Know Your Wikipedia
Written by Bwog Staff
’14ers out there may have realized that Bwog can be a valuable source of information about Columbia. However, even seasoned Columbians may not know some of this carefully checked, entirely reliable trivial knowledge. Great for parents weekend, when you want to steer away from the topic of grades and significant others.
- Columbia has its own glacier named after it, Columbia Glacier. It is one of the fastest moving glaciers in the world, and has been retreating since the early 1980s. It is nestled in Alaska’s College Fjord, among a group of glaciers named for the Ivy League and Seven Sisters schools. It was christened in 1899 by the Harriman Alaska Expedition.
- Melvil Dewey, creator of the Dewey Decimal Classification, was librarian of the University and also founded the first library school in the U.S. at Columbia. Despite this, Columbia libraries principally use the Library of Congress Classification system.
- Famous architect I. M. Pei was commissioned to bulk up the Columbia campus in the 1960s. His design included two 23-story towers which were to face each other across South Field. Pei’s Master Plan was eventually rejected.
- You probably heard about United States President Barack Obama, but did you know that Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the President of Estonia, received his BA in psychology at Columbia in 1976? Or that Abdul Zahir (Afghan Prime Minister) received his M.D. from the Med School?
- More Medical School glory: Amelia Earhart enrolled at Columbia as a pre-med student in 1919.
- There are two Columbia campuses in New York that are not in New York City. These are the 157-acre Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades and the 60-acre Nevis Laboratories in Irvington.
- Since sharing their only Ivy League title with Harvard in 1961, the football Lions have had only three winning seasons (in 1971, 1994 and 1996). However, the Lions have other athletic strengths. A Columbia crew was the first from outside Britain to win at the Henley Royal Regatta.
- Since 1969, during the Vietnam War, the University has not allowed the US military to have Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs on campus. Those students who were determined could participate in ROTC programs at other nearby colleges and universities.
- Past writers and directors of the Varsity Show, Columbia’s annual student musical, have included Columbians Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein.
- Columbia’s Science and Technology Ventures currently manages some 600 patents and more than 250 active license agreements. Patent-related deals have earned Columbia up to $230 million per year in the last decade.