Nearly 100 Years of Outdoor Commencements

1926 graduation Commencement setup on Low Plaza with hundreds of chairs at Columbia University.

May 5, 2023

The first pre-Revolutionary Columbia Commencement was in lower Manhattan (Park Place to Trinity Church) and ceremonies on Morningside campus began in 1898. Here we look back to 1926 and the first outdoor Commencement setup on Low Plaza. Even the Sundial's granite sphere and pre-Butler Library South Field are featured. We look forward to celebrating our 2023 graduates on May 17 — where else, but Low Plaza!

Learn more about Columbia Commencement history and regalia.

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