Columbia University, 8th in the United States is a private, not for profit school located in the heart of New York City. A doctoral/research facility, the institution is made up of 20 different schools.
Founded in 1754 by King George II of England, Columbia is the oldest institute in New York and the fifth oldest in the country and originally known as King’s College. However, the beginning years were not easy. Controversy followed the school with groups arguing over religious affiliation as well as location. The first lessons took place at a schoolhouse next to Trinity College with eight students and concentrated on lifting a student up to new capabilities. In 1767, King’s College would become the first school to grant an M.D. degree.
Although there was a brief halt (8 years) of lessons after the start of the American Revolution and during the British occupation of New York City, the school would reopen with the new name of “Columbia.” It exists as one of the nine colleges that came into existence prior to the Declaration of Independence. It would earn its current name “Columbia University” in 1896.
The school’s motto is In lumine Tuo videbimus lumen, or In Thy light shall we see light from Psalms 36:9. It would become the first place in North America to see the splitting of the uranium atom as well as the birthplace of both FM radio and laser.
Today, Columbia has approximately 31,000 on campus. Alumni includes three presidents (Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Barack Obama), 26 foreign leaders, nine Supreme Court justices, and three of the 25 richest Americans. King’s College also saw five founding fathers graduate, including John Jay and Alexander Hamilton. Other well known names include S. Robson Walton, Warren Buffett, several members of the Astor family, Art Garfunkel, and J.D Salinger. 123 alumni have gone on to win Pulitzer Prizes.
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