Speeches

Speeches

2018 Commencement Address

May 16, 2018

And if you believe, as I do, that the Core is to the University what the University is to society, the greatest application of what you have learned here is still to come.  It is about acting as a bulwark against our natural inclination to intolerance, and leading our enduring search for those critical shared truths.  It is about projecting the spirit of the Core out into the world, whatever part of the world you make your own. 

Photo of President Bollinger at Commencement

Remarks at the 2018 Pulitzer Prize Lunch

May 30, 2018

The Pulitzers are always uniquely important, but I believe this year will stand out in the now century-long history of the Prizes as among the most important.  This is not only because of the new and wider reach of the Prizes into realms where creative genius resides, such as we do today with music, but also because we are living in an era that demands of us a new understanding of and confrontation with the abuses of power.

Inauguration of Barnard President Sian Beilock

February 19, 2018

We welcome a new President to the helm of a College possessing a singular history that began long before her lifetime, who is now entrusted with safeguarding its traditions and applying its values to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.  Through this ceremony, we seek in some small measure to help prepare her, and ourselves, for that journey.

Photo of Lee Bollinger speaking in front of an audience in Low Rotunda

Introduction of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

She Opened the Door: Columbia University Women's Conference

February 11, 2018

What we know is that she is brave and determined to speak with a moral clarity that is channeled by a keen intellect and impeccable legal skills.  She gives voice to those with legitimate claims on our Constitution and our society’s ideals but who lack the political power to secure those rights.  Her voice is authentic, strong, and filled with heart.

2017 Convocation Address

August 27, 2017

Columbia is made up of an unmatched array of intellectual talent; it is more diverse in its composition, in every respect, and truly believing in the virtues of diversity; it is more international and global in its sensitivities and outlook; it has a unique curriculum, notably with the Core; and it resides in a national and global capital city and draws every day upon the riches of that special urbanity.