From Morningside Heights to Foggy Bottom
Stephen Joel Trachtenberg
Alum, Friend, Parent
Columbia College 1959
I was a history major at Columbia, the perfect, all-purpose course of study that prepared me to enter law school—general enough for a well-rounded fellow, specific enough for thoughtful conversation. In later life, I found that much more important to me than my major was the overall four-year, broad-based liberal arts education I received at the College. It was the rigor of Contemporary Civilization and the Humanities and other core requirements that prepared me during my tenure as an academic administrator to converse easily with the chairs of physics, mathematics, anthropology, and economics; hire professors of foreign language, English, engineering, and business; and sign off on grant applications for biological research, public policy initiatives, and art history programs.
Dr. Trachtenberg is president of The George Washington University. This submission is excerpted from his speech given on the occasion of his class's 45th reunion. The transcript of his entire speech is available at http://c250.columbia.edu/c250_perspectives/popup_trachtenberg.html