The Core Curriculum Turns One Hundred

Statue of Plato against blue background

This fall, Columbia College kicks off a series of festivities to celebrate the centennial of its Core Curriculum. President Lee C. Bollinger noted the anniversary in his 2019 Commencement address

"Precisely one hundred years ago, in 1919, … a new yearlong required course for Columbia freshmen was launched called Contemporary Civilization. Though today we know CC as the genesis of the famed Core Curriculum, then it was nothing more than a bold experiment in higher education. The objective, reflected in the course name, was to apply learning and reason derived from classic texts to the problems facing society in the aftermath of a cataclysmic war. The idea was to double down on the academic mission, and it has made a difference, as generation after generation has attested to its value in creating an open mind and intellect."


This article appears in the Fall 2019 print edition of Columbia Magazine with the title "Core Principles."