Write Columbia's History
Columbia Born
Thomas Shapiro
Alum, Neighbor, Student
Columbia College 1962

Until I was about 14, we lived at 411 West 114 Street. My father, Dr. Harry L. Shapiro, taught in the Anthropology Graduate School part-time. Some of my earliest memories were going to St. Paul's Chapel to hear Christmas carols and wandering around the campus by the fountains on 116th Street with my mother; it was a street then. I remember the tennis courts next to Butler Library and the baseball field. I went to the Greenhouse Nursery School when I was about 2 for several years. The Law School now occupies that location. I went to the square dances at Teachers College often.

My father recalled in later years walking back from class one day to hear bursts of applause. As he followed the noise, he discovered Eisenhower giving his farewell address from the steps of Low Library to no one. The applause was from a record player: army personnel would play a recording of applause at appropriate places in Eisenhower's speech.

As a student in later years, I saw Fidel Castro walking on the 116th walkway. The physical changes to the campus were in many ways minor. I came back later for some additional courses only to see the student riots break loose. Yet Columbia has persevered and grown because the essential nature of the University has not changed.

columbia through time
Check out the C250 timeline, chronicling Columbia's rise from a tiny college to one of the world's preeminent universities.

Stand, Columbia
The first single-volume interpretive history of the University in 100 years.

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