Columbia College

Year-End Events

Lionel Trilling and Mark Van Doren Awards Reception and Ceremony

The recipients of the Lionel Trilling Book Award and the Mark Van Doren Award for Teaching are selected by the student members of the Academic Awards Subcommittee of the Columbia College Student Council, with administrative support and guidance from the Academic Affairs staff of the College.

Throughout an entire academic year, the student members of this committee devote a great deal of time and intellectual attention to the nomination process for these two faculty awards.

  • To nominate for the Lionel Trilling Book Award the students evaluate-by reading, reviewing and discussing-all the scholarly book-length contributions of Columbia College faculty from the previous year.
  • To make their recommendations for the Mark Van Doren Award for Teaching the students observe the classroom expertise of faculty nominated as great teachers by Columbia College students.

While the reception and ceremony are rightly meant to acknowledge and honor the faculty recipients of these two prestigious awards, it also recognizes these students who have chosen to broaden their intellectual horizons by engaging in a process that requires them to make distinctions regarding faculty contributions to the academic life of the College.

The Lionel Trilling and Mark Van Doren Awards Reception and Ceremony typically takes place in early May, during the Spring semester reading period. Please contact Toni Gunthrope-Hardee, tg2030@columbia.edu, should you have any questions.

Academic Awards and Prizes Ceremony and Reception

This special event brings these students together with their family, friends, and faculty, and for those graduating majors the ceremony is a culminating event that recognizes their significant academic achievements. As faculty with whom they have established an intellectual bond, your presence on this occasion is especially meaningful and we hope that you will join the College in honoring these students.

The Ceremony and Reception takes place in the same week as University Commencement.

Phi Beta Kappa Ceremony

This ceremony celebrates the initiation of our top 10% of graduating seniors in the Columbia College section of the New York Delta Phi Beta Kappa. Two percent of our graduating seniors are elected in November, and are inducted to the society during the Junior Phi Beta Kappa Ceremony. The other eight percent of our graduating seniors are elected in the Spring, and are inducted to the society during the Phi Beta Kappa Ceremony.

After recognition by the Dean of Columbia College, the President of Columbia's Phi Beta Kappa Chapter, and a senior Phi Beta Kappa faculty member, a reception will follow to celebrate the initiation of these students, with their families, friends and faculty. We encourage you to attend in order to honor and congratulate your students on their overall outstanding academic achievements.

The Junior Phi Beta Kappa Ceremony and Reception takes place at the end of January; the Phi Beta Kappa Ceremony Ceremony and Reception takes place in the same week as University Commencement.

Class Day

Faculty who participate in the Class Day Ceremony validate the Columbia College experience for our students, who correctly believe that faculty have been one of the most essentials parts of their academic experience and intellectual growth.

As Director of Undergraduate Studies, you represent the department on this occasion, but you should also encourage your colleagues to participate as well. The Class Day Ceremony is held on South Field Lawn in the same week as University Commencement. 

Departmental Graduation Celebrations

To provide graduating majors with an intimate environment in which to talk with their particular faculty and introduce their families to them, we encourage departments to organize and host departmental celebrations for their graduating majors. The College can help defray the costs of such events.

For further information, please contact Hazel May, Senior Associate Dean of Academic Planning and Administration, at 854-6372 or hm2135@columbia.edu.