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Lee C. Bollinger's Inaugural Address

Lee C. Bollinger's Inaugural Address

October 3, 2002

Thank you, David Stern. Columbia is privileged to have your extraordinary talents so devoted to serving its welfare. And I am grateful to the Trustees, as well as to the University Community, for their trust and support.

I want to express my deepest appreciation to Secretary General Kofi Annan, whose presence here reminds us of our international responsibilities and of how personal dignity is such a powerful source of authority; to Mayor Bloomberg, who personally reflects the energy and restless spirit of the City and who asserts eloquently that there are few problems for which education is not the primary answer; to Congressman Rangel, who carries forward New York’s historic tradition in Washington as an architect of national programs of equal opportunity and justice; and to David Dinkins, who has served the public with such distinction as Mayor and as our Columbia Professor.

I am thankful for the greetings from Provost Jonathan Cole, Florence Grant, Karen Dacey, and my colleague and friend Ted Shaw.

It is a source of personal and University pride to have representatives from so many institutions of higher education here today. I thank you for coming. I have special thanks for our sister colleges and universities – our academic partners: to Barnard College, Union Theological Seminary, and Jewish Theological Seminary; to all institutions from the Ivy League (and especially to my good friend John Rosenwald, representing Dartmouth); to my wonderful colleagues from the University of Michigan; and to my great friend, who was himself inaugurated as the new President of New York University just one week ago, John Sexton (with whom we will find many more ways to collaborate in the years ahead).

I want to recognize my and Jean’s families. First, hers. Her father, who is approaching 90, could not be here, but her brother Marco and her sister Patti are, and her cousin Paul. My brothers and sister – Brad, Tami, Jayme and Jeff – are here, too. And my parents, Lee and Pat, who as parents have sacrificed almost without limit for their children, respected the education that was unavailable to them personally, and never wavered on the importance of personal integrity.

Jean and I have a son and daughter, Lee and Carey, who are not just children we love beyond words but also people we admire for their character, their perspective on life, and the extraordinary sensitivities they bring to all they encounter.

Now my wife Jean: I could talk about her unique talents, which are so many, about her enormous capacity for empathy, about her infectious good will, or about her strength to be the person she wants to be. I could talk at length about all these qualities. But the most important thing I want to say is that after 34 years of marriage, which began with our coming to Columbia, there is a melding of purpose and sympathy between us that is nearly perfect, or as Montaigne said, “our souls mingle and blend with each other so completely that they efface the seam that joined them, and cannot find it again.”

I

I would like to begin with an acknowledgement: I fully recognize that inaugural addresses are, as a general rule, distinctly unmemorable events. Mike Sovern, one of two living Presidents Emeriti of Columbia, used to recall how on his first day at Columbia as a freshman in 1949, Dwight Eisenhower, then President of our University, delivered a long speech of welcome. Mike said that try as he could, he could not remember one word of what the great man said. Forgetting is, of course, one of the more valuable capacities of the human mind, valuable and mysterious. It is, I am pleased to say, a little less mysterious because of the path-breaking scientific work of our master of ceremonies, Professor Eric Kandel, work for which he was honored with the Nobel Prize. Surely, not remembering is part of our genetically based instinct for self-preservation and defense. Indeed, I would not be surprised if sometime in the near future scientists uncover a particular gene whose function it is to exclude from memory inaugural speeches. With that prospect in mind, let me therefore begin by declaring that what I am about to say is not an inaugural address but really a set of personal and early reflections on Columbia and our collective future together.

Now, you may be thinking that I am employing the time-honored oratorical technique of lowering audience expectations by bringing to the surface your secret thoughts (i.e., that you are not expecting to hear memorable words). The most famous illustration of this technique is Pericles, who in his funeral oration began by observing that nothing he would say would fully satisfy either those who knew the dead soldiers or those who didn’t, since any praise he might offer would be too little for family and friends and too much for strangers, arousing in them feelings of inferiority, envy, and incredulity. I confess to this motive, but I also have another higher purpose in mind: namely, to take a more or less true observation about speeches at occasions such as this and ask us to think about how what we do remember about Columbia, and what we seek to add to the store of memories about Columbia, will make all the difference in the years ahead.

II

We are gathered here this morning on one of the most stunning academic settings in the world. Personally, I never enter the space without feeling the invitation to be part of the noble and distinctive human activities of thought and discussion.

Just behind me stands Low Library, the magnificent temple to knowledge (its dome suggestive of the human mind). It is in the center of the architect Charles McKim’s Athenian campus. It was the first building constructed on this campus, as a library. But for that purpose it has long been replaced by South Hall – now Butler Library, the majestic Italian Renaissance structure directly behind you. At the time that Butler Library opened in 1934, it was among the seven largest library wonders of the world, joining Oxford, Yale, Harvard, the Library of Congress, the Bibliotheque Nationale, and the world’s largest library – the Soviet State Library in Leningrad. Today it remains one of the premier libraries of the world.

Directly behind me is Alma Mater, her robe half-concealing the owl which generations of students have patted on the head for good luck on the way to final exams. Alma Mater was sculpted by Daniel French, who created the revered statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.

But, frankly, to me the most beautiful structure of all in this academic quadrangle is the steps, the steps in sunny weather with students on them, talking, reading, or relaxing.

All the buildings within your immediate sight have stories to tell: (going clockwise) St. Paul’s, described by critic Paul Goldberger as a “neat combination of modesty and self-confidence (a model, in other words, for us all); Buell Hall, home of the Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture and of the oldest university foreign language cultural center in the nation; Philosophy Hall, where a brilliant professor of engineering, Edwin Armstrong, invented FM radio, which led to the founding in l941 of the first FM radio station, which is still here, Columbia’s WKCR–FM; then Kent Hall, now home to the distinguished East Asian Institute (and earlier to the Law School, now located across Amsterdam, whose alums include five Supreme Court Justices (Hughes, Cardozo, Stone, Douglas, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg), as well as two others named Roosevelt – Theodore and Franklin).

Hamilton Hall, where illustrious faculty taught and wrote: Lionel Trilling, Meyer Schapiro, Franz Boas (a founder of the field of anthropology); Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, Allan Nevins, Mark and Carl Van Doren, John Dewey, and Richard Hofstadter. John Jay Hall, home for awhile of the great poet Federico Garcia-Lorca, and in front of which, in South Field, Lou Gehrig hit homeruns across 116th Street, now College Walk. Alfred Lerner Hall is to the West of Butler Library and gives all of us a visual sense of the importance of students to Columbia. The Journalism Building, where for the past 90 years judges have met to select the winners of the Pulitzer Prize. It was, of course, Joseph Pulitzer who founded and endowed our Journalism School (in part, he said, because “it is located in New York City”), asking of us that we serve the public good by educating a noble profession (journalism) not simply about the practical side of being journalists but also in the knowledge a great university can offer: “Why not teach,” he asked rhetorically, “politics, literature, government, constitutional principles and traditions (especially American), history, political economy; also the history and the power of public opinion and public service, illustrated by concrete examples, showing the mission, duty and opportunity of the Press as a moral teacher?” He was criticized for this “visionary” scheme – by many in the press, no less.

Dodge Hall, home of the School of the Arts and site of the world’s first concert of electronic music. And then Lewisohn, the focal point of our important School of General Studies.

This is just the inner circle. It spirals outward: Pupin Hall, where atomic research began in 1925, and named after Michael Idvorsky Pupin, a penniless immigrant from Serbia, who took the first X-Ray photograph in America and made possible the first long-distance telephone call. It was also home to some of the greatest scientists in modern times, among them T.D. Lee (faculty member 1953-present), Enrico Fermi, I.I. Rabi, Polykarp Kusch, and Harold Urey.

And Fayerweather, the home of our outstanding history and sociology departments, the sociology department where Robert Merton, a national medal of science recipient, developed critical breakthroughs that we now accept as settled questions.

Beyond our view, premier schools rise in succession, our outstanding Business School, School of Engineering, Architecture, Social Work, International and Public Affairs, and Law.

Then just a few miles north, in Washington Heights, is one of the major centers in the world for medical education and care, as well as basic research in health and life sciences. And, just another twenty miles up the Hudson, is the renowned Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, where research led to the discovery of plate techtonics. There Professor Maurice Ewing conducted major research in acoustical transmission, and today the ship bearing his name and operated by Columbia plows the oceans sending sound waves to the ocean floor to better understand this colossus of the planet.

III

Yet, the history of Columbia University -- the fifth oldest university in the nation – dates back well before these buildings. We are 248 years-old, and next year we begin the celebration of Columbia’s 250th anniversary. Remembering our past, knowing where we came from, is critical to having an identity, whether as individuals or as institutions.

Columbia began near the site of the World Trade Center. In 1754, eight students reported to class in the vestry of Trinity Church with a faculty of one – also the first President. President Samuel Johnson taught languages, logic, composition, speech, mathematics, geography, history, business, government, astronomy, earth sciences, biology, and religion. Tuition was 100 shillings a year, not in fact a small sum ($772 in current dollars). There was, of course, no United States, no Constitution, no Declaration of Independence. The American Revolution was 21 years away. The Constitutional Convention, in which Columbia alumni would play major roles, was 34 years in the future. The population of the world at that time was under 500 million souls. Today it is well over six billion and growing at the rate of 80 million a year (with most of the growth occurring in the world’s most impoverished countries.) As classes opened at King’s College, as we were then called, the population of New York City was 10,881.

With the American Revolution, the College’s president at the time, Myles Cooper, began a long tradition of university administrations being out of touch with their times, and especially with students. He was an avowed Loyalist, and in 1775 a mob gathered outside his house. Like many an academic administrator since, he escaped ignominiously by fleeing through the back window to join a British frigate heading home. Cooper died some years later while consuming a lavish lunch in Edinburgh, yet another lesson he left for us all.

The College closed for the duration of the Revolution and then, in 1784, reopened and was patriotically renamed Columbia College. Dewitt Clinton graduated two years later. He became the first of 15 Columbians to serve as mayor of New York City. He set in motion the plotting of the basic grid of streets and avenues in the City that are still with us today.

The College quickly established itself as an educator of the greatest statesmen of the time: John Jay, America’s first Chief Justice and first Secretary of State (later to be succeeded by our graduate Madeleine Albright); Robert Livingston, who helped draft the Declaration of Independence and also served as Secretary of State; Gouverneur Morris, who worked on the final draft of the U.S. Constitution; and Alexander Hamilton, who among his many accomplishments signed the Constitution on behalf of the people of New York State. These were the forebears of a long line of Columbia nation builders extending into the modern era, such as Wellington Koo, Bhimrao Ambedkar, chief author of the constitution of India, and Pixley Seme, founder of the African National Congress.

As much as I’d like to, I realize I cannot now tell the story of the next two hundred years. It must suffice to say only that it’s an amazing story of distinction and movement to our present location, and that the 250th celebration will highlight that heritage.

Let me take this opportunity to recognize my two most recent predecessors. The l960’s and 70’s were a vexed and difficult time (for many reasons) for universities across the country, but they brought particularly harsh consequences for Columbia and New York City.

The foundation for Columbia’s fiscal strength, without which all else would collapse, was laid by Mike Sovern in the 1980’s, at a time when the University also experienced both a restoration of its physical plant and an intellectual renaissance. For 13 years, Mike Sovern was the catalyst and the symbol of that restoration. Columbia became a place of greater attraction to students, and students came to know Columbia during the Sovern administration as a University that valued diversity and that protected freedom of speech. In 1987, the first fully coeducational class was graduated from Columbia College. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my esteemed law professor and predecessor, President Emeritus Michael I. Sovern.

Over two decades ago, I was a first-year law student in a labor law class taught by a gifted young professor named Michael Sovern. I am pleased to say that I remember every word he said.

My immediate predecessor, George Rupp, is in Afghanistan, where he is leading humanitarian efforts of the International Rescue Committee, of which he is president. In the nine years of his presidency at Columbia, George Rupp advanced our University by revitalizing our core academic programs, particularly in the social sciences. Great improvements occurred in selectivity in the College and professional schools’ admissions. He built new bridges of collaborative teaching and research between Columbia’s schools and colleges and between the Morningside campus and the Health Sciences campus. The Rupp administration, which further enhanced Columbia’s financial strength, was also marked by continued improvement in the crucial partnership between the University and our neighboring communities.

IV

As we inherit this absolutely extraordinary institution at the beginning of this new century, I want to set out some themes that I hope will be discussed and pursued as we chart our future together. It is, and has been for some years now, a glorious time for higher education in this country, and with any luck it will be for the foreseeable future. What role will Columbia play in this era, and what do we need to do to enable that to happen? To answer that we need to know who we are.

And my general answer is this: Columbia is the Quintessential Great Urban University. Looked at from any perspective, it seems to me, this is the primary source of attributes, the defining personality, of this institution. We must embrace it. We must also understand it. Here are some of the things it means to me.

First: It is less possible and less desirable to remain apart, to be removed from the world around us. Accordingly, the task for us is how to engage with that world in a useful and productive way. We must serve society and the world while enhancing the academic character of the university and preserving its distinctive intellectual outlook. The range of visitors to this campus – to teach, to speak, to visit, to seek counsel and to offer advice – is simply unparalleled. The degree to which our students are beneficiaries of this access to the world beyond these buildings is self-evident. So is the degree to which our scholarship is positively affected by this augmented contact with real problems. And on the other side, Columbians are naturally called upon more frequently to serve and they are ready to do so.

Exactly 100 years ago Nicholas Murray Butler said precisely this, in his long-forgotten inaugural address, at the start of his astonishing 43-year tenure (a record I hope to exceed, if I can simply live to be 100. It is interesting to see Butler, one of the great figures of higher education in the twentieth century (and a Nobel Prize winner), talk so comfortably and forthrightly about the importance of the university accepting the call for service to the world. My guess is that only a president of “Columbia University in the City of New York” (our official title) could say such things.

Here’s what he said about scholarship and service. President Butler first distinguished the scholar from the expert. Butler agreed with Aristotle that the “true scholar” is “free,” meaning in an intellectual sense. To be free, he said, is to have “a largeness of view . . . which permits [one] to see the other side; a knowledge of the course of man’s intellectual history and its meaning; a grasp of principles and a standard for judging them; the power and habit of reflection firmly established; a fine feeling for moral and intellectual distinctions; and the kindliness of spirit and nobility of purpose which are the support of genuine character.”

“In these modern days,” Butler said in 1902, “the university is not apart from the activities of the world, but in them and of them. It deals with real problems and it relates itself to life as it is.” In the combination [of scholarship and service], Butler found the “ethical quality which makes the university a real person, bound by its very nature to the service of others.” And so: “Every legitimate demand for guidance, for leadership, for expert knowledge, for trained skill, for personal service, it is the . . . duty of the university to meet.” Butler made it clear that he disapproved of “academic aloofness.” He urged Columbia to recruit faculty and students “competent to be the intellectual and spiritual leaders of the nation and competent to train others for leadership.” Great personalities,” he proclaimed, “make great universities.”

This 100 year-old vision that can serve as a guide for us in this new century as well. Given this enhanced involvement with the outside world, which is part of the essence of Columbia’s role as the great urban university, it is crucial that we engage while retaining our distinctive academic character. In the real world, conflict and choices are always present, and that tends inevitably to affect how we think and discuss. It is harder to be intellectually “free,” to have that largeness of view which permits [one] to see the other side . . .” University engagement with the political sphere, therefore, must always be limited by the need to maintain that special intellectual angle of vision that, in the end, is what makes us of value to the society in the first place. And, for its part, when society invites our participation, it must be careful to resist the impulse it feels at times to crush that fragile intellectual spirit, for in any unrestrained battle, as Machiavelli said years ago, the state will win.

Second: Columbia, as the quintessential great urban university, is more international. I mean by this not only the presence in our university of individuals from outside the boundaries of the United States, which is significant. Columbia stands in the very top group of American Universities in terms of the number of international students. (This is a longstanding Columbia policy: it was the first university in the United States to have more than a thousand foreign students, in 1953). Today our students come from 145 nations, and a quarter of our faculty are foreign born. Rather by saying Columbia is more international, I mean something more than this; I mean international in perspective, in consciousness, in our interests and our engagements as students, teachers, and scholars. In New York City, you cannot help but feel the presence of every part of the globe, and so it is at Columbia. I, therefore, believe that in every field represented at this University there is more focus on world issues. And, so, deep down Columbia possesses naturally the sense of itself as a citizen of the world – we engage with the world, not just out of a calculation of self-interest but out of a sense of responsibility.

Third: Columbia is profoundly committed to the educational principle of diversity. Again, just as this City is the most diverse in the world, so is Columbia a highly diverse university. Among just a handful of American universities, Columbia has fiercely maintained over the years a commitment to devote its resources to a policy of need blind admissions for undergraduates. Diversity as well as educational opportunity underlie this commitment. We all have much to learn about different cultures, about different ways of organizing societies, about how life experiences shape how one sees the world, about our perceptions (often inaccurate and oversimplified) of people of different cultures, societies, race, and ethnicities. This is the true marketplace of ideas.

At home in this country, the work of integration begun by one of the greatest Supreme Court decisions of the twentieth century – Brown v. Board Of Education – is far from over, although much progress has been made. (Many Columbians were involved with Brown: Robert Carter, Kenneth and Mamie Clark, Jack Greenberg, Otto Kleinberg, Constance Baker Motley, and Jack Weinstein.) Over the past four decades, our American universities have done their part to fulfill the promise of Brown, by seeking the educational, intellectual, and emotional benefits of diverse student populations. It would be an American tragedy if this progress were stalled by a reversal of Constitutional doctrine now nearly a half-century old, as determined opponents of affirmative action are at this moment trying to do. Very likely the issue of the constitutionality of considering race and ethnicity as factors in admissions – the most important civil rights issue since Brown – will come before the Supreme Court this year. The outcome will have direct relevance to Columbia, as it will for all higher education.

Fourth: Columbia, as the quintessential great urban university, is – perhaps ironically – deeply committed to tradition. Here I think of the great Core Curriculum, the longest running, most extensive core curriculum in the country. In the face of the swirling life surrounding us in this flourishing world city, it is not surprising that Columbia, as a university, would feel a greater need to hold onto what is precious from our history. And, yet, the greatness of this conservative impulse is not the wish to study Aristotle in isolation, but rather to immerse oneself in these great works while considering the great issues of our time – hence the title of the oldest Core course, “Contemporary Civilization.” (Lionel Trilling said of reading King Lear that to read this “dire report of life” is “invigorating” because it “does us the honor of supposing that we will make every possible effort of mind to withstand the force of its despair and to understand the complexity of what it tells us about the nature of human existence; it draws us into more activity than we’d thought ourselves capable of.”

Fifth: Columbia, as the quintessential great urban university, is – unexpectedly – the ultimate college town. One of the most surprising things about this university is the number of students, faculty, and staff living within just a few blocks of where we are now gathered. Life here is exactly the opposite of what people commonly assume about a great university in a colossal city such as New York. It is like classical Athens, where citizens could throw on their tunics and walk to the forum and consider the world. The atmosphere is pervaded by thought and discussion; it is a community not just a campus.

Sixth: Columbia is integrated into the fabric of the neighborhoods and the City. We share life with our neighbors and we have great responsibility to them. For New York City, Columbia University is immensely important. The University brings in well over a billion dollars a year to the City economy, generating last year more than 10,000 jobs. Columbia is New York City’s largest academic research center, spending $418 million on research last year (27% of all academic research spending in New York City).

This carries over more immediately to Morningside Heights, Harlem, and Washington Heights. We spend $42 million annually for goods and services from Upper Manhattan and South Bronx businesses, and we must continue to actively seek new ways to help the local economies.

But above all else the University benefits enormously by living amidst such creative and resilient communities.

Seventh and last: Columbia as the quintessential great urban university is the most constrained for space. This is not even a close question. Indeed, if college and university rankings were based on creativity per square foot, Columbia would far surpass everyone. This state of affairs, however, cannot last. To fulfill our responsibilities and aspirations Columbia must expand significantly over the next decade. Whether we expand on the property we already own on Morningside Heights, Manhattanville, or Washington Heights, or whether we pursue a design of multiple campuses in the City, or beyond, is one of the most important questions we will face in the years ahead. As we enter these discussions, we will need to continue working collaboratively with the Governor, the Mayor, and our neighboring communities and their leaders. We must be guided by a comprehensive vision for the university’s real needs.

Will Rogers said of Nicholas Murray Butler that he would never be satisfied with Columbia’s expansion until he had achieved the annexation of Grant’s Tomb. I hereby disclaim any such thought.
So, for those inclined, genetically or otherwise, to forget inaugural speeches remember these traits of the quintessential great urban university: it is engaged, international, diverse, steeped in tradition, a college town, part of the City and neighborhood, and desperately in need of space.

V

There is so much to do, so much to build on. It is possible for us to do things at Columbia that are not possible anywhere else. We inherit a university with an astonishing history of accomplishment, one that has shown an incredible capacity to adapt to each new turn of time. Just as New York City since 1754 has grown from 11,000 inhabitants to 8 million and become the place where people from all over the planet come to become what they want to be, so Columbia has evolved from a schoolhouse of eight students and one teacher to one of the greatest universities in the world, also where people come from all over the world to become whom they want to be. The great heritage that Columbia offers can be daunting – it’s not easy, I’ve always supposed, being an artist today in Florence. But, above all, it is exhilarating.

The principal task before us is simple to state and hard to do well. We must continue, from the level of the individual to that of the university, to know what the important and interesting questions of our time are and how best to pursue them. Some areas of especially promising knowledge must compel our attention:

The discoveries in the combined areas of medicine and health care, biology, engineering, chemistry, physics, computers, and technology – known today as the life sciences – are revolutionary in scale. No great university can minimize the potential here for transforming our understanding of life and our capacity to preserve health. And a great university will figure out how to deal with one of the most important questions of higher education, namely how to bridge the intellectual strengths of the health sciences and professions and the fundamental science disciplines in Arts and Sciences – represented physically for us by the two campuses of Washington Heights and Morningside Heights.

Another critical area is the phenomenon of globalization. The growing reach of and the interrelationships between modern communications, economic development, disease and public health policies, education, agricultural methods, poverty, terrorism, international law, religious and regional conflict, and environmental degradation are of immense complexity and importance. The role of the United States in this new world is only beginning to be sorted out in our minds. But it is clear that we have entered a new era. And a shift in our consciousness must follow. And just as the great figures in Columbia’s history worked to enhance our understanding of the momentous forces at work in their time – I’m thinking of Meyer Schapiro and the understandings of the origins of the modern art movement, or Richard Hofstadter and anti-intellectualism in American life – so will Columbia again provide intellectual leadership in the issues of our time. In this enterprise, Columbia has extraordinary opportunities to forge close partnerships with the leading institutions of the City, such as those already taking shape or expanding with the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Museum of Natural History, and the New York Botanical Gardens.

And a third critical area for development is the arts. It’s unthinkable to be in New York City and not take advantage of the location to create a premier School of the Arts. Our young and quite extraordinary School of the Arts can become truly unique, in part by building alliances and connections the City makes possible. What I am calling for is about more than support for the arts. It is about building relationships between the various kinds of creativity a university and the contemporary art world have to offer, and creating something new in the process. That is why I am so pleased to be working on a partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Apollo Theatre of Harlem.

But, above all, we should want the most vital expression in the arts because of what it can say to us about ourselves.

VI

I want to close with two thoughts. The first is to recognize that we do all that we do in large measure to help us nurture the next generation of men and women, who will act on what we now preserve and discover. A measure of the general health of a university, just as it is of a parent, is the degree to which we actively seek to help develop the youngest among us. Columbia has much to be proud of on that measure. But, of course, there’s still more to do; and we will continue, for example, to strengthen our academic advising.

The second closing thought is more of a message to our alumni here today and around the world. All of you are important members of Columbia’s extended family, and I know that we will succeed in achieving our dreams for Columbia only with the support and help of our alumni. And that is not a simple plea for money, although it is always welcome. We need you as our ambassadors to potential students, as spokespeople to our external constituencies, as planners and advisors, yes, as donors, and finally as the pride of Columbia showing the rest of the world through your work and service everyday the extraordinary value of a Columbia education. During my presidency, I want Columbia to be accessible to you and for your connections here to be meaningful and important.

Finally, this, returning to where I began: When President Seth Low brought Columbia to this spectacular locale, he forged a strong and whole university from what were reputedly disparate and often contentious parts, giving to the faculties for the first time decision-making powers while building a central administration that stressed cooperation and shared resources. In the words of the Trustees of that day, Seth Low “created a new Columbia.” Assuming this position as President of Columbia means more to me personally than I can possibly say. But I can say that I will do everything in my power and I will exert all of my being to continuing to build this New Columbia – most of all to make Columbia a university that the future will take pride in and draw inspiration from just as we do today.