Columbia University, a privately controlled coeducational institution of higher learning in New York City. Its Morningside Heights campus is dominated by the Greek columns and impressive dome of the Low Memorial Library (now chiefly an administrative center). The university's Health Sciences Campus is farther uptown, in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, and is the site of the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.
Columbia College is the university's undergraduate school. Other divisions of the university include schools of architecture and planning, the arts, business, dental and oral surgery, engineering and applied science, international and public affairs, journalism, law, medicine (called the College of Physicians and Surgeons), nursing, public health, and social work. There are also an undergraduate school of general studies and a graduate school of arts and sciences. Columbia University Teachers College, a school of education, is an affiliated but separate corporation. Barnard College, an undergraduate school for women, is also an affiliated institution. Columbia University Press, also a separate corporation, publishes scholarly journals and books.
Columbia was founded as King's College by royal charter of George II of England in 1754. The first money was raised by public lotteries. Its first president and instructor, Samuel Johnson, met his eight students in the schoolhouse of Trinity Church in lower Manhattan. Closed during the American Revolution, the college was rechartered as Columbia College by the state of New York in 1784. In 1787 the state gave control to a private board of trustees. Professional and graduate schools were added, and in 1896 the trustees adopted the name Columbia University.
Many noted persons have been associated with Columbia. Early students include Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and Gouverneur Morris. Nicholas Murray Butler, president from 1902 to 1945, built up many of the graduate and professional schools to world prominence. Dwight D. Eisenhower was Columbia's president, 1948–53, before becoming President of the United States. The philosopher and educator John Dewey taught at Columbia. Joseph Pulitzer, newspaper owner-publisher, endowed the school of journalism. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Chief Justices Charles Evans Hughes and Harlan F. Stone were alumni of Columbia's law school.