“I am convinced that I am a better scientist and person for having been exposed to these books and the discussions they generated. Columbia should be proud of this tradition. I look forward to celebrating the 100th anniversary.”
Mike Imperiale ’76, ’81 GSAS
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Time flies. Value stays. Initially I was annoyed to have a course imposed on me, then entranced. I have kept all the books. The binders are cracked and the pages yellow — but the contents priceless.
Cedric Philipp ’43
The genius of the Core Curriculum, and why Columbia College alumni believe so passionately in it, is that it gives every student an opportunity for self-discovery within an academic framework designed to foster exactly that result. Happy Birthday, Lit Hum. And many more.
Liam T. Ward ’82
I shall be forever grateful for the Core Curriculum. It was then that my education truly began. Having said that, I have always regretted that only Western Civilization was covered. The history of the last century and this one so far has shown the huge importance of the world beyond Greece.
Dr. G.J. D’Angio ’43
Those books read and unread shaped and inspired my thoughts, fostered dreams realized and unrealized, and bonded me forever in a future with a large intellectual community of thinkers. To this day I can spot the Columbia College graduate because in every field he or she is known to be the uniquely courageous voice asking the most uncomfortable, difficult, unanswerable questions. I believe the Core experience is responsible for what I describe as the CC unpretentious search for truth.
Jennifer Madrid ’92
Everyone who has attended the College owes an immense debt to this seminal idea. I was privileged to extend my Lit Hum experience to “super Lit Hum,” the “Colloquium on Literature, Language, Philosophy and History,” in my junior and senior years. The University would do well to revive this course.
Dr. Frederick G. Kushner ’70, ’74 P&S
This introduction to the classics gave me a good grounding that served me well the rest of my life.
Dr. G.A.L. Irwin ’49
Massapequa Park, N.Y.
It wasn’t just the books or the seminar format; it was the sharing of the experience, its obligatoriness…All honor to Columbia College for having the courage to impose an obligation!
Larry Rosenwald ’70, ’79 GSAS
Lit Hum, Art Hum, Music Hum and CC were the basic pieces that put together my educational puzzle. You cannot measure the impact Columbia’s great teaching, bright fellow students and New York City have on previously unchallenged minds like mine. Thank you, Columbia, for putting the torch in my hand.
Mac Gimse ’57
I am going to take a very different view in offering my memories of my wonderful time in the course. This memory is apocryphal and has a necessary touch of verisimilitude. Professor Moses Hadas ’30 GSAS walked into a dry cleaning establishment and greeted the owner, who was also Greek. Apparently, they were on familiar terms. The owner looked at the garment that Professor Hadas had placed on the counter between them and said, “Euripides?” Without pause, Dr. Hadas said, “Yes. Eumenedes?”
John Breeskin ’57
Takoma Park, Md.
Whether I am reading for pleasure or for my work, Lit Hum and my entire Columbia experience are always what underlie the experience of reading.
Cybele Merrick ’89, ’90 GSAS
I continue to believe that there was great value in having all members of the freshman class reading roughly the same material at roughly the same time. No matter what section of the course you were in, you could converse about the material with just about any member of our class at any time or any place.
Rob Mayer ’71
Salt Lake City
I don’t see any reason not to call Lit Hum a Great Books course. Does the faculty ever deliberately choose a mediocre book? The ever-shifting list reflects, among other things, the fact that there are many more great books than can be read in one year.
Charles Brauner ’64
Oak Park, Ill.