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A Look Back
For 12 months ending in October 2004, the Columbia 250 celebration gave the University the chance to reflect on its distinguished history and essential place in the city of New York even as it looked ahead to a continuing role as an education leader in the nation and the world. On campus and off, the anniversary gave Columbia an opportunity to connect with its alumni and underscore through numerous changes over the years, the dynamic energy at the heart of the enterprise continues to grow stronger with each passing year.


Columbia 250 started with a bang—or rather a bash—for Alma Mater's birthday along with a pair of academic symposia, a concert, tours, lectures, a book party, and the Homecoming football game.

Columbia Kicks Off Celebration of 250th Anniversary with Symposia, Birthday Bash and More

Columbia Kicks Off Yearlong Celebration of 250th Anniversary

On the Verge of Turning 250, Columbia Prepares a Year of Events and Celebrations

Alan Brinkley, Alfred Aho Receive Great Teachers Awards

Columbia Celebrates with 13-Foot Cake by Cake Man Raven

Homecoming Festival Draws Record Crowd

Thousands Don "Alma Crowns," Celebrate Columbia's 250th

A Conversation with Dean Austin Quigley

Photo Gallery from the Columbia University Record
Photos by Eileen Barroso and Chris Taggart

C250 Sweepstakes
Nearly 5,000 alumni entered last fall's Columbia 250 Alumni Sweepstakes. We are delighted to announce the winners.

CU Returns Home to Trinity Church

Columbia goes back to its roots. 

Ric Burns' thoughts on lower Manhattan.

See and hear the service of commemoration and speeches.

Kenneth Koch Literary and Musical Extravaganza
Fans salute the former professor and poet. 

Community Festival


Hundreds of residents from surrounding neighborhoods converged on the Morningside Heights campus for an afternoon that featured athletic clinics, children's games, art exhibits, and a concert with headline performers.

Rain, Wind Doesn't Dampen Columbia 250 Community Festival

Photo gallery

C250 Community Festival Poster Competition Under Way

Harlem Artist Wins Columbia 250 Community Festival Poster Contest

Columbia 250 Community Festival: Celebrating with Our Neighbors

Official Web pages for C250 Community Festival

Community Festival

Closing Festivities

The University harkened back to the Beat Generation with a reading of Howl at the West End, just one highlight in a closing weekend that also included academic events, a special homecoming, and a parade of alums at Baker Field.

250th Anniversary Celebration Ends with Fanfare

Closing Festivities Photo Gallery



Leaders in a range of fields convened at Columbia to discuss subjects including genetics, constitutions, the state of the planet, contemporary performance art, and cities of the future.

Celebration 250: Backstage at Columbia University's Fred Friendly Seminar
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C250 Symposium: Two-Day Symposium on Constitutions, Democracy and Law Opens Columbia 250 Festivities
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C250 Symposium: The Impact of Genes and Genomes on Medicine
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WNET to Air Columbia University's Fred Friendly Seminar on "Liberty and Security in an Age of Terrorism," Dec. 18
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C250 Symposium: State of the Planet 
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Earth in the Balance: Researchers Gather at C250 Climate Symposium
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C250 Symposium: RE:new Frontiers in Creativity
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C250 Symposium: The 21st-Century City and Its Values: Urbanism, Toleration, and Equality
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C250 Symposium: Brain and Mind
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C250 Symposium: Our Past Engaged: Four Turning Points in Columbia's Recent History
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Columbia's Chinese Connection
Scholars explore the many connections
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Louis Zukofsky at 100
A Columbia/Barnard conference considers the life and work of the poet and critic on the centennial of his birth
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Biomedical Engineering: Past, Present, and Future
Two Nobel Laureates and an Olympic Prize winner among the speakers


From a pilgrimage to Trinity Church in fall 2003 to the issuing of a postal card in Columbia's honor to a ceremonial dinner with a descendant of the king who signed the original charter, a number of unique events helped us celebrate throughout the year.

Columbia and Trinity Church Celebrate the 1754 Founding of King's College

U.S. Postal Service Dedicates Columbia Postal Card, March 25

Celebratory Commencement Marks University's 250th Year

Columbians Abroad

President Lee C. Bollinger Visits Asia, April 3-15

Columbians Head to England, France to Celebrate 250th Anniversary

Write Columbia's History
Columbia's history, as seen by those who have studied, taught, and worked here.
Ahead of Their Time
Columbians have changed the world and how we see it.
Great moments and leading figures in the history of Columbia University.

Telling the stories of the University as a whole, particular schools, and the remarkable individuals who have worked and studied here.

The acclaimed documentarian explores Columbia's rise from a small college in Lower Manhattan to a premier modern university.
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