Stand, Columbia: A History of Columbia University in the City of New York, 1754-2004

By Robert A. McCaughey | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

THE idea for this book, a one-volume interpretive history of Columbia University, was mine. So are the judgments made and opinions expressed in it. This said, many people have provided crucial help at every point along the way.

Beginning at the beginning, I wish to acknowledge the support and encouragement provided by the members of the Publications Committee of the Columbia 250th Anniversary Celebration, especially its chairman Ashbel Green (CC 1948) and also committee members William T. de Bary, Fritz Stern, Rosalind Rosenberg, Michael Rosenthal, and Jerry Kisslinger. Their quiet confidence in my ability to complete the book has been both a comfort and a spur. Also, from the outset, the cochairs of the 250th Committee, Trustee Emeritus Henry King (CC 1948) and Professor of History Kenneth T. Jackson, have provided every assistance in seeing the project through. So, too, the executive director of the committee, Roger Lehecka (CC 1967), and his predecessor, Claudia Bushman.

I wish also to acknowledge the help of Presidents Emeriti Michael I. Sovern and George Rupp, who enthusiastically endorsed the idea of my writing an interpretive—as opposed to an “official”—history of the university over which they presided for a combined twenty-three years. It was on their authority that I secured access to all the materials I requested relating to their presidencies. In addition, Mike Sovern generously shared with me his experiences as a Columbian stretching back over six decades.

The research process was much facilitated by the assistance of several of Columbia's highly skilled librarians and archivists. These included Jean Ashton and Bernard Crystal of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Marilyn Pettit and Jocelyn Wilk of the Columbia University Archives-Columbiana Library, Ronald Griele and Mary Marshall Clark of the Oral History Research Office, Stephen E. Novak of Health Sciences Archives and Special Collections, Whitney Bagnall of Special Collections in the Law School Library, Donald Glassman of the Barnard College Archives, and David Ment and Bette Winick of the Teachers College Special Collections.

As the manuscript evolved, it benefited from critical readings by several participant-observers of the Columbia scene. First among these have been my Barnard departmental colleagues Rosalind Rosenberg, Herb Sloan, and Nancy Woloch and also Barnard's president, Judith Shapiro (CU Ph.D. 1968), who rather liked the idea of a Barnard faculty member writing Columbia's history. Thanks, too, to Elizabeth Boylan, my successor as Barnard's dean of the faculty, and Lew Wyman, vice president for planning.

Parts of the manuscript also benefited from readings by several Columbia

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