Meet Edward Crouse CC’18, a history and English double major from Jefferson City, MO. Crouse was interested in making his Columbia College experience an international one, studying abroad in Paris, spending time as a European Institute Cold War Archives Research Fellow, doing an internship at the European Union Delegation to the United Nations and serving as under-secretary-general on the Columbia International Relations Council.
He also retained his passion for music through the Columbia Music Performance Program, where he performed in a string trio.
Following graduation, Crouse will attend law school at Stanford University, an interest he also cultivated on campus as a research assistant at Columbia Law's Center on Corporate Law and Policy.
What are your favorite memories from your time at Columbia?
One of my favorite memories at Columbia College has been the Core Curriculum. My Literature Humanities (Lit Hum) class grew particularly close with each other. We formed a Facebook group to organize weekend viewing parties of movies linked to the course and later coordinated picking the same section of Contemporary Civilization (CC). Years later, I’ve gone to art performances with friends from that first-year course. In fact, one of my closest friends and I bonded not only through Lit Hum and CC, but also in Frontiers of Science. I was likewise fortunate enough to enroll in a linked section of Music and Art Humanities, taught by Susan Boynton, professor of music and chair of the Department of Music. In addition to section reunions during the following school year, I had the opportunity to meet with Professor Boynton twice in Paris when our schedules happened to overlap.
What surprised you most about your Columbia College experience?
My Columbia College experience was more international than I could have ever imagined. Raised in a small city in Missouri, I knew that I wanted to go to a college where I could broaden my horizons and grow among a diverse student population.
For that reason, I picked Columbia College for its variety of programs and communities located in the heart of New York City. And once here, I had the opportunity to pursue initiatives that enriched my education by taking me outside of the United States and the American perspective. Last year alone, I studied abroad at Reid Hall in Paris where I took a course at the Sorbonne, researched and presented findings on Cold War media in Budapest, began my (now completed) history senior thesis, “‘Upheld by Force’: Sylvia Pankhurst’s Sedition of 1920” in London and interned at the European Union Delegation to the United Nations. I couldn’t have done any of this other than at Columbia.
How has your experience prepared you for your postgraduate plans?
I want to become a lawyer with public interest work or governmental service. My experience at Columbia College, with professors and classmates constantly challenging me to be my best, has equipped me with the intellectual rigor and academic skills I need to pursue advanced legal work. The interdisciplinary education Columbia encourages, which — for me — ranged from colonial Latin American history to computer science, from Milton to 1970s Hollywood, cultivated my ability to comfortably navigate a wide array of different and unfamiliar topics. Similarly, my friends, colleagues and the overall student body have helped me learn how to express my ideas and consider my role within a larger community.
What will you miss most about Columbia College?
I will miss my Columbia community most after graduation. There really is no other experience comparable to living around so many bright and engaging friends, with intersecting perspectives and interests, on campus and with direct access to all of New York City. I’ll miss being able to run along the Hudson River, participate in (and win) a Thai chili contest, travel downtown to catch a performance of an experimental off-Broadway play, and ride the uptown shuttle to show some school spirit at Homecoming. At the same time though, I’m grateful that even while my community at Columbia is preparing to scatter away, I now have a vast network of friends throughout the world.