The Top 12 Stories That Captured Your Attention on 'Columbia News' in 2022

What stories grabbed the attention of our readers in 2022? The results may surprise you.

Kelly Moffitt-Hawasly
December 14, 2022

So many big things happened in 2022 that it is hard to keep track of everything that has taken place in the last month, let alone the whole year. Columbians have weighed in on everything from huge Supreme Court cases and Russia’s war in Ukraine to new campus buildings, student activities, and an on-campus Commencement to remember. In our corner of the world, we encourage you to look back over the past twelve months with us as we make sense of the year. 

Below, find the top stories that Columbia News readers gravitated toward over the course of the year. Thank you for keeping up with all things Columbia alongside us this year.

January 2022: A New Home for the Business School

Kravis Hall.

TOP STORY: Columbia Business School Opened This Week on the Manhattanville Campus. Take a Look.

A long time in the making, Columbia Business School officially moved from Uris Hall on the Morningside campus to Henry R. Kravis Hall and David Geffen Hall on the Manhattanville campus. Columbia News readers also gravitated toward stories on how to tackle big infrastructure projects in a timely manner, evidence of a second supermoon, and a professor who sorted all of Wikipedia thematically on a laptop.

February 2022: A Brewing Crisis in Ukraine

A ukrainian soldier in fatigues

TOP STORY: Columbia Faculty Weigh In on the Crisis in Ukraine

While this story kept updating in the months that followed, February marked the beginning of attention on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and Columbia faculty shared insights that helped place the conflict in context. February also marked Columbia’s love stories to love and the recognition of Black history in the form of 10 Black Columbians to know from 10 decades. Also intriguing? This story about a Columbia professor who has spent 15 years gathering the foundation theorems of algebraic geometry in one place.

March 2022: Adapting the Negative Into the Positive

A graphic of a ball of twine unraveling between two heads

TOP STORY: How Can We Break the Cycle of Focusing on Negative Experiences?

Prescient advice for a world in crisis: A new study from Columbia’s department of psychology revealed how we can adapt our negative memories to make them more positive. Readers also enjoyed testing their chops on a quiz about Columbia’s Oscars history and news about a generous gift from Shirley and Walter Wang to enhance campus social life.

April 2022: President Bollinger’s Columbia

President Bollinger in front of alma mater.

TOP STORY: President Bollinger to Step Down in 2023

In April, President Lee C. Bollinger announced that he would conclude his service as Columbia’s president at the end of the 2022-23 school year. During his tenure, Columbia has flourished as a center of academic excellence that is redefining what it means to be a great research university in the 21st century. Also grabbing readers’ attention? The John Jay Hawks, which, with your help, we named Ruth and Martin Ginsbirds! In the run-up to Commencement season, readers also gobbled up stories about honorary degree recipients, class day speakers, and ‘Lions of Social Justice.’

May 2022: All Things Graduation and Commencement

A crowd of commencement viewers.

TOP STORY: 28 Photos From Columbia Commencement Week That Show How Happy We Are to Return to Campus to Celebrate Our Grads

May marks all things Commencement at Columbia. And this year with a return-to-campus ceremony for the Class of 2022 and a celebration for the Classes of 2021 and 2020, it was a year to remember. These quotes about professors who won Presidential Teaching Awards made readers' hearts sing, and, of course, readers wanted to know where to photograph the Empire State Building glowing blue. Readers also delved deep into this story about the seven formerly incarcerated students who graduated from the university in 2022

June 2022: Roe v. Wade, Dobbs v. Jackson

An abortion protest at the Supreme Court

TOP STORY: What Overturning Roe v. Wade Could Mean

Before Roe v. Wade was officially overturned on June 24, readers gravitated toward this Columbia News story, written by Anindita Dasgupta, an associate research scientist in the Social Intervention Group at Columbia University School of Social Work. This month, readers also devoured this story about Pride Month at Columbia and a Photo of the Week celebrating Eric Kandel, Nobel laureate and Columbia neuroscientist, who retired at the age of 92. 

July 2022: Fun Facts About Low Library

Low Library being constructed in 1896.

TOP STORY: Six Secrets of Low Library

Readers of Columbia News are known to gravitate toward historical lore about Columbia’s campus and this list of unusual treasures and odd facts about the central building on the Morningside campus proved no different. This month, readers also read up on faculty reflections on marquee Supreme Court cases, insights into the economy and inflation, and Columbia Climate School Lecturer Lisa Dale’s suggestions for how the world can adapt to a changing climate.

August 2022: Gearing Up for Back-to-School

starter pack graphic

TOP STORY: Your Columbia Student Starter Pack 2022

Nothing can quell a Columbian’s enthusiasm for the start of the school year; indeed, people delved into our student starter pack with gusto. The top five stories for August were all about making the most of your time on campus, including great advice for incoming undergraduates straight from President Bollinger to reader-shared #lifehacks for making your way in New York City.

September 2022: World Leaders Return to Campus

President Bollinger at World Leaders Forum.

TOP STORY: Two Decades of World Leaders Visiting Columbia University

Attention was still high on return-to-campus stories, including this photo essay of back-to-school activities, but September saw the fall semester get into full swing, including the World Leaders Forum. With President Bollinger stepping down, Columbia News compiled this retrospective of visitors over the years. Also of interest this month? Research on high-energy particles, an archaeological history of New York based on everyday artifacts, and the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month on campus

October 2022: Black Holes and Nobel Prizes

Elena Giorgi

TOP STORY: A Researcher Shores Up Einstein’s Theory With Math

In the top story of October, Columbia Professor Elena Giorgi shared how she showed that black holes are stable, and how a discovery as a Columbia student charted her professional “destiny.” Other huge news this month: a Columbia alumnus, John F. Clauser, won the Nobel Prize for Physics. Plus, a Columbia professor fact-checked the film Greatest Beer Run Ever (directed by a Columbia alumnus).

November 2022: Analyzing Affirmative Action Cases

Supreme Court Affirmative Action protest

TOP STORY: President Bollinger Weighs In on Affirmative Action Cases Being Argued Before the Supreme Court

As an expert on affirmative action and the key player in Grutter v. Bollinger, a 2003 landmark decision that held colleges can consider race and use holistic reviews as long as their affirmative action programs are narrowly tailored, President Bollinger commented about the arguments and what is at risk in the recent Supreme Court hearings on the matter. Also of interest? This profile of Professor Kerstin Perez (CC’05), who uses cutting-edge techniques to identify the particle nature of dark matter.

December 2022: Festive Spirit Across Our Campuses

Manhattanville holiday lights.

TOP STORY: Wishing Happy Holidays to Our Community

Our weekly Photo of the Week feature is full of holiday spirit once December rolls around, with not one but two photos of campus lights (on Manhattanville and Morningside) drawing readers’ attention. Also enticing? Columbia News Celebrates President Bollinger, which takes a look back at his two decades of service to Columbia University.