Columbia College celebrates 162nd birthday

The first womenâ??s college west of the Mississippi River to be chartered by the state legislature is 162 years old.

Columbia College officials held a birthday celebration to honor their schoolâ??s history.

Founded in 1851, Columbia College has been helping students advance their lives through higher education for more than 160 years. As a private, nonprofit, liberal arts and sciences institution, college leaders take pride in their small classes, experienced faculty and quality educational programs. School administrators, faculty and staff celebrated their Collegeâ??s past accomplishments with a 162nd birthday party during this yearâ??s Charter Day Celebration.

Columbia College President Dr. Gerald Brouder said, â??Itâ??s just to show a comparison and contrast. Maybe, we can appreciate things better and more these days knowing what the poor folks went through back then in 1862. Itâ??s a matter of the celebration of the past, but a celebration of our future as well, by knowing of our past.â??

Originally, the school was called Christian Female College. It became Columbia College in 1970. As Columbia College turned 162 years old, no one sang happy birthday. You did hear songs from the civil war.

Columbia College leaders took a look back on their school during the time of the civil war with stories and songs.

Columbia College History Professor Dr. Brad Lookingbill said, â??In 1862, Julia Ward Howe visited some union camps around Washington D.C. and had, what you might call, an epiphany. She had a moment of inspiration that caused her to go back to her study and write a poem that became the lyrics for The Battle Hymn of the Republic.â??

Today, Columbia College educates more than 30,000 students each year and has more than 70,000 alumni worldwide.

Columbia College has more than 30 campuses across the country where students enroll in day, evening or online classes.