated faculty members include string-theory expert Brian Greene, Ricci flow inventor Richard Hamilton, American historian Eric Foner, Middle Eastern studies expert Richard Bulliet, Eric Kandel, a Nobel prize winner who conducted fundamental research in neuroscience, New York City historian Kenneth T. Jackson, Je Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies Robert Thurman, composers Tristan Murail, Fred Lerdahl and George Lewis, conductor Igor Buketoff, biomedical engineering professor Clark T. Hung, literary theorist Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, philosopher Philip Kitcher, British historian Simon Schama, art historian Rosalind Krauss, director Mira Nair, East Asian studies expert William Theodore de Bary, scientist, critic, writer and physician Oliver Sacks, This American Life producer Alex Blumberg, Turkish author and Nobel prize winner Orhan Pamuk, and economists Jeffrey Sachs, Jagdish Bhagwati, Joseph Stiglitz, Edmund Phelps, Xavier Foupa-Pokam, and Robert Mundell.

Sunil Gulati, President of US Soccer, is a professor of Economics at the University. Dr. Michael Stone is a Professor of Psychiatry. He is the star of the I.D. show Most Evil, and a foreleading expert in forensic psychiatry.

In geography

The Columbia Glaciermarker, one of the largest in Alaskamarker's College Fjordmarker, is named after the university, where it sits among other glaciers named for the Ivy League and Seven Sisters schools. Mount Columbiamarker in the Collegiate Peaks Wildernessmarker of Coloradomarker also takes its name from the university and is situated among peaks named for Harvardmarker, Yalemarker, Princetonmarker, and Oxfordmarker.

See also

* Columbia Business Law Review, a monthly journal published by students at Columbia Law School
* Columbia Human Rights Law Review, a law review published by students at Columbia Law School
* Columbia Law Review, a monthly law review published by students at Columbia Law School
* Columbia Business and Law Association, Columbia Law School's organization dedicated to the interaction of law and business[631]
* Columbia Encyclopedia


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  34. Partner Schools
  36. AFROTC Detachment 560, "The Bronx Bombers", CROSS-TOWN SCHOOLS. Accessed 01/14/2009.
  37. McGurn, William, " A Columbia Marine To Obama: Help!", Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2008, Page 17.
  39. Colleges and Universities with NROTC Units
  40. [3]
  41. [4]
  42. [5]f>
  43. [6]
  44. The 400 Richest Americans -
  45. [7]
  46. US National Park Service. "The Presidents of the United States - Biographical Sketches." [Accessed 08/13/08]

Further reading

  • Robert A. McCaughey: Stand, Columbia: A History of Columbia University in the City of New York, 1754-2004, Columbia University Press, 2003, ISBN 0231130082
  • Living Legacies at Columbia, ed. by Wm Theodore De Bary, Columbia University Press, 2006, ISBN 0231138849

External links

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