Times article by Deirdre Carmody
Columbia Celebrates Its Bicentennial (Again)
With convocations, proclamations and
perorations, Columbia College is
celebrating its bicentennial this month -
the biggest party since 1954 when, with
convocations, proclamations and
perorations, it also celebrated a
While 200th birthdays 33 years apart may
sound like the mathematical manipulations
of eager college public relations
officials, Columbia indeed had a 200th
birthday in 1954 and can rightfully claim
one again now.
The college was founded as King's
College in 1754. It was closed during the
Revolutionary War and in 1784 was renamed
Columbia College. On April 13, 1787, a new
charter was granted by the State of New
York - thanks mostly to the efforts and
diplomacy of Alexander Hamilton, an alumnus
of King's College - and Columbia College
was established as an independent
institution under the private control of
its own trustees, Hamilton among them.
It is the bicentennial of that charter
that Columbia is now observing.
Festivities are to begin Friday with a
celebration stretching much of the length
of Manhattan. At 10 A.M. hundreds of
Columbia students, faculty members,
administrators, alumni and assorted
supporters are to board a special subway
train at 116th Street and ride nonstop to
'Roar, Lion, Roar'
A parade led by the Columbia marching
and concert bands playing "Roar, Lion,
Roar" and other appropriate tunes, will
march down lower Broadway, past Trinity
Church, the birthplace of King's College,
to Federal Hall. There Mayor Koch will
read a proclamation and speeches will be
given by Michael I. Sovern, president of
the university; Robert E. Pollack, dean of
the college, and Henry F. Graff, a
professor of history.
A reception and luncheon will follow
inside Federal Hall while the Columbia
Dixieland band plays on the steps.
Beginning Friday afternoon and
continuing through Sunday there will be
celebrations on campus. On Friday night a
bicentennial ball will be held at the
Sunday at 8 P.M. there will be a
celebration at the Metropolitan Opera House,
with Walter Cronkite as the host.
The evening will also include excerpts
from motion pictures filmed at Columbia
and a number of performers, including the
New York Oratorio Society, which performed
at the Columbia centennial celebration.
On April 13, the actual anniversary of
the signing of the charter, a formal
academic procession, readings and an
oration will take place at 10:30 A.M. in
St. Paul's Chapel on the campus.