Cheering Columbia Football

A man holding a football while being tackled, with teammates running towards him.

Columbia takes on Amherst College in a 1920 game on South Field.

GEORGE ALLEN / Courtesy Columbia Libraries

Columbia’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library is marking the 150th anniversary of college football this fall with “Roar, Lion, Roar: A Celebration of Columbia Football” (; select “Exhibitions” below “Events & Training”). Running until December 20 in the RBML’s Chang Octagon, the exhibition features materials from the University Archives showcasing highlights of the Lions program — one of the oldest in the country — from its 1870 inception to the present.

The exhibition covers Columbia football’s early days (including an early 20th-century ban of the game) and most famed victories (among them the 1934 Rose Bowl victory and 1947 win over Army). It also addresses the 1970s teams that played under Coach Bill Campbell ’62, TC’64; the 1980s losing streak; the winning 1996 team; and the renaissance helmed by Head Coach Al Bagnoli. In addition, the exhibition highlights the coaches and players who have made a mark on Columbia football. Historic photographs, programs and memorabilia all will be on display.