Office of Public Information and Communications 
Columbia University
New York, N.Y.   10027
(212) 854-5573
Fred Knubel, Director of Public Information
December 8, 1995


John Jay's namesake, his great-great-great-great-grandson John Jay Iselin, president of Cooper Union in New York City, will cut the cake for the 250th birthday of the nation's first Chief Justice at a celebration at Columbia University Tuesday, December 12.

The birthday party will conclude a day-long conference on the life and legacy of Dr. Iselin's distinguished ancestor, one of the American republic's founders, who graduated in 1764 from Columbia, then known as King's College. The reception will begin at 5:15 P.M. in the Faculty Room of Low Memorial Library on Columbia's Morningside Heights campus at Broadway and 116th Street. Columbia College students in the garb of soldiers of the American Revolution will be the birthday cake bearers. Several hundred Columbians, including the student recipients of prestigious John Jay Scholarships in Columbia College, and historians and legal scholars are expected to join in the "Happy Birthday" chorus.

You are invited to cover.

John Jay, born December 12, 1745, in New York City, statesman, diplomat and lawyer, fulfilled many roles in the American struggle for independence and in its birth as a nation. He helped draft New York's first constitution and later the U.S. Constitution, was the state's first chief justice, president of the Continental Congress and ambassador to Spain. With John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, he negotiated the Treaty of Paris that sealed Britain's recognition of American independence. President Washington appointed him in 1789 the new nation's first Chief Justice of the first Supreme Court of the United States, a post he held until he resigned in 1795 to become Governor of New York. He retired from public life in 1801 and died in 1829.

Three exhibitions at Columbia chronicling John Jay's achievements draw on the University's massive Jay collection, acquired from the estate of Dr. Iselin's grandmother, Eleanor Jay Iselin, great-great-granddaughter of John Jay.

EVENT: 250th Birthday Party for John Jay

TIME: 5:15 P.M. Tuesday, December 12

PLACE: Rotunda and Faculty Room, Low Memorial Library, Columbia University, entrance at Broadway and 116th Street