Note from the editor: As with many student-run organizations, the Postcrypt has a long and undocumented history. As the unofficial Postcrypt historian, I have tried my best to be accurate, but please correct me as necessary! This page will always be a work in progress.

--Andy Stevens, 5/16/02,

The Postcrypt was founded at Columbia University in 1964 by Rev. John Cannon, then a campus chaplain. He enlisted Dotty Sutherland (now Dotty Janke) to help clean out and redecorate a dusty storage room in the basement of the chapel. They purchased some tables and chairs on the Bowery, and built a small stage for performers. Dotty designed and made a mosaic bar to serve coffee and refreshments.

John chose the name for the new hangout from an important work of one of his favorite philosophers, Soren Kierkegaard. Starting with the title Concluding Unscientific Postscript, John abbreviated the first two words as "C.U." (also a common abbreviation for Columbia University), and changed the spelling of the third word to Postcrypt (to reflect the location of the coffeehouse in the "crypt" of the church). C.U. Postcrypt opened its doors in February, 1964.

Upon visiting the Postcrypt, most alumni comment on how little it has changed over the years. The original stage survives to this day (though at some point, somebody nailed an extra layer of plywood to the top). The mosaic bar is also original, as are many of the tables and chairs. There is still a strange wooden box above one of the doors with "Postcrypt" in handlettered gothic print (origin unknown).

See photos of the Postcrypt from the 70s!
See Postcrypt posters from the 70s!

Past Student Managers of the 'Crypt

1968-69: David Rabin

1969-70: Ed Reisner

1973-75: Pete Shawhan. See the photos that Pete sent us!

1977-79: Dave Sudolsky. See the posters that Dave sent us!

1979-80: Larry Scoones

1980-81: Francine Steinenger

1983-86: Ted Kesler

1986-88: Ted Kesler, Robin Levey

1989-91: Beverly Greenfield

1991-92: Scott Feldman, Zoe Titus

1992-94: Scott Feldman, Andy Stevens

1994-95: Andy Stevens

1995-96: Maarten Broekman, Margarita Suarez

1996-98: Jennifer Feather

1998-2001: Matt Winters

2001-03: Bec Josephson, Adrienne Baranowicz

2003-05: Fabian Brügger

2005-06: Amy Glick

2007: Emily Jordan

2007-: Ellen Kessel, Brett Benowitz

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