Happy Birthday, Alma!

1903 photo of Alma Mater statue unveiling ceremony with dozens of attendees in front of Low Library at Columbia University.

September 22, 2023

Our iconic Alma Mater statue turns 120 years old this week! Check out this archival photo of the September 1903 unveiling. Designed by Daniel Chester French and cast by John Williams, the bronze sculpture was initially gilded and glowed in the sunlight until the gilding was removed when tastes in sculpture changed. Alma Mater is a symbol of pride for Columbia, and also has the best seat on Low Beach!

For more on the 1903 unveiling of Alma Mater, visit Columbia University Libraries' blog.

Photo of the Week is a feature of Columbia News that captures moments from around the University and New York City.

See all the photos from the series here.