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.

“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.

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

The Varsity Show boasts many famous alumni

The Varsity Show, now in its 127th year, boasts alumni like Rodgers and Hammerstein, Art Gunfunkel, Tom Kitt, Brian Yorkey and Terrence McNally. The full-length student-produced musical is Columbia’s oldest performing arts tradition.

“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.”
“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.

“My favorite Columbia tradition is about Columbians themselves. Columbia students never stop asking the question, "what could be better about this university?" That tradition of critical engagement with the larger university body keeps campus abuzz with discussion and ensures that an education at Columbia will be not just an academic experience but a lesson in social discourse and advocacy as well.”

Steele S.