Speeches

Speeches

2017 Commencement Address
May 17, 2017

At the 263rd Columbia University Commencement ceremony, President Lee C. Bollinger discussed the unique role of universities in today's complex world, and urged students to support a public discourse based on tolerance, rather than fear. 

"We are properly proud of our international students and faculty, and of our research and educational work all over the globe. The free movement of people is vital to that intellectual work."

Convocation 2017
August 27, 2017

There really is nothing like a great university, and I strongly believe that among the great universities in the world there is nothing like Columbia University. 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.

Foreign Policy Assoc. Centennial Lecture

June 27, 2017

This institution was established at a moment in time that we all look back on with a sense of missed opportunities, of great human loss. There were many things that were created in this period -- the Core Curriculum was established. ...out of a sense that the world needed to think about issues in the context of great ideas, great minds, and so on. 

Memorial for Fritz Stern
September 30, 2016

As is the case with those whose impact on the world is large, Fritz Stern is claimed by many. No other American historian has produced a comparable body of scholarship of that nation’s modern period. 

Manhattanville Campus Dedication Ceremony
October 24, 2016 

On this morning, we assemble on this little square, at the feet of these two nearly finished and magnificent academic buildings, to mark the most transformational expansion of Columbia University since the dedication of the Morningside Heights campus in 1896.

President Bollinger speaks at fall convocation on August 27, 2017.