Columbia Traditions

Trees on College Walk

Columbia Traditions

Columbia moments: they happen because of the people who come here and because of our history.  They happen because this city is part of us and we are part of it.  Completely unique to each student yet, oh so Columbia. They could only happen here.

Columbia Engineering Class Day Speaker

"Iron Chef" Judy Joo SEAS'97 delivers keynote speech at Columbia Engineering's Class Day

Into the Columbia Blue (youtube video)

Go ahead, dive in and discover what it's like to be an undergraduate student at Columbia University in the City of New York, from the people

“My favorite tradition is attending the annual Varsity Show – this student-run musical production truly encompasses the spirit of Columbia: witty, brilliant, quirky and just a tiny bit sassy.”

Alassane Ouattara, President of the Côte D’Ivoire, addresses the Columbia Community at the World Leaders Forum (youtube video)

Every year global figures, such as President Ouattara, speak to the Columbia community thanks to our proximity to the United Nations

“My favorite Columbia tradition is the Tree Lighting Ceremony. Not only is it beautiful to see the trees illuminated all winter, but there is something about the entire student body huddling on College Walk on a freezing night, drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies, listening to the Deans speak and watching our talented classmates perform that truly symbolizes the community we have on campus.”

Stephanie G.

“Fall break coincides with Election Day every year--for a purpose. I love that Columbia has a holiday on this weekend not just for its employees and their own voting rights but so students can become politically engaged. Columbia wants to help its students engage not just with ideas but also with the outside world so they can become effective intellectuals. That's what I love most about this tradition and this school: it cultivates active nerds.”

Marybeth S.

Class Day Speakers Announced

Columbia College and Columbia Engineering graduation ceremonies to feature prominent alumni speakers.