About the Roll of Honor

Battle of Harlem Heights plaque

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About the Roll of Honor

Building on the work of an earlier group of alumni, Columbia began in 2007 to plan a memorial to recognize those students and alumni who died in the service of our country. Provost Alan Brinkley convened a Working Group on War Remembrance to make recommendations on an appropriate way to honor them. The Working Group had broad representation from the Columbia community and included faculty, students, administrators, and alumni from the earlier effort. The Working Group concluded that any monument to Columbia’s war dead would always be a work in progress. Information on war casualties not previously known would emerge, and a way to include them in the memorial was needed. The decision was made to install a plaque in Butler Library to recognize their contribution as a group and to create a memorial on the web to acknowledge the sacrifice of each as an individual. Since its launch in December 2008, the Roll of Honor is amended as more information surfaces about Columbians engaged in past, present, and future military conflicts of the nation.

Roll of Honor, first edition

About the Second Edition of the Roll of Honor

The original Columbia University Roll of Honor site was launched in 2008 and was dutifully updated and improved by the original Executive Producer Vivian Ducat and Researcher Minda Novek for the Office of the Provost. In 2021 the site was retired but it is still accessible via the web archives

This site is the second edition of the Roll of Honor and it is now part of Columbia University Libraries. The text related to the wars and the information about the fallen alumni and their phototgraphs were faithfully brought over from the first site. However, the original included photo slideshows to provide contextual information about the different conflicts, featuring artistic depictions and photographs from the Library of Congress, National Archives and other sources. In the second edition, the contextual images are now more locally focused, including only depictions of the Columbia buildings and grounds at the time of the conflict and photos of the military presence on campus. The University Archives staff now maintains the site so please send any additions, corrections, photographs or tributes to uarchives@columbia.edu.

Battle of Harlem Heights plaque A boy stands beside the plaque commemorating the Battle of Harlem Heights on the outer wall of the Morningside Campus. This photograph was taken around 1905.