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Columbia University


Columbia University in the City of New York, commonly referred to as Columbia University, is an American private Ivy League research university located in New York City, New York, United States. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution. Today the university operates seven Columbia Global Centers overseas in Amman, Beijing, Istanbul, Paris, Mumbai, Santiago and Nairobi.

The university was founded in 1754 as King's College by royal charter of George II of Great Britain. After the American Revolutionary War, King's College briefly became a state entity, and was renamed Columbia College in 1784. The University now operates under a 1787 charter that places the institution under a private board of trustees, and in 1896 it was further renamed Columbia University. That same year, the university's campus was moved from Madison Avenue to its location in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, where it occupies more than six city blocks, or 32 acres (0.13 km²). The university encompasses twenty schools and is affiliated with numerous institutions, including Teachers College, Barnard College, and the Union Theological Seminary, with joint undergraduate programs available through the Jewish Theological Seminary of America as well as the Juilliard School.

Columbia annually administers the Pulitzer Prize and has been affiliated with more Nobel Prize laureates than any other academic institution in the world. The university is one of the fourteen founding members of the Association of American Universities, and was the first school in the United States to grant the M.D. degree. Notable alumni of the university include ten Justices of the United States Supreme Court; 20 living billionaires; 25 Academy Award winners; and 29 heads of state, including three United States Presidents.

Schools and Institutes

  • Columbia College
  • Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), founded as the School of Mines in 1863, renamed in 1997 after the Fu Foundation of Z. Y. Fu 傅在源
  • College of General Studies
  • Columbia Business School
  • Columbia Law School
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Mailman School of Public Health, named after Joseph Lawrence Mailman
  • Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, on the estate of Thomas William Lamont, Jr. and Florence Haskell Lamont; later added the name of Henry Latham Doherty
  • Goddard Institute for Space Studies
  • Nevis Laboratories
  • Weatherhead East Asian Institute, named after the Weatherhead Foundation of A. J. Weatherhead, Jr

List of Columbia University people

250 Columbians Ahead of Their Time, celebrated on the occasion of the 250th anniversary (2004).


  1. Samuel Johnson [1754 – 1763]
  2. Myles Cooper [1763 – 1775]
    • Benjamin Moore, AB 1768 [acting, 1775 – 1784]
    • George Clinton [Chancellor, 1784 – 1787]
  3. William Samuel Johnson [1787 – 1800]
  4. Charles Henry Wharton [1801]
  5. Benjamin Moore [1801 – 1810]
  6. William Harris [1811 – 1829]
  7. William Alexander Duer [1829 – 1842]
  8. Nathaniel Fish Moore [1842 – 1849]
  9. Charles King [1849 – 1863]
  10. Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard [1864 – 1889]
  11. Seth Low, AB 1870 [1890 – 1901]
  12. Nicholas Murray Butler, Nobel Peace Prize, 1931, AB 1882, MA 1883, PhD 1884 [1902 – 1945]
    • Frank D. Fackenthal, AB 1906 [acting, 1945 – 1948]
  13. Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States [1948 – 1953]
  14. Grayson L. Kirk [1953 – 1968]
  15. Andrew W. Cordier [1969 – 1970]
  16. William J. McGill [1970 – 1980]
  17. Michael Ira Sovern, BA 1953, JD 1955 [1980 – 1993]
  18. George Erik Rupp [1993 – 2002]
  19. Lee C. Bollinger, JD 1971 [2002 – present]

Morningside Heights Campus Buildings

Manhattanville Campus