When Columbia Business School first looked toward Manhattanville nearly two decades ago, we imagined being on a magnificent campus by the river, learning from and contributing to the vibrant neighborhood all around us, and reshaping what business education can be.
Now, we are here—in our new home, on our new campus, to celebrate the start of an ambitious new era. For more than a century, our mission has been to provide excellence in education and opportunities for our students and alumni; to deliver thought leadership that informs, influences, and impacts business and policy; and to create new opportunities and further progress through business. We’ve known for some time that to continue achieving that mission, we had to move and expand, to change how we train our students and engage with the world.
This pressing need and a kernel of an idea was taken on by former Dean Glenn Hubbard, who together with the inspiring generosity of many alumni and friends made the Manhattanville project a reality. I am especially grateful for the generosity of David Geffen and Marie-Josée Kravis and Henry Kravis, who is stepping down as co-chair of the board after putting in enormous time and effort as a champion of this project.
Like the Business School, the University has faced a pressing need to expand while continuing to have an impact on the challenges that continuously define new fields of study. This need was embraced by President Lee Bollinger, who initiated the Manhattanville campus plan, Columbia University’s most ambitious expansion plan in more than a century.
The Manhattanville campus’s first buildings, the Jerome L. Greene Science Center and the Lenfest Center for the Arts, opened in 2017, and the Forum followed in 2018. And, now, with the opening of Henry R. Kravis Hall and David Geffen Hall, the Manhattanville campus expansion is moving forward into its next phase. With our move, we have populated our campus with the energy, curiosity, and joy of 2,500 students.
Our new campus enables us to build on our mission in new and spectacular ways, with facilities that allow us to grow and modernize, to collaborate and innovate, and to increase our interaction and partnership across disciplines, the University, and businesses, from disruptor startups to global institutions.
Henry R. Kravis Hall and David Geffen Hall are game changing for our Business School. Totaling 492,000 square feet, they nearly double the space of our previous facilities. They include a 40 percent increase in classroom space and more than 130 spaces for our students, alumni, faculty, and staff to connect and collaborate.
The inspired architecture brings in light and promotes movement, introduces new capabilities for experiential learning, and encourages interaction. The buildings offer new ways of connecting with our Business School and University communities, the larger business community, and the vibrant, diverse, and entrepreneurial community of West Harlem.
These buildings reflect our leadership and our vision for the future: An innovative future that is modern, open, connected, and includes an amazing lifelong home for the broader Business School community and business world. A future with a dynamic curriculum that anticipates and evolves with our ever-changing circumstances. A future with an interdisciplinary and global approach to education and thought leadership that brings cutting-edge researchers together with incredible business leaders, creating synergies inside and outside our classrooms. A future with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, technology and the digital future, climate change, the future of finance, and the role and interface of business and society—areas of study and action that are shaping the world.
I am humbled by the hard work and tireless execution, including during the past two years of the pandemic, that have brought us to Manhattanville. This is a time to celebrate, for the Business School and for the University. If you have not yet been to our new campus, I invite you to visit soon. As you will see when you step through our doors—and in the pages of this magazine—the future of business is here.
About the Researcher
Dean, Dean's Office
Dean; David and Lyn Silfen Professor of Business, Decision, Risk, and Operations Division